The Top Buddhism Blog Awards Hustle

I don’t know how this went down but The Endless Further has received an award as one of the fifty Top Buddhism Blogs of 2010. Now before you congratulate me, or if you are a fellow “winner” before you begin to congratulate yourself, let me share this with you:

According to the website, “Top Buddhism Blog Awards are brought to you by Online Schools & Awarding the Web.” And who might they be? Neither website provide any real information about who they are. This alone tells me a story. Except that they also give out awards in such categories as Top Allergy Blog, Top Literary Studies Blog, and so on.

There is nothing on the web that provides any background information about either of these entities.

I Googled and came up with their main site, which has links to contact various educational institutions, also pages like “15 Things You Should Know About Breasts”, “15 Things to Know About Steve Jobs” and “The Facts about Poop.” Okay, that makes me go Hmmm . . .

Next, Googling, I found this at MISH’S Global Economic Trend Analysis, dated June 16, 2010: “Today I received an email from Awarding the Web  congratulating me for making their best of web category. There was just one catch. I had to post their badge on my blog or they would give my spot away.”

I didn’t receive an email, perhaps because I don’t have an email link on this blog. If someone wants to contact me they need to go to the Contact page. I discovered my status as a winner by accident. Anyway, this “post the badge or loose the award” business seems fishy.

Also, their process for nominating blogs and judging the winners is a bit vague. There is a panel of 5 judges, but who are they? Okay so maybe they don’t want put the names out to the public for privacy reasons, but are they professionals, other bloggers, where do they come from and how were they picked? How about just a general idea? It’s definitely starting to smell now. Not only that, although that someone would nominate me does not seem beyond the realm of possibility, I seriously doubt that I would have garnered enough votes to rank in the top fifty.

A guy named Robert Archambeau at Samizdat Blog won a award and he checked with a colleague who informed him that it was basically a list to shore up Online School’s credibility as a diploma-mill. Archambeau says, “As it turns out, the awards are sponsored by a consortium of online doctoral programs, some run by for-profit institutions. What’s more, the html code for the badge one is meant to display on one’s blog contains a text link, just below the badge, for a site promoting these programs.”

The secondary purpose of the awards seems to be to drive traffic to the Online Schools website, which is not anything I want to do.  That’s just another form of advertising and I don’t want ads on this blog.

I don’t think it qualifies as a scam, but it’s certainly a hustle. Maybe some one else has some better information, and if so, it’d be nice if they put it out there.

I went through the list of the 2010 Top 50 Buddhism Blogs, and if nothing else, at least I discovered a couple of interesting blogs I didn’t know about, so I thank the Awards people for that. I noticed that about 1/3 of the winners displayed the badge on their blog, but only two or three had a post about winning the award.

I’m ambivalent about stuff like blog awards. I submitted The Endless Further to the Blogisattva Awards Blog Directory. I do want people to know about this blog, find it and read it, but I am not particularly interested in the awards. Unless I win one, of course. Which ain’t gonna happen.

No, I feel that perhaps the most fitting award that I could win would be something along the lines of The Best Curmudgeonly Buddhist Blog, because in regards to being a member of an award winning group, I kind of feel like Groucho Marx who once turned down membership in an elite club with this line, “I don’t care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members.”

I haven’t decided if or how I will respond to the Awarding The Web folks, but while I am making up my mind, here’s few other “curmudgeonly” takes on the subject of awards to muse on:

Awards are meaningless to me, and I have nothing but disdain for anyone who actively campaigns to get one.
Bill Murray

Awards are only a publicity gimmick.
Tony Randall

I could have a roomful of awards and it wouldn’t mean beans.
Bobby Darin

I have done so much for hip-hop and ’til this day, I haven’t received any awards or any recognition for it.
Luther Campbell

Most awards, you know, they don’t give you unless you go and get them – did you know that? Terribly discouraging.
Barbra Streisand

I didn’t get a lot of awards as a [baseball] player. But they did have a Bob Uecker Day Off for me once in Philly.
Bob Uecker

To those of you who received honours, awards and distinctions, I say well done. And to the C students, I say you, too, can be president of the United States.
George W. Bush

Up there with my awards, I have a great big statue of Groucho Marx, just to put everything in perspective.
John Lithgow


17 thoughts on “The Top Buddhism Blog Awards Hustle

  1. Ha! I saw you on there. A couple of other bloggers that I correspond with frequently got the email. Yup, a big scam for sure just to promote their spam-site.

    1. @ Fisher: No problem. Only took a few minutes. I’m just not the kind of person who is so eager to receive kudos and awards that I don’t care who gives me one, and besides, I sort of view my blog as sacred ground. I won’t post anything on here without thoroughly checking it out first.

  2. I was very curious when I received this award, but I didn’t have to do as much research as you to determine that it was just a way to drive traffic to their website. In fact, I had to dedicate a little meditation time to the craving of wishing it was an honestly earned award (I believe I have a quality blog).

    “To refuse awards is another way of accepting them with more noise than is normal.”
    Peter Ustinov, Actor.

    1. @ J. Sumitta Hudson: Thanks for your comment. I’m sure you do have a quality blog. I look forward to checking it out. I don’t mean to sound like honestly earned awards should not be given or received, or that we shouldn’t feel pleased when someone recognizes our hard work. After all, we’re only human and it’s only natural. In this case, while it’s a not quite a dishonestly earned award, there is something dubious about it. At least you approached it in a mindful way and that’s a good sign. I think some folks just pasted the award badge on their blog, no questions asked.

      By the way, I was going to use the quote you did here, but I saw that it is also credited to Mark Twain. You wouldn’t know who it really belongs to, would you?

  3. they also do the same for yoga blogs….and I was pretty shocked to my blog in the Buddhism category….while I DO write about my spirituality, I write more about yoga

    will cite your post in my post about it…..

    1. @ linda-sama: Yoga, Buddhism, maybe that was close enough for them. Or maybe they needed to fill a spot in the Buddhism category. At you didn’t win in Best Allergy.

      Actually, Buddhism can be considered a form of yoga . . . but I’m not sure yoga can be considered a form of Buddhism. I guess it depends on what kind of yoga it is.

      Anyway, thanks for your comment, and thanks also for the mention in your post, if you do that. As I said in my post, the good part of this thing is it’s exposed me to some blogs I was not aware of, and I look forward to visiting your blog, too.

    1. @ Katherine: I think I covered the Blogisattvas in my post. I don’t know what you mean by “participate.” I’m just blogging. If anyone reputable wants to give me an award I probably wouldn’t refuse it. But I’m not looking for any awards, and I certainly don’t expect any.

  4. Apologies, I read the post hours before commenting and apparently overlooked that key paragraph (sloppy)! Didn’t see you in the directory, thus the question of participation. I share your ambivalence and have now, twice, started to enter my site in the interest of having a comprehensive list, then stopped short. Have always had strong aversion to superlatives “bests”, “favorites”, etc.

    1. To Katherine: No apologies, needed. I’m in the directory, under Ordained/Lay Teacher Blogs. I don’t think listing your blog in the directory is participating in the awards thing, it’s just another list to put your blog on so that people can find it.

  5. Hey David. I actually found this blog from another post you had made on another blog that was receiving an award. You let them know their award was a scam. Nice work digging up that information. It is refreshing to see that some people aren’t flattered by just receiving an award, but also what to know why, and who the person giving it out is.

    1. Thanks, Jeremy. I see that you have just started your blog, so good luck with that. I also see that you write mystery fiction. Cool. I will check your stuff out.

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