awardWay back… “in the year dot”, my daily joy was the enabling of precious 5 to 8 year olds to grow to become the people they were born to be – I was a Junior Primary School teacher.

One of the perennial issues for “teachers” has always been the matter of “the giving of awards” which comes closely on the heels of “homework, or no homework?”. Always controversial and invariably there would regularly be “flare ups” where some people would get “hot headed” and “stick to their guns”, some would keep quiet and simply wait for the conflab to pass but sadly, on the other end of the spectrum, were those whom would become totally paralysed, stop contributing to discussions, refuse to collaborate, lose confidence and draw into their protective shell. Often these were amongst the most talented in our teaching fraternity.

It’s sad to see some of these forces now at play within the blogging community – to Award or not to Award???…

The controversy began here in Australia, amongst our close knit Family History/ Genealogy Community about a week ago, and is spreading as quickly as our ubiquitious summer Bushfires. Aillin, of Australian Genealogy Journeys, thanked Pauleen on her Family history across the seas blog for the “Blog of the Year 2012” Award,  accepted and passed it but with some changes. Aillin then provided a most valuable link to Caroline Pointer’s Article, “Blog Awards & SEO“.

This is an excellent post in which Caroline, of Blogging Genealogy, clearly explains how Google;

“… introduced their Panda and Penguin updates to their algorithms”

to address the matter of stats being skewed in favour of the creator of the Award by requiring nominees to provide a link back to their blog.

Caroline further explains:

“Not only does the original site get penalized in search results, but the blogs who contributed to the original blog’s linking tactics may get penalized as well in search results. I say ‘may’ because the process could be construed as a blog network, which is also penalized by Google in search results. Loosely defined, a blog network is a group of blogs with a common interest that promotes itself as well each other’s blogs. {And that could cover a lot of things. Note my usage of the word ‘loosely’. I’m trying not to get too technical here.}”

The emphasis is mine and am endeavouring to show that Caroline is implicitly advising we “put on our thinking caps”. As she explains this is crucial information for people, and companies, whose aim is to “monetize” their blog. However, if you’re a Family History Blogger, not interesting in monetizing” but wish for your Blog to reach a wide audience to further your research, find “cousins” etc…  she advises some very simple steps to take.

1. Keep blogging about your Ancestors.

2. If you want to show appreciation; read and comment on another person’s blog post and, tell your friends/ followers about this blog on your favoured Social Media site(s).

3. When a someone takes time to comment on your blog acknowledge and respond.

4. And if you do get nominated for a blog award? – Thank the person who nominated you. Do it profusely for they’ve given it with a pure heart out of appreciation for your writing and sharing, and five will get you ten that’s the only reason they gave it to you. So thank them. However, be cautious about placing links back to other sites with blog award badges, or at least the viral aspect of it.

Thankyou Aillin for linking us all to Caroline’s excellent post. Thanks to you Pauleen for raising this issue, and initiating discussion on you Blog, and thanks also to all whom have given this matter serious thought and made comments. To read Pauleen’s original post just click on the following link:  “Blog of the Year 2012 Award Updates”.  
Editor’s Note: Apologies for not originally providing this link so people could clearly follow the discussion on Pauleen’s Blog and the excellent points raised by all contributors. (19Jan2013) 

I intend to continue accepting the wondrous compliment of an Award, given with an open heart, and then relishing the time of contemplation and finally the joy of passing it on. Caroline’s advice has clarified how best to do this. To help me decide on whom to nominate, I’d very much appreciate that everyone please make it very clear, on your blog, if you have no desire to receive an Award. I accept and respect all whom hold views different to mine, on all matters, but abhor uncertainty. It’s so time-wasting and my time, like everyone’s, is limited and precious.

BWI_125sqMaybe some artistic/techno savvy person would enjoy creating a beautiful badge to be placed on the Blog of those whom have no desire to be involved in the whole Award scenario? … Kind of like the ” Blog With Integrity” badge displayed on my sidebar which gives a link back to a website explaining the meaning. Although an explanation, and link to an explanation, is not at all necessary A beautiful picture and a brief text would suffice.

For more detailed info, please go to Caroline Pointer’s post on the link provided above, or below and to links provided for Pauleen’s Blog – “Family history across the seas”.

Cheerio for now and may 2013 bring you, and yours, every happiness, Catherine.



Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel.

The information remains the same, only the format has changed. To help with clarity, I have now placed Caroline’s Point 4. immediately under the previous three, rather than as a separate point.  Cheers, Catherine