Versatile Is a Funny Word

Dear Reader:

What do you do when you are nominated for something like the Versatile Blogger Award?

You thank the person who nominated you, of course. So, I would like to thank The Beach Writer at http://thebeachwriter.com/ for nominating me for the
Versatile Blogger Award. What a surprise!

I enjoy Beach Writer’s posts about the writing life. If you are a writer (or a reader interested in peeking behind the scenes in order to see how books, essays, stories, and poems are created in the first place) check out this blog!

I’ve seen the green Versatile Blogger badge on various (versatile?) blogs here and there, but I had no idea what it was all about. Getting a notification that I’d been nominated was a bit of a surprise wrapped up in a mystery, so I searched for answers. Here’s the scoop:

The Versatile Blogger Award is given out by fellow bloggers and seems to be a way to spread the blogging love around a bit. The idea is to nominate fifteen inspiring, entertaining, informative bloggers who will in turn link back to your blog and will also nominate fifteen other bloggers. Like a chain letter.

Here’s the thing: I hate chain letters. They come to you uninvited, for one. For two, you are then obligated to DO something with them . . . either send out fifteen more letters to unsuspecting friends or else jot a hat-in-hands apology note to the person and tell them “sorry, not my thing; but thanks for thinking of me.”

People who know me have learned that I will not participate in sock clubs, recipe exchanges, panty pass-alongs, or any of the other virus-like entertainments that promise “thirty pairs of underpants if you send out ten.” Really? Thirty pairs of unmentionables from complete strangers. Ick!

So what’s a girl to do about this award? I mean, I feel honored to have been nominated. I think it is a good way to branch out into the blogmosphere. I’ve thanked my nominating blogger and will probably check out her other nominees because I like how she writes and what she has to say. However . . .

I won’t be nominating fifteen others. I DID begin that process. Before coming to my senses, I spent fifteen minutes writing up three nominations and adding links to this post.

But then I thought: what if they hate chain letters, even if it is an “award?” What if they don’t want to waste two and a half hours posting and linking to fifteen other bloggers? Who started this thing, anyway? Who starts all those sock clubs and other chain letters, in the first place? Where does it all begin?

A better question might be where does it all end? When everyone has a big green “Versatile Blogger Award” button on their site?

I have to admit that I depend mostly on Freshly Pressed here on WordPress.com to find new blogs I’d like to read and follow. Sometimes other bloggers find me, I check out their work, and then I subscribe to their blog because I see something in their writing that appeals. Once in awhile, I follow a link from an author bio or a Facebook post or some other marketing platform. When I really want quick and easy access to a favorite blog, I add a link to my bloglist over there in the right-hand column. Every once in awhile, I weed the list, pulling out scraggly ones or those that are no longer “in season.” Like a garden plot, new websites are planted, new varieties tried as my needs and tastes change.

So, if you want to know which blogs and websites I recommend, start there. And don’t send me any chain letters. Like my college poetry professor once said, “If you do, I’ll cloud up and rain on you.”

6 responses to “Versatile Is a Funny Word

  1. I love to read your articles! Good Job!Bookmarked!

  2. The writer, the reviser, the visualizer

    Well said!
    I’m a bit hesitant to say, because I truly don’t want to offend anyone, that I’m inclined to agree with you. When I received my awards, of course I was excited. It was gratifying to know that someone was reading and appreciating my blog. Asking for one or two (or maybe three) recommendations might be fine, but when they ask that you recommend 15 (yes, 15; I don’t know where or how that number came about), it is just too much. It takes a lot of time that many people don’t have or don’t want to spend, but they often feel obligated.
    Pretty soon everyone in blog land is going to have their site wall-papered with badges and they will carry no weight at all.
    Perhaps, if people feel the need to recognize a fellow blogger, there should be a way to do so. For example, periodically write about and link to a post or blog that you’ve found useful, entertaining, or whatever. I dunno…
    Unfortunately, I’ve decided that if I receive one of these awards again, I will gratefully acknowledge it, but I will not pass along the (chain letter) recommendations nor will I write personal stuff about myself.
    Just my $0.02 worth.

  3. Thank you, W.R.V. I do love it when someone agrees with me, especially when I’m afraid I’ve come off as unbearably snarky. I think the badges are cute . . . like Girl Scout patches. Too bad we can’t just “award” a blogger without sending any obligation to that person to pass it along. Maybe I should make up my own?

  4. Maybe. Design a personal, little (and I mean little, as in small (and unobtrusive)) badge that we can share when we find an extraordinary blog or post. No obligations attached–whatsoever!
    …Or not! 😉
    Anyway, keep up the good work on your site.
    (PS. I think you said what a lot of people might be thinking.)

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