Complaining and Campaigning

It is that time of year…the time to complain and campaign for the annual EduBlogs Awards

There are those that have been nominated who will be campaigning very hard in the coming days for you to log in and vote for them. The coveted badge means a great deal to them and they will do their best to “earn” your vote. For them winning is a big deal, as it vindicates the work they have done and they cherish that coveted jpg file for their site. On the other end will be those that have been left out and therefore complain about the whole award process and encourage you to boycott the entire enterprise. They lash out from a place of either jealously or just an overall hatred for the institution of awards.

Now in full disclosure, I have been nominated for an EduBlog Award in three different categories. I am honored that my work has been noticed and acknowledged by my peers. Regardless of my status as a nominee, my thoughts remain the same. The “Eddies11” are a great way to pick up new people to follow and blogs to read. Go through the nominees and I am sure you will pick up something new and possibly some inspiration. There are great people doing great work that needs to be shared. If you don’t want to vote, then don’t vote. Read, learn, and share what you find. Let’s focus more on the work there instead of winning and losing.

Another concern that arises with the “Eddies” is the campaigning. Don’t tweet out, “vote for me” or lament that you were not nominated. If you are blogging and tweeting for awards and badges, then maybe you are doing it for the wrong reason. I keep hearing..."Badges....we don't need no stinkin' badges!" in the back of my head. :) When we share good work and acknowledge it, everyone wins. I remember looking through the nominees last year and picking up some great blogs to read and people to follow. The Eddies are a venue to share good work and learn from some great folks. However, let’s not get wrapped up in the winning and try to avoid the complaining and campaigning.

We are all better when we learn and share from and with each other. I encourage you to go through the list of nominees and add some more blogs to your readers and names to your follow list. 


George Couros said...

Here is my deal with the Edublog awards (which some people kindly nominated me for and I am extremely grateful for). I think they are absolutely fantastic not only for sharing resources, but also people reaching out and saying kind things about others and the impact their work has had on their own personal practice. How could you not love that? I go through all of the edublog nominees and usually add them to my reader; I have been reading edublog nominees before I even started tweeting as it was a great way to find some awesome content.

Here is my problem; why do we need an award to do this? It is this flurry that happens right before Christmas (which is always nice to bring good cheer), but I think that we should be trying to recognize and share the content of others more often. I try to weekly share other blogs/tweeters in something I write because that is one way for me to say "thank you" while also trying not to hoard the awesomeness of others that I have been so lucky to find. This is what freaks me out about awards; we can easily "wait" for them to start recognizing others but we need to do that more often. Wouldn't that be a way nicer place to be in? And legitimate praise, not something that we say just because we are trying to (solely) give each other a boost.

Retweeting is one way we do this, but I love the personal touch when I see someone take the time and write on their blog the great work that others do. We should do that more as a model for our kids.

Just my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post, echoing my sentiments. Now I don't need to write it!:-)
Love your blog and your work

Dave Meister said...

Three years ago I built my RSS reader using the blogs I learned about in the nominations. So many people to learn from, so little time! I like how you say it Josh, it is not about winning or losing, it is about learning and being a learner. Amen!

Dean Shareski said...

I had a blog post in the hopper along similar lines. I see both sides of the awards issue here. If it helps promote blogs in general, connects people with some new voices, awesome. That's when it's at its best. But I get creeped out by the "vote for me" stuff. That's where sharing becomes promotion. I certainly promote my blog by tweeting out links to new posts because I want feedback and hope people find it useful. But tweeting out 'vote for me" is like saying, "Hey everyone, please tell me how awesome I am".

Bush league.

I'm sure some disagree but that's my take.

Chris Wejr (mrwejr) said...

Yup... agree with sharing great resources... but do not agree with coming up with some popular winner.

My concern lies in the fact that there are so many great bloggers out there that never get read. We have had this discussion before... so how do we get the "other" voices out there than the ones who already have many followers and readers?

I like the "you should read" posts much better than the Edublog awards as I am often introduced to people and post I would not have seen before.

I challenge us to share the resources and strengths of the "lesser known" people (ie. less followers) who will challenge our thinking in different ways.

Here are 2 to get you started:

Robert Genaille (@rvgenaille) - Aboriginal perspectives on education in "Where are the Sheep"

Sheila Stewart (@sheilaspeaking) - Parent perspectives on education in "Sheila Speaking"

Marty said...

Yo! There is no crying in baseball and there is no complaining or campaigning in Twitter /Blogging.

I have been blogging for a year and am a newbie to Twitter. Twitter has changed my world. I love the Edublog Award-thing because it has turned me on to so many people expressing stuff to inspire and educate.

Defintiely not cool to say, Vote For Me!, in my opinion. I say the best way to carve a Blog for yourself is to write well and with quality, be persistent and persevere. Put yourself out there. Eventually, it will be noticed and recognized. (I'm sure there is more to it then that, but that is where I am in my blog-writing).

I like that George and Chris suggest to promote those blogs of the lesser known.

Anyway, vote early and vote often.

Michelle said...

I'm fine with the nominations, because it is a great way to find new blogs to read. Also nice to nominate and recognize publicly a person who continually shares and contributes to the edublogosphere (or whatever you want to call it). As I looked through the list of nominees, there are many on the list I would have nominated as well.

But that's as far as I'm comfortable going... I really don't think that voting for winners is productive in any way at all. I know that the people at Edublogs mean well (they're great people!!), and that they do a lot of work at this time of the year. However, I agree with the other commenters here that it would be nice if we all shared the great blogs we're reading ALL YEAR, not just at one time and tied to winning/voting, etc.

Jeremy M. said...

Wait. What's a blog?

Wm Chamberlain said...

There are always some who say that we need a better way to focus on new or less well known bloggers. It takes a lot more to get them recognized than an occasional blog post (I know that from my experience with student blogs.) While the Edublog Awards may not be the best process since it is only once a year, I have yet to see anyone come up with a better system that gets this many views.

I am not sure anyone would even care about the award list if it were not a competition...

For disclosure purposes, I have been nominated for Edublog Awards many times. I don't campaign for myself. I am just happy that someone thinks my work is worth recognition.

Josh Stumpenhorst said...

Thanks for all the great comments and discussion. As many have said, recognizing good work is a worthy thing to be doing and as teachers we are often not recognized enough for the good work. The competition that edublog does is great for the profession in that good work can be shared and interacted with. My bigger issue is with the campaigning that goes along with it.

Let's be like Chris and share those new blogs and ideas that are not "mainstream".

Kyle said...

I'm not going to echo what Josh, George, Chris, Dave, Dean, and others have already said because I would pretty much say the same. I was nominated for something last year and I even blogged about it because it was nice that someone thought I should be listed there. I guess I succumbed to the pressure. :) But I wanted one thing to be clear and this was my last line of that post: "Award or not, my desire to share will not cease."

What I still chuckle about is that this year someone nominated me for the category of "most influential post" (which again was a very nice thing to do), however, I ended up not being listed for some reason. I don't even care. I'm not upset about it one bit. I don't do this sharing and conversing and learning to win something. I do it for me. To make myself better at what I do for teachers and students. Isn't that the point of a PERSONAL learning network? To make ourselves better for our students? If what I do helps others too, that makes it even more worth it because I really enjoy helping others learn along with me. We are better together.

Oh and one last thing: Hey Jeremy, call me dude. I'll teach you all about blogging. :)

Ann S. Michaelsen said...

Many great comments about the awards and the importance of participation over winning! Just to have been nominated is a welcoming recognition of the work we do and the hours spent on writing and sharing! It is fun for me to be on the same list as those who have commented here! But even more fun to have one of my students on the list! It was incredible to see the reaction in my class! To be a student in Norway and have you work assessed by others is a great experience and shows how far your voice can carry if you put effort into your work! And I can say vote for my student Sara! That is what teachers do!

Reflections of a Science Teacher said...

Everybody likes awards and recognition. How many do we give out to our students and for what variety of purposes? It is sad, though, that we only recognize people once a year - a bit like seeking out a Christmas present for an aunt you should have called three months ago.

I do look through the lists, am surprised by some categories and recommended blogs, affirm that blogs I like are liked universally, and find new people. And this year I thought, gee, I must be doing something very wrong if _this_ got a recommendation and I have not been noticed. I quickly shook off my disappointment at [still] being invisible in high school and voted. Well, not in _all_ categories, but most.

Congrats to all nominated! Smiles.

John T. Spencer said...

I don't know if it's jealousy. Maybe it is. Maybe. However, something about it feels a little bit like Dodge Ball 2.0 and I'm scared every time it rolls around that I won't be picked. I blogged about it on Coop Catalyst and people instantly assumed it was a slam on the awards.

It's more about my issues, my insecurities, my sense that I don't fit in completely.

This was the first year that I wasn't nominated. I thought, after saying that I was over the Edublogs, that it wouldn't get to me. The truth is that it bothered me more than I thought it would.

Not only was I not picked at the Dodge Ball 2.0. I wasn't invited to the game in the first place.