If you’ve been blogging or reading non-professional blogs for any amount of time, you’ve most likely come across the “award” or tag post at some point. These wily little beasts are the cause of much inconsequential dilemmas in the blogging community. Everyone has their own views and takes on them and how to approach one.

You see, they happen to be quite the mixed blessing.

Image result for anime blessing
while other blessings are just plain wonderful

I remember when I got my first ever nod from the ever inspiring Shokamoka. I was so excited and happy. You can read about it here if you want to know all the gooey details but in short – it really made my day and it’s still special to me. I think most of us feel that way really. You never forget your first! I went on to show my eternal gratitude to Shoka by constantly pestering him with further tag posts, which he skillfully ignores, and encouraging everyone I come across to do the same, effectively drowning the poor kid in tags. The sad part is, it was an earnest show of appreciation at first, I really hadn’t considered the long ranging implications. Now it’s just fun! I’m not a great person….

At their very core tag or award posts do seem to come from a good place. They allow a blogger to reach out to the community by nominating others, potentially help blogs get discovered by new people as they get linked from one blog to the next and generally foster a sense togetherness in disparate blogs. I know I’ve discovered a bunch because they were nominated by a blogger I was already following.

They also allow you to stretch your writing muscles a bit. Most of these tags either ask you to answer questions or write on a specific subject that you would probably not tackle otherwise. It gives bloggers with usually strict formats a chance to get out of their shell a little and gives readers a chance to see something new. Occasionally it also gives us a chance to get to know each other as people, on a more personal basis. It *can* be a lot of fun.

Image result for anime suspicious
I feel a “but” coming

However, let’s not pretend there’s no single self-serving interest behind it. Almost all tags include a rule about linking back to the person who nominated you, which gives them a bit of publicity, the more entrepreneuring tags ask that you always link back to the creator of the tag, potentially spreading their blog far and wide across Word Press without any additional effort on their part.

Now, I don’t see anything at all wrong with that. We all want to get our blog noticed by as many people as possible and an “award” tag is probably one of the nicer ways to do it, but c’mon it’s not ALL for the community though.

They can also be quite demanding. Answering 11 questions, even in short form, is a lot. At the moment I have close to 40 of these posts to answer. Even if only half of them are the 11 question types, that’s still 220 questions. No one wants to read that much about me… Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy writing these posts whenever I find the time for them, but I don’t want to turn my blog into an all tags blog… I once did an entire week of tag posts to celebrate my 500 followers and it was super fun, I’m thinking of doing it again if I ever hit 1000. Wait did I just invalidate my own point again…

Image result for anime exasperated
I’m bad at essays….

The usual progression of these tag posts is that smaller or newers blogs tend to answer them a lot. They generate decent views usually. People are curious about the format and obviously anyone you’ve nominated or linked to is going to come see what it’s all about. Moreover, a lot of people do read these posts in hope of finding new interesting blogs to follow as well. It’s an easy way to draw eyes and get new followers so newer and more eager bloggers will take advantage of it. However, people soon find that these pile up way faster than they can answer them, often leading popular bloggers to announce that they are no longer *accepting* or answering tag posts, or just ignoring them all together.

It can be a little daunting since you want to show your appreciation and encouragement towards a blogger but you don’t want to pester them. Unless it’s Shoka of course. And then there’s the, for lack of a better word, exclusivity…. That’s not the right word at all.

Doing a tag post without nominating anyone always feels like a cop out to me. I mean eventually it’s probably a good thing or else that’s all WordPress would ever be but if we all did that then tags would die instantly. I love the nominate just one or two people standard, I think it’s much more reasonable but of course, you won’t get as many eyes on your posts or people to your blog. On the other hand, the nomination part is always the hardest for me. I really hate thinking someone is going to feel left out. I try to make a note of anyone who’s mentioned they don’t do these so I don’t put them on the spot but I still feel like someone might be disappointed if I don’t mention their blog and that’s the opposite of what the tags are for.

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awww man, my entire childhood in one cap

Generally, I try to nominate blogs that are newer and I think will still get excited about getting nominated and haven’t been completely swamped yet. One in a while, if I really think a specific individual would enjoy a certain tag, I’ll throw it their way. I struggle with this and if ever you wonder why you aren’t nominated for something the answer is usually, I thought you wouldn’t want to do this or I thought you were already nominated for it.

There’s also a lack of consistency in these. Some people put in tons of effort in tag posts. Coming up with fun detailed answer, really putting some effort in the questions they ask others, tying the entire post into their blog’s theme. Others though seem to use it as pure filler making for some pretty boring reads.

So, you know what, I think it’s time we started tailoring our tags a bit. Maybe widdle down the number of questions and nominations for these. Try to come up with a new format – other than simple questionnaires. I really loved the one liner challenge tag I recently did, and I love reading all of them. Kimchisama also created an absolutely lovely tag that I’m always eager to read. On the other hand, I think I’ve answered why I started my blog at least a dozen times now (and I’ve probably asked it of others just as many times…) And let’s find a good name for them. Awards just doesn’t quite fit, wouldn’t you say. maybe Sodality posts? It’s a bad name, I’ve just never had the chance to use that word before!

Most importantly though, whenever you do get nominated (and you will), whatever else you do, even if you decide not to answer, do NOT forget to tag Shokamoka’s Blog of Wonders. You can just copy paste from here.

Image result for anime thumbs up

57 thoughts

  1. Tag posts I get nominated fair but lost track of how many I’ve gotten. I just respond when I can I always say thank you but I don’t like to do them all the time.

  2. I used to try to respond to tags but as you said, they pile up fairly quickly. For awhile I would answer the questions in the comments of the post when nominated, knowing I wasn’t going to respond on my blog in any kind of short time frame. Now, I thank the person for their nomination and now I write responses only when I’m inspired to do so, or a tag comes at a convenient time because a show didn’t air that week and I have a gap in my post schedule anyway.
    It isn’t that I dislike tags, but they aren’t something you can rely upon to schedule as you don’t know when you will be nominated and some months you will get heaps of nominations and other months nothing. And some of them do require a fair time commitment to complete.
    Overall, I still think the awards and tags are great. They really do make you feel happy when you are nominated because someone is acknowledging you and your blog and you might pick up some traffic from that. They also give you a chance to share a different side of yourself with your readers and to connect with other bloggers by passing the nomination on. Really, I think that each blogger needs to decide what they want to do with each tag. Whether they respond or not, pass on the award or not, these tags will continue to do the circuit and they will definitely serve their purpose of chain linking blogs and posts together.

      1. It feels bad not to respond but time and schedules get in the way. As you said, answering in the comments kind of works as a compromise.

  3. Nice post! Definitely relatable…
    I’m still regretting not being able to answer my first tag post- I really wasn’t involved in WordPress enough to tag anyone!
    (I was prepared for the next one though!)

    Still loving the Shoka subplot!

  4. I guess they’ve been around long before I got here, but calling them “awards” always did feel quite funny to me. I mean, I’m one way or another, we’re all “neat, cool, sunshiny” folk, so to be nominated for a position we already own is just kinda odd; I much prefer “tag.” On that note, I totally know that feeling of not wanting to tag so many others for fear of leaving people out! So I try to balance between a couple of close friends, and then the rest people I’ve just met/are newer themselves. (And still, I’ve got hundreds (not really) those lil’ devils scribbled down on papers all over the place. That’s like 3 years of unanswered texts and questions and I just simply can’t keep up, agh!)

    Lot of little annoyances with the system we currently have—I’ll have to start testing out your solutions next time I, too, decide to just do a solid week of tag posts! 😉

  5. Ah I remember that brief conversation we had some time back upon reading this! Award tags sure become increasingly difficult for both sides the more they come in (and I always pray I don’t get them – funny/weird I know, but to think about the social consequences gives me too much worries).
    I definitely agree on the ‘wacky'(?) tags – especially when it links back to anime and stuff they are a ton of fun to read, since in its own way its a review of sorts deviating from standard protocol.
    Also, a hilariously apt gif header XD

    1. Auri also makes questionnaire tags awesome cause her questions are the best. And Fueled by SMiling. Their question game is amazing!
      Thank you – I was pretty proud of that header

  6. It is always so nice getting tagged, but then I feel bad since sometimes I feel like my blog turns into awards posts then I don’t write about anime anymore. Then I forget I was nominated and didn’t respond. I’ve gotten really terrible.

    I’ve loved also seeing people reasons why and those posts have always come at just the right time when I was feeling down. It helped me keep going seeing other peoples reasons. I’m so happy that people have responded positively to my post and I still cry every time I see one and I’m even tearing up as I write this thinking of all the responses. It really makes me thankful for such a wonderful community here on wordpress. Even though we don’t get to see each other in person it still feels like strings of support are stretching out and holding us up together.

  7. I definitely enjoyed this post and a lot of good discussions can come out of it. Funny enough, YOU were the first person ever to nominate me for an award when I got back into blogging with all my current pages which I’m certainly thankful for. Giving people some awards/tags is great cross-promoting, but you’re right about the selfish ulterior motives that can happen from many of these posts. I have also been tagged, but I would be swamped with work or whatever to respond right away even though I’m not an award magnet to say the least. Haha! I do believe it can strengthen some community aspects in blogging even when the people you tag don’t talk about the same things you do. Heck, I run 4 blogs with different subjects, so I know this. Also, I know I’ve nominated Shokamoka once or twice. Just sayin’.

    1. Good Job!!!
      Everytime I remeber that I’m stunned – I can barely keep up with one blog – 4 just seems like magic to me

      1. Thanks! I know there’s the semantics of me being more active than some, but I know I have so much to say with different subjects. At least I was able able to get 4 of my books out which I’m thankful for even if it did cut into my songwriting and reviewing time.

          1. Yup. This was huge for me since I had been writing fiction actively for the past 4 years, but I never showed my projects until just last year. I’m happy to have some support and to see open mindedness with the bloggers on here. I’m also grateful to have checked out your blog.

            1. Sure thing, Irina. I’m glad to check out some creative bloggers who offer new things to the table. In this case: anime reviews.

  8. This is such an interesting point about tags and awards! When I first started receiving them I was amazed about being nominated! I still love getting tagged because it makes me feel appreciated but I have tags I still haven’t done because time has just gotten away from me! I think your point about not tagging people is definitely valid but I have not tagged people in stuff for the simple reason that everyone I would tag has probably done it already and I know how swamped you can get if tags are flying your way all the time and people have already done them (although that’s not the worst thing in the world to get tagged again 😆) I do love tags and awards as it lets everyone get to know one another and the community feels a bit more strengthened like we are just hanging out but sometimes it can be overwhelming 😂 great post as always Irina! 😁

    1. Thank you Sam!
      I have to say, I’m always really excited when a NEW tag comes around. Maybe someday there’ll be an anime/booze tag out there and I will be READY!

      1. No problem! 😄 Yes same here! Whenever I see a new tag around I do get pretty excited about it as it’s something fresh for me to contribute to! Haha that would be perfect for you 😂 couldn’t ask for a more fitting tag than that. Hey maybe you should create one 😉

  9. I can’t exactly call you a cop out when you tagged me four times in a single post.

    Thank you for reminding the community that I still exist despite my apparent disconnected state.
    I’ll just share my up-to’s on discord.

    1. Honestly my blog is like 40% just tagging Shoka. It’s my specialty.
      Reminding people you exist is my pleasure and it makes people happy

  10. I don’t think there’s ever going to be a happy medium number of nominations – 11 is always a chore to come up with and 1 or 2 just makes people disappointed. Maybe somewhere in the middle…7 perhaps?

    I’m possibly the only person who picks up abandoned tags, only to let them go again because everyone’s done the tag through other bloggers…which is a really unproductive habit, but I guess old habits don’t die so easily.

    I remember noting Kimchi’s tag doesn’t really feel like an “award” per se due to what it’s trying to prevent and so I felt kind of guilty tagging it as such, but it felt quite therapeutic to get those answers down, so in a way it’s kind of contradictory…

    1. I actually like the 1 or 2 model. Like Arthifis’ writing a book project. It gets things moving swiftly and you don’t end up reading the same tag for weeks on end…

  11. I saw someone post their replies on the nomination post and I thought that was a good idea, if you’re swamped or can’t do it for whatever reason.

    If I get nominated, I usually like waiting till a get a couple then answer them in one go. I don’t mind the question portion, but I do feel like a pestying betty whenever I get to the nomination part. I don’t want to bother people and I don’t want to nominate someone who already has a lot on their plate.

      1. That’s true too. I always make sure to comment on their page and say something, like “Thanks for nominating me. I’ll try to do this when I get the time.” Or, as I’ve started to do now, answer it in their comment section.

  12. i agree with a lot of the stuff you’re saying about throwing out newer topics, and i do believe that recognizing smaller blogs is worthwhile. the main reason i avoid tag posts is really just the nomination aspect. it feels too much like a chain letter to me, feeding on itself until it runs out, and i refuse to be complicit in that endeavor. personally, i wouldnt mind adding my spin to the questions and formats in the post itself, but i feel too much like im taking advantage of the nomination if i dont nominate others.

    1. Oh yeah – they pretty much are chain letters.
      I hadn’t thought about the taking advantage aspect – I do see it now!

  13. I have mixed feelings on tag posts, though this is mostly down to my own personal desire for my site to be a sort of “timeless” resource for people interested to find out more about a variety of games they might not know a lot about, as opposed to a more conventional “blog”. In other words, I tend to try and keep “timely” content (i.e. stuff which is relevant to a particular time and place, or a response to something that has happened) to a minimum as much as possible… though like most people, there are some things I just *have* to comment on!

    Essentially in my mind it’s a self-imposed sense of conflict on wanting to participate in these things as part of the broader community, and not wanting to clutter up my front page/other people’s readers with too much stuff that isn’t directly related to my site’s main “mission”. Although that said, a lot of people find me via search engines, social media and referrals from other places, so it’s difficult to say exactly how many people are browsing my home page each day rather than going directly to a specific post.

    Having my “Community” category has helped allay some of these “fears” (that’s probably too strong a word), and the approach I tend to take now is that I’ll slip one in every so often if a particularly interesting one comes up — like you, I particularly enjoyed the One Liner Challenge recently, and that was enjoyable to relate to games rather than anime or whatever. The more “personal” stuff I’ll tend to skip, however — not because I don’t enjoy it (I love reading that stuff!) but because my site isn’t really a “personal blog” as such in my mind and as such I worry that those reading regularly for teh gaemz might not be interested in such an article. (Aside: I do actually still have a personal blog here on WP, but it’s been defunct for a while now since I decided to focus on MoeGamer.)

    1. Yeah – I thought the one liner was interesting for games and giving award posts their own little spot on your blog is a great idea.
      The basic questionnaire type posts are occasionally get a bit bland

  14. Great post! Awards and tags are always a tough one. It does give me something easy to search when I’m looking for new blogs to follow, though. I like that it instantly allows me to see someone’s personality and usually a little bit about themselves.
    I agree with the nominating of people being a task though! I never want to annoy people by nominating them, and I don’t want to leave people out who actually want to do it! But if you just SAY “anyone who wants to do this, go on!” then no one does because you disnt Nominate them by name!! (… Or I suppose it could be that NO ONE wanted to! Ha ha!)
    The other tough one is nominating when it feels like EVERYONE has done the tag already! When I was nominated for the” 3 Days 3 Quotes” tag it felt like EVERYONE was at the same time, and you’re supposed to Nominate people everyday! That was tough because I was trying to remember all the other people who seemed to already be in the middle of it!

    1. You know I never thought of specifically nomminating No ONE. Like forbidding people to do it…
      Why does the thought make me so happy?

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