November 17, 2008


I have been honored

I am grateful to have been recognized by a fellow blogger1 at Cthulhu Family Restaurant with the Superior Scribbler Award. The first reaction I would like to communicate is that I appreciate the recognition. These proliferating blog awards are by no means rare, but I assure you that I value them more than if I had received one of the high-profile name-recognized awards. Web awards, generally, are not about awarding anything, but rather increasing the hits of the award granter and the award creator2. Thus, the awards come with strict rules, like requiring you to post links back to the creator, for example.

I'm not always good at following rules, though. One of the rules for this award is to post the rules for the award. I'm not going to do that. It's up to the award creator if they want to disqualify me.

Another of the rules is to tag 5 more people. I'm not going to do that, either (I'll tell you why later).

Of course, this doesn't mean I can't appreciate the sentiment (I do!) and have a little fun with it. You know I will.

As I mentioned, the rules tell me to tag 5 people. Let's assume that not everyone tagged complies. Let's assume that two don't want to comply and one can't find an untagged blog they like. So, only two people comply, but they tag five people. As you probably have guessed, it is an exponential function, although the formula I came up with did not use exponents, because it has to account for recipients only spreading the "awards virus" once, to five people. In any case, the question is: how fast does this thing grow?

Wow. At day 22, over 10 million blogs have been awarded this honor. And a bunch of them are scrambling to find non-awarded blogs! On day 23, the count would be over 20 million blogs. Why did I stop it at day 23? Because estimates put the number of active blogs at somewhere around 15.5 million. So, the blogosphere would be blanketed. And that's if only 2 of the 5 tagged people participated. If 3 of the 5 participated, day 15 is the day when the Internet is nearly completely blanketed.

The spreadsheet, if you'd like to see it, is here. You can see the comparison graph of 3 compliant recipients vs. 2 there as well.

But, think of that. What quicker way to get links back to your website than create an award like this? Instant link love. I'm not talking about the friends who award this to other friends. I'm talking about the original creators, who made it a rule to link back to them. I don't consider this a scam, but I do consider the much higher profile web awards to be on the verge of scammery; just there as marketing opportunities. I'll link back to my friend's blog, thankyouverymuch.

Final word: I appreciate getting this award because I appreciate being thought of by my friends. Sincerely, that's the true award, being appreciated and in your friends' thoughts. If you feel like recognizing me in these awards, I don't mind it at all. I will return the favor in my own sincere way, by linking to your blogs now and again and by commenting there, too. I think that's what bloggers really like best (unless they're A-listers, and then they get so many posts they don't care anymore and have to invent Webstravaganza awards).

So, thank you very much for the appreciation. I am not an awards Scrooge; my appreciation is sincere. I'm a marketing and pyramid Scrooge. In return, I'm going to actually try to dig up some of my most weird and amusing scribbles and post them at some later date. Might be worth a laugh, especially if I try to explain them.

[1] And cousin, and friend.

[2] Someday I will post more at length on this, but I generally disdain the more organized awards on line, including the popularity contests which require voting, and periodically cause blog authors to lean on their readers to "Vote for me! Vote for me!!!!" As Richard P. Feynman's dad would say: "epaulets."

Posted by James at November 17, 2008 10:38 AM
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Of course, I am assuming in my simulation that the awardees are returning the favor on the very next day. I should probably have established some reasonable average of days.

My simulation has a lot of assumptions, but illustrates the principle.

BTW, if all 5 awardees spread the "virus" it only takes about 10-11 days.

Every so-called-meme on the Internet works this way. But not all of them ask you to link back to a specific site.

This award has made me think that a lot of bloggers I know deserve some recognition, either for superior blogs or simply because they are superior people.

In the future, I think I will have a semi-regular review of other blogs I visit, and why I do so.

Posted by: James at November 17, 2008 12:43 PM

Had you not already been tagged, you were going to be on my list for this one. Always intellectually stimulating fodder here.

Posted by: Kitten Herder at November 17, 2008 9:04 PM

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