Random ideas for ELT people, plus guest blogs & travel notes

I just got this message from the Lexiophiles people:


The Top 100 Language Lovers 2012 competition hosted by the bab.la language portal and the Lexiophiles language blog has started and your blog has been nominated in the category language learning blogs. Congratulations! The nomination period goes until May 13th. Feel free to spread the word among other bloggers writing about languages or to suggest one blog yourself.
For further information on the Top 100 Language Lovers 2011 competition, visit


Best wishes,
Stefanie for the bab.la and Lexiophiles team

Dear Stefanie, 

I’m sure there are bloggers out there who will be excited to be nominated in your competition, and best of luck to them. Whatever turns you on. And I imagine they’re trying to put together self-deprecating tweets and Facebook updates which are aimed at garnering votes without sounding too egocentric or desperate.

I’m not one of them. Call me an old curmudgeon if you will, but I find the idea of hustling and pleading for votes a little bit embarrassing.  I’m not sure why I blog, there are probably diverse and psychologically important reasons that I should chat to my therapist * about. But I’m pretty sure that winning prizes isn’t one of them.

So thank you very much for your friendly message, and I’m sorry that it turned into the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Best wishes,


* I don’t actually have a therapist. I can’t afford one.


Comments on: "Please don’t vote for me…." (8)

  1. My sentiments exactly. Please don’t vote for me either.

    Apropos, I was told once that these blog competitions are a thinly veiled attempt to draw traffic to the promoter’s site.

    • Ken Wilson said:

      Exactamente! There was one recently – not this crew – where the site you went to to vote was advertising online MAs or something. I mean, whatever next? The London Rubber Company DUREX awards for best tweet? DUREX = Distinguished Universal Re-tweet Excellence??? Seemed like a good idea at the time! 😛

  2. Aisha said:

    Of course, business as usual.

    But I do think it is very motivational for some at a certain age when pats on the back matter. Also, the company a winner works for will recognize that. Or, it looks great on a CV.
    It is the extrinsic reward.

    • Ken Wilson said:

      Hi Aisha,

      I’m sure there are lots of reasons why one might be excited about being nominated. I was quite excited the first time. But I was less excited when i saw a number of other nominees touting for votes via social media.

    • I have nothing against a well deserved ‘pat on the back’, Aisha. But I don’t think any award that is based on a poll of anonymous internet users is reliable. It’s just too easy to rig the results.

  3. Aisha said:

    So is it a popularity contest or good marketing strategy, or both?

  4. mickstout said:

    Excellent post Ken, and I agree with you 100%. Course, it’s easy for me to take the high road – my blog’s never been nominated! I can’t vote in these either. How can I choose between you, Shelly, Barb, Marisa… Cheers!!

    • Ken Wilson said:

      Hi Mick! – the only argument in favour is that it’s a way to bring blogs to people’s attention, so now I’m now trying to solve that problem by drawing people’s attentions to blogs they might not have encountered yet. As Gavin Dudeney said, if we ignore the awards, they might go away. 😛

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