Blogging Is Not A Competition

Todays post was originally going to be an entry into a competition by a company to win a ridiculous amount of shoes.

But obviously, its not. (I think I just heard Alex breathe a sigh of relief.)

Recently, there have been so many “competitions” and “awards” where the main objective for the company has seemed to be to get as many incoming links and mentions on Twitter, increasing their own visibility whilst masquerading as giving something to the blogging community. That may be a very cynical way of looking at things, but before this shoe company (I won’t put the name here, but I think most of you will know – and really, if you don’t, its irrelevant anyway) started their “ambassador scheme”, I doubt many people had even heard of them, and before their competition was announced, I hadn’t even been to the site. The competition is to write about a pair of shoes from their site – before I started this post, I was intending to enter and spent a few hours idly browsing their website and even contemplated a purchase. Job well done, shoe company.

Before Big Fashionista posted her post yesterday about the popularity contest side of things, the shoe company intended to narrow down the hundreds of entries down to 5, then “let the public decide”. My least favourite part of any competition. Y’see, companies have realized that instead of getting a small team together in house to pick a winner based on their actual entry for something, they can instead get the finalists themselves to hunt for votes, whoring themselves as much as possible. You may remember last year, I was one of the final four in a competition to write for a lingerie company website. I felt incredibly uncomfortable asking people to vote for me (I’ve blogged recently about how I dislike promoting myself) but I did as much as I felt comfortable with. I didn’t think I had the best entry, but I didn’t think that the eventual winner was the best out of the four. Does being able to ask for votes really qualify someone to write well?

Which kinda brings me on to blog awards. I’ve made comments on Twitter (of course, its where I get my bitchyness out!) but haven’t really had a chance to get things out properly. Cosmopolitan, Marie Clare, More, Company, Look, Glamour…the list of magazines starting to use bloggers as features is increasing. A number of these magazines have blog awards, and two of them are ongoing at the moment. While I am pleased for my friends who are nominated, it feels quite uncomfortable to me that the prizes in these awards is often the “chance” to write for the magazine. You win the chance to provide them with free content? It just doesn’t seem much of a prize for those of us that blogging and writing is a hobby rather than a career. However much I would love some recognition that non blogging friends would understand, the truth is in my industry, an award for blogging is about as useful as that 400m swimming badge I got when I was…um…15.

The worst part about these awards is when there is more than one person in the category that you like a lot. I ended up registering with a few different email addresses for the Cosmo awards recently so I could vote for each of the lovely ladies in the fashion blogger category – which seems rather pointless!

Blogging is not a competition. We shouldn’t be fighting (politely, of course, but still fighting) over something, but working together. Instead of being evasive over what you’ve said to a company or something, what is wrong with sharing the knowledge? (I’ve gone all evangelical, I do apologise – but I never know how to respond to emails about my blog and I would find it so useful to be able to get help from other people besides poor ol’ Sarah.)

I don’t know. I’ve spilled out my thoughts on this, but I don’t feel any better for it! Am I just burbling away crap to myself, or do you guys agree? Are awards and competitions actually beneficial to the blogger who wins in the end?

Message On A Bottle

Subliminal messages on my shampoo – I couldn’t move to London right now, but I’m definitely hoping to be there more next year!

If you’d like to send your own message on a bottle, you can enter on the Aussie Facebook page to win one – love letter, doctors note for work, ransom note…

Vote For Me!

A few weeks ago, I was bored at my computer (nothing unusual there) and came across a competition on the Freya Facebook page where you could enter to be a blogger for them. Freya make gorgeous lingerie for the more…well endowed… lady, and I first came across them last year when The Wife took me to be measured properly at John Lewis.

I’m sure I’ve told you this story before, the Wife decided that I had to be measured because she has a bit of an obsession with boobs (when yours are a crazy huge size, you become obsessed apparently!) and marched me into the changing rooms where a little old lady (who scarily reminded me of my old maths teacher – seriously uncool when you’re standing in a changing room in an illfitting bra) measured me up and told me I was about 4 cup sizes bigger than I thought. No wonder all my bras were illfitting!

At the time, I’d assumed that all bras over a D cup were – well, like this:

Not in the least bit sexy or pretty. More the sort of thing that my mum would have chosen. Eugh.

However, maths-teacher-bra-fitter went off and brought back some Freya bras which were gorgeous!

The original question on the Freya Blog Star competition was “I fell in love with Freya when…” and you had 40 words or less to write it in. I wrote the following:

I was first measured for a decent bra a few years ago, by a little old lady who came up to my boobs. Realising larger sizes doesn't have to mean boring bras made the increase in size not so scary!

So, very long story short – I was picked to be one of the final four in the Freya Blog Star competition and I need you guys to vote for me! You just need to click on this Facebook link, click my happy smiley face (photo taken by Sarah, of  course) and follow the instructions. I’d really appreciate any help you guys can give me to pimp this out as well :) Voting ends on the 16th, so theres just over 2 weeks to vote

If you vote for me, I’ll be your best friend. I might even make you cake.*



* promises of cake and best friendship valid for a short time only. Act now! Your home may be at risk, and other such small print

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