There’s been quite a lot of debate on Twitter about magazines who hold awards for ‘best’ bloggers. Normally, I don’t enter these but I did enter one a few months ago and was short-listed. I have to say that I felt a bit neither here nor there about it and ended up feeling totally blah about it when I got a very brief email saying basically, you didn’t win so bye. It was sort of robbed of any ceremony really since the winner was clearly notified ahead of time so the magazine didn’t have to invite or entertain short-listers at uneccessary expense. I did in fact think that the right person won in the end, but for short-listers it was something of a non-event.
On the one hand, magazine awards do bring extra attention to blogs, which is a good thing, but I could say, hand on heart, that any magazine exposure I’ve had hasn’t brought any significant, if any at all actually, extra traffic. As someone who is lucky enough to have a readership that is equivalent to that of some magazines, I’m a little offended at the assumption of superiority in magazines doling out awards to bloggers and can’t help wondering how ‘thrilled’ the mags would be if bloggers got together and picked out one of them as ‘the best’, with associated emails, awards, etc. ‘I’m sorry Vogue, this year you didn’t make the shortlist…’ As if they’d care or notice. In fact, if you band all blogs together, we’re so outweighing them in readership that blogger awards bring them nothing but good publicity and coverage, so that would explain the recent spate of ‘blogger awards’. And, to be honest, I haven’t looked, but did hear that one of the ‘prizes’ is to write for the magazine for free. So, that’s a page they don’t have to pay for.. all in all, it’s a magazine win-win.
On the other hand, there is much kudos attached to writing for one of the glossies; freelance journalists would bite each other’s hands off for the opportunity, and if you are looking to make a move into beauty writing for press or you want some exposure for your blog then it is worth its weight in gold for a CV. Everyone loves a winner, right? It is somewhat disingenuous then, that bloggers looking for that opportunity are criticized for their ambition. I might not want to enter myself, but I certainly don’t hold it against anyone for wanting to further themselves.
I think that magazines haven’t quite got their heads round the whole blogging thing yet; we are certainly spelling trouble for their readership whether they admit it or not. Anyone who ever bought magazines for the beauty section really have no need to bother anymore thanks to the wealth of information available through blogs. However, magazine readers and blog readers are often looking for different things; hard as it is to believe, there are plenty of print readers who never, ever look at blogs. Some readers love the feel of a glossy page in their hands and I know how that feels having rejected a Kindle as a form of reading because I love the touch and smell of a new book so much.
There are advantages to both forms of media, but one is not better than another. Just different. Personally, I’m not sure I want an award from a magazine who I think I do a better job than when it comes to covering beauty and I genuinely don’t like the balance of power thing that comes along with them, but I’d far rather be in a situation where other forms of media are at least trying to take an interest, albeit clumsily so far. The situation needs refining, not banishing, and once that’s happened I think it could be harmonious. But until that happens, meh.. I’ll put pictures on my mantlepiece instead.
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