The Elephant In The Blog

29 Sep

I was going to start this post with Sally Field’s famous Oscar speech, You like me!  You really like me!  But it turns out she didn’t say that at all.  Searching for a picture, I came across this blog, and the author tells us what Sally actually said was,

I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me

Which is a better fit for what’s been happening this last week or so to The Laughing Housewife.  By the way, I’m not speaking of myself in the third person: The Laughing Housewife  laughs all the time, is in a permanently good mood and is never short of blogging topics; The Laughing Housewife author is crabby, headachy and usually scrabbling around for something to write about.

It’s The Laughing Housewife you like, and you’ve been saying so quite a bit; recently I have received:

  • Two Liebster Awards
  • Nomination For Fours
  • Tagging For Fives
  • At least seven Versatile Blogger Awards

I’m not using my usual hyperbole with that last one, I promise; I think it might actually be more, but (I blush to admit it) I lost count.

First and foremost, I have to say this – loud – to you all:

I AM TRULY GRATEFUL FOR THESE AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS.

I am.  To receive an award from a fellow blogger is – apologies for the word; I assure you this is also not hyperbole – an honour. An award says, ‘I like your blog enough to write about it; to link to it and encourage others to visit you.’ That’s a nice thing to do; I’m grateful.  It is lovely to know that you enjoy my blog enough to want to share it.

Here’s where the elephant comes in: I received the nominations; I sweetly thanked the nominators, and did nothing: no four-five-seven things about me; no nominating others; no adding the widget. I did that once, the first time I received an award. I was new to blogging and didn’t realise it was, effectively, chain mail. When I tried to pass it on, everyone declined. Not one person wanted it. I thought about that; I realised it was chain mail; I resolved to never again be so taken in by a widget in a fancy dress.

You have gifted me with these awards, then, and I have done nothing.  Blogging is of the moment: people quickly move on (you like me right now; I’m not in danger of forgetting that you might not like me tomorrow); I had hoped that those who passed on the awards would forget that they had nominated me and not be offended if I did not respond.  But you haven’t been allowed to: awards have flown in like Maltesers under the tree on Christmas morning.  To continue to say nothing has become embarrassing.  So, once again, let me tell me how much I appreciate these awards.  And what I have against them.

They are chain letters. I hate chain letters. Chain letters frighten people with their threats that bad things will happen if they are not sent on.   People feel obliged to pass on these awards, and are afraid to offend the givers. 

If you receive a real chain letter in  your inbox, I urge you to send it to me if you are frightened, and I will do the electronic equivalent of burning it: that’s what the trash bin is for. I’ve always trashed them and nothing bad has happened to me, if I discount the Hub’s ill health, unemployment, homelessness, four dead parents…erm…um…

And did you ever hear of anyone suddenly coming in to £20,000 after obeying their dastardly instructions?  Me neither.  Of course, nothing bad will happen if I don’t pass on these awards, if I don’t include offending the kind bloggers who sent them to me in the first place; but I can’t see one without thinking ‘Arrgh!  Chain mail!’

So, in case I haven’t mentioned it, thank you for the award, I really do appreciate the thought; but I’m afraid I think too much of you all to pass it on: I prefer to highlight your blogs in posts as they naturally occur.  I guess you’ll have to consider this one of my seven things you didn’t know about me, alongside the fact that I can’t blow my nose without taking off my glasses first; or in public: too many people; too much snot.

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36 Responses to “The Elephant In The Blog”

  1. vivinfrance September 29, 2011 at 11:25 #

    I’m with you all the way, Tilly. Life is too short to scratch around for 10 friends to irritate by passing these things on. Way back, I used to write and thank but decline. Now I don’t even do that. I want to spend my time reading and writing, full stop.

  2. SidevieW September 29, 2011 at 11:38 #

    I hereby award you with the Malteser Blogger of the year award.

    You have to post a humungous picture of a Malteser, and 748 reasons why you love them. (ok 3)

    Then you have to send me a packet of them ;-)

    You may not pass on the award, you may not do anything else about it.

    • Tilly Bud September 29, 2011 at 11:39 #

      There’s an offer I can’t refuse (except the bit about sending you some) :)

  3. Janie Jones September 29, 2011 at 13:00 #

    Just when we thought we’d all successfully managed to ignore the elephant in the room, the Laughing Housewife points out the obvious and makes us all laugh. You could always sell your awards at a White Elephant sale. Put those irksome chain-letters to good use and donate the proceeds to your favorite charity, say perhaps, Maltesers for the Domestic Goddess of Mirth Society.

  4. misswhiplash/Patrecia September 29, 2011 at 13:43 #

    I never thought of it as chain mail….perhaps you are right.

  5. misswhiplash/Patrecia September 29, 2011 at 13:43 #

    I never thought of it as chain mail….perhaps you are right.

    • Tilly Bud October 1, 2011 at 11:56 #

      That’s just my perspective, and I am biased because I have an overwhlming hatred of all things chain letters.

  6. Pseu September 29, 2011 at 14:03 #

    Hmmm, good point, well put!

    I hadn’t thought of them that way until I was ‘awarded’ and did the passing on thing: then within a few days there seemed to be a huge flurry in this corner of the web and I realised there must be a mathematical equation which would predict the swamping effect of expecting the newly nominated to propose 5 -15 good blogs. And the probability of receiving several. But I’d have to put Techie onto that one.

    When I did my awarding I suppose I thought it was churlish not to say thank you and then do what was expected, but realised the earlybird had the right attitude, by saying thanks but no thanks and declining said award. Polite and firm.

    • Tilly Bud October 1, 2011 at 11:56 #

      It is difficult to decline what is given kindly.

  7. nrhatch September 29, 2011 at 14:11 #

    Well said, Tilly.

    Most (non-monetized) awards boil down to winning “bragging rights” ~ an accolade, or expression of praise, from the award giver to the award recipient, often benefitting both the giver and the recipient through increased product sales and PR.

    Including the 2011 Sexiest Blog Award:

    http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/the-2011-sexiest-blog-award/

    But I hope you’ll accept it anyway: The more you exercise your bragging rights, the more both our blogs will benefit. YOU can send readers to SLTW to check out the semi-finalists you competed against (i.e., the Blog Roll), and I’ll send readers to your blog to check out the Sexiest Blog of the Year button that you create. It’s a Win~Win!

    • Tilly Bud October 1, 2011 at 11:57 #

      I hadn’t thought of it like that…

  8. earlybird September 29, 2011 at 14:11 #

    Well said, Tilly.

  9. laurieanichols September 29, 2011 at 14:50 #

    I didn’t think about it that way because it was my first award and I was excited and since I am new to blogging, I had my own Sally Field moment. Upon reflection, I agree with you, receiving these awards entails a little too much work after the fact. All the work should be done prior to the award, which makes logical sense, you shouldn’t get said award if you haven’t done anything to achieve it. But once you get it why do you have to do more work? Thank you for your pearls of wisdom.

    • Tilly Bud October 1, 2011 at 11:58 #

      I was excited too, the first time. One of the hazards of being a newbie. But a lovely feeling all the same.

  10. kateshrewsday September 29, 2011 at 14:56 #

    Ooooh, poor Sally, even I lampooned her inaccurately! As for awards, your no-nonsense approach does you credit.

    *

    • Tilly Bud October 1, 2011 at 12:00 #

      Thanks Kate. It was difficult to write this because I didn’t want to offend: the awards have all been well-meant and I very much appreciate the thought.

  11. Sara no "H" September 29, 2011 at 15:09 #

    Chain mail is the devil! It almost makes me feel guilty when I delete it like in the back of my head something horrible is going to happen. Almost. Congrats on the awards!

    • Tilly Bud October 1, 2011 at 12:01 #

      Don’t feel guilty – feel triumphal!

  12. SchmidleysScribbling September 29, 2011 at 15:35 #

    I hereby award you a free “Get Out of Jail” card. Good the next time you play Monopoly with Spud. You may not send this card to Miss Whiplash. Dianne

    • Tilly Bud October 1, 2011 at 12:02 #

      Now there’s an award worth having!

  13. Lorna's Voice September 29, 2011 at 17:23 #

    Yeah, chain mail, chain email. It’s so well-intended (mostly) and you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feeling, but enough is enough.

    You did a great job of making a case for ending the madness. Now, will it end? ;)

  14. Doc September 29, 2011 at 17:52 #

    OK, I admit it! I sent you a chain letter. Funny thing is I came to the same realization as soon as I sent it. But do I want to take it back? No! It was my moment to shine, get all dressed up (clean underwear), walk the red carpet (beige, worn to a darker brown in front of the tv), and come away with a bag of swag (actually, microwave salt and lime popcorn). I do apologize that I got carried away in the moment. It won’t happen again! But I do enjoy your blog. Thing is, since I only have five followers and have only been blogging a month, how big a deal can it really be? OK, at least 5 people like me!

    • Tilly Bud October 1, 2011 at 12:04 #

      I’m sure there will soon be many more :)

  15. slpmartin September 29, 2011 at 18:55 #

    So very nicely said….I believe if some one truly appreciates your writings that they should send no less than a case Maltesers to you…I shall forward mine at the earliest possible date after I recovery from the current worldwide economy downturn…until such time…I can only say I look forward to your posts. ;-)

    • Tilly Bud October 1, 2011 at 12:04 #

      Now that’s an award I can get behind :)

  16. Tom (Aquatom1968) September 29, 2011 at 20:58 #

    Oh, ploop!
    Hi Tilly, I was going to nominate you for the award I have just been nominated for as the rules asked that I nominate a newly found blog, which yours is, to me. I did realise that it was a chain thingy, but thought I’d play along with it anyway. The awards I send on are imbued with a special ‘feel good’ essence.
    I’ll send you a special ‘Hello New Blog!’ award instead, which is doubly imbued… and you don’t need to do anything with this one.
    Apart from all that, just thought I’d say ‘Hi!’ :D

    • Tilly Bud October 1, 2011 at 12:05 #

      Hi Tom, and thank you. I do appreciate the sentiment, I assure you :)

  17. eof737 September 30, 2011 at 10:38 #

    I generally offer the awards I receive to everyone in a blanket post as choosing 7 or 17 makes me uncomfortable… I must admit that I haven’t done anything with the slew I got in the last several weeks and will thank everyone soon in a post. Honestly, I don’t see them as chain letters… at least, they are not telling us our cat/dog will die if we don’t pass them on. Phew!

    • Tilly Bud October 1, 2011 at 12:06 #

      That is something, I suppose :)

  18. Elaine September 30, 2011 at 19:21 #

    I’m with laurieanichols. I received an award and, being fairly new to blogging, felt honoured that it had been sent to me – I didn’t think of it as a chain letter as there was no ‘ignore this at your peril’ comment with it – although it was quite hard to decide who to pass it on to. Now, with the wisdom of a couple of months more of blogging experience, I see things slightly differently, but basically cannot see the harm in them. Perhaps people do use them as a way to generate traffic, but maybe there are others who just feel pleased to know that someone else is actually reading their blog! :)

    • Tilly Bud October 1, 2011 at 12:09 #

      The intention is usually kind, I know; but then people are left with a sense of obligation to pass them on.

      I really don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun; I just felt I had to explain my lack of response.

      • Elaine October 1, 2011 at 17:11 #

        Yes, I understand exactly what you mean about the obligation to pass it on. When I excitedly received my first award, it was actually quite challenging to deal with…
        Funnily enough with chain letters which come by email, I have absolutely no problem whatsoever in ignoring them!

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  1. My Ten Favourite Things About Blogging « The Laughing Housewife - March 14, 2012

    [...] like Sally Field at the Oscars – you like me; you really like me!  But we’ve been there, so maybe I’ll scratch [...]

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