Thursday, August 21, 2008

"Leaving The Pile Higher Than You Found It" (and a rant from Mimi)

You will never believe this is not an award post. Well, actually it is. Sort of.
Let me explain.

I recently received an award from one of my favorite new places to visit and a lady whose work I greatly admire on the internet. I'd like to express my appreciation to Sojourner's Place for thinking of me for The Helping Hand award.

One of her articles called "Saggin' Pants" caught my attention while writing for The Rising Blogger last month - for which she won Post of The Day. There's always a hot topic of inspiration to read at her delightful blog. I highly recommend it. Have you been there?

She has an entire page dedicated to this special award with a place for recipients to sign in. It was created in the spirit of Paying It Forward to give seasoned bloggers recognition for mentoring and new bloggers encouragement and praise. It's a great idea! This is what Sojourner has to say about it:

Receiving the Emblem in recognition for your mentoring, support, and encouragement to a fellow blogger is no small fete! It is evidence that you have gone well beyond the call of duty by your continued efforts to "leave the pile higher than you found it"! It is further evidence that your blog(s)has been identified as the epitome of excellence and is certainly admired. Receiving the Emblem from a seasoned blogger is a testimony to your that you're on the right track! That your voice is being heard. And there are those out here in the blogosphere that recognize your potential even if you don't. Keep up the good work, and remember to "Pay it Forward".

Approaching Rant from Bloggingham Palace...... After giving out a bazillion awards this week (and lovin' every minute of it) I thought long and hard about the intent and spirit of this award. What it means. Where it came from. Who originated it. How making careful judgments about recipients is important. Why? It's important because if we want to preserve the integrity of the blogosphere and have other people (you know outsiders in the real world....oh, this isn't the real world?) respect and understand what we do, then we should take ourselves seriously when it comes to awards.

There are categories of awards and degress of seriousness. All have value. But it's the intent behind the gift that will predict whether your blog will be blessed or your blog will be cursed.
(A)Friendship awards are awesome (!) if given in the true spirit of appreciation for those you care about, have met in person and/or are getting to know in the blogosphere.
(B) Awards to cheer people up, encourage them, make them laugh, spread silliness? Love those too! Lord knows we need laughter in this world of ours. (C) Link love I
can dig too - when that is what it's called. We could all use some of that for sure. Right? And sometimes you DO want to acknowledge a large group specifically. The more connections we make, the larger our circle of friends becomes and the bigger our sphere of influence.
(D) Awards for a job well done and a pat on the blog back are the best in my humble opinion but...
(E) Awards for the sake of link disguising...hmmm.....not so awesome. They dilute the validity of the real ones and pretty soon nobody wants to see another award the rest of their blife (that's blog + life for all you non-blog speakers). When this happens people tire of award manias and they don't mean a thing. Nobody in my immediate circle does this but I've seen it happen elsewhere.

What am I trying to say?? Just read between the lines. That's all. Listen to someone's motivation (as best you can with a virtual stethoscope) and try to determine intent. I speak from experience. Get to know their blog presence. Notice their comments to others. Is there consistency? Do they actually read or are they just dropping a link? Oh Mimi. You are certainly taking this a bit seriously, now aren't you? Maybe.

I just know there are some fine things here.
Some fine people.
Some incredible talent.
Some deeply loving human beings.

And I don't want to take it for granted. I want to get it right.

Because....People look in my window and watch me write. The shades are drawn but they feel they have the right to look. And they do.
We share gifts with each other, tidbits of our lives, sorrows and joys, silly and sad. It is personal and yet here for the world to see. We must handle it with loving gloves and see it with new eyes. What other generation has ever formed "community" in a virtual space in time and recorded it for eternal posterity? Where else can you find a cul-de-sac such as this? Maybe I'm feeling just a wee bit protective in Bloggingham's perch tonight. But if it weren't so real to me - and so rewarding - I wouldn't care enough to even address it. I can see you there by your bloglight tonight ya know.

So, what does Sojourner's Award have to do with my rant? I just think it's an example of a great gesture in the blogosphere. I like Sojourner's Award for three reasons. 1. She knows how to be grateful for what she's received and sows that seed by encouraging other people.
2. She knows the value of mentoring, encouragement, and selflessness - she has a giving heart.

3. She respects the power of both.

I thank her for thinking of me. I'm going to mull this over and carefully choose those bloggers who fit her description of what a Helping Hand looks like. Oh....I suspect I won't have to look far. It's beginning to look like many of you. Thank you for indulging my self-analysis tonight and for reading post after post about awards this week. I had a BLAST recognizing a few of you whose work and presence here means a great deal to me. I realize that many of the guys who regularly read me were not awarded as frequently as the ladies. As soon as I figure out how to vixenize all of you properly, look out! You are next on my victim list.

I'll see you tomorrow with Crazy Sam's Saturday 9 and a new meme for Monday Mimisms is in the works. I made it specially for the vixens......

 Copyright © 2008 Mimi Lenox. All Rights Reserved.


Akelamalu said...

Well said Mimi, I so agree with you. x

Barbara said...

Hi Mimi,
Congratulations again ;)
Awards are always a blessing when they come, and I do pass them on.

But of course, we don't need an award to share ourselves each day.And the friendship that comes our way is the best prize we could ever receive.

And I'm passing you a Big hug

Charles Gramlich said...

I agree. Well said.

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

:::stands and applauds::: PERFECT...just PERFECT!

maryt/theteach said...

So Mimi, you think I'm addicted to blogging...? Don't ya think that's the pot calling the kettle black? Just saying... Ha! :)

Margo Moon said...

Hmm, gonna have to try out this line on some lady next time, you know, the opportunity arises:
Just remove your clothing so I can examine you with my virtual stethoscope.

Dawn Drover said...

Well said Mimi. I couldn't agree more. How did you know my bloglight was on? LOL... Great post!

SjP said...

Oh have me in tears! You are such and inspiration to me and so many other bloggers. Much obliged to you for leaving the pile higher for all of us. And much obliged for your touching words, they will remain near and dear to me.


Babs (Beetle) said...

I'm fairly new to blogging but I have seen exactly what you say. I try to be very 'choosy' when giving an award, sometimes not passing it on at all. That isn't because I can't be bothered, but because I don't want to pick a bunch of bloggers at random just so I can pass it on.

Equally, I hope that when I am given an award, it's because it is sincerely meant.

Travis Cody said...

Well said my dear.

Anonymous said...

Hey! I'm a big fan of your blog! To show my appreciation, I've nominated you for an award! For the rules, visit my blog!

Have a great weekend!!!!

j said...

I have thought it (though not so eloquently) and have been guilty of it without knowing how NOT to be guilty. Your post makes me think that reaching higher ground is not always easy but worth it. The award mania sometimes steals the real joy of being acknowledged. A game if you will (great - I will never be blessed with another award for saying that).

I appreciate your boldness in addressing this.

Be blessed Mimi.


Ferd said...

Yep, my bloglight is on, too!
On the evenings that it isn't, I really miss it.
It is truly a fascinating connection.
Glad I stumbled into the queendom!

Desert Songbird said...

Lady, as always, you have a winning way with words.

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