33 responses

  1. brandy bell
    March 17, 2013

    Contest Shmontest.

    Luckily, our readers vote for us every time they:

    – share our content with their friends
    – comment on our posts
    – spend their time on our site

    No one can tell me what the best blog is for me, nor can they tell you, Talon!
    We’re here talking with you because YOU are the best 🙂

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 17, 2013

      Aww, thanks, Brandy!

      Reply

  2. Toni
    March 14, 2013

    The took the words right out of my digital mouth Sir – bravo! Round of applause! Encore!! I had this discussion with a rep from Canada Tourism recently and said that bloggers (and general readers) are getting annoyed with the same voices all the time and that if popularity breeds popularity, how will we ever discover new people, places or voices?
    I totally agree with this rant Talon – thank you for writing it!

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 14, 2013

      Boy, isn’t that the truth! It’s always the same exact people doing pretty much the same thing. I hope your message was received well by them.

      Reply

  3. Sam
    March 14, 2013

    Wow. I’m only seriously getting in to this blogging thing just now, so I’m pretty green when it comes to stuff like this! I agree with your ideas generally, though. Just because something’s popular doesn’t mean it’s “the best”. I actually try to apply this mindset to many things in life.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 14, 2013

      So very true! And just because we think something is “the best,” doesn’t mean it’s going to be that for everyone else.

      Reply

  4. Kirsty
    March 13, 2013

    Hear hear! Rant away, I could have said exactly the same thing myself 🙂

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 14, 2013

      Nice to know we aren’t alone, eh?

      Reply

  5. Melanie Murrish
    March 13, 2013

    That was meant to be 😉

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 14, 2013

      LOL!

      Reply

  6. Melanie Murrish
    March 13, 2013

    That’s the last time I vote for you! 🙂

    Reply

  7. Dyanne@TravelnLass
    March 13, 2013

    “Win my contest to get a press trip, etc. . .”

    You’re giving away a free press tip, Talon? OMG, where do I sign up??? 😉

    Just kidding, I emphatically agree. The digital age has single-handedly elevated such contests to the pinnacle of absurd. Indeed, most are a joke.

    Case in point: The silly “Best City to Visit” contest that’s presently in full swing (about to be narrowed down to the “Sweet Sixteen” – oh I’m verily BREATHLESS to find out who wins – NOT!) I mean, like you can compare Chicago to Cairo. Uh, huh – I was going to visit Chicago on my next holiday, but now I think I’ll instead go to Cairo ‘cuz it’s the “Best City to Visit”.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 13, 2013

      Ugh. I missed that contest. Which makes me happy. 😀

      Reply

  8. Tracey – Life Changing Year
    March 13, 2013

    Hmmm….you missed the part that contests are FUN! They create community and a chance to have a laugh with your community (especially if the contest is really lame!). As a blogger you might not like them but your readers might love the chance to vote for you in something. And why would you not write about your favourite things in a blog post? Your blog is about you – anyone who identifies with you might very well enjoy the places you like best too. Why wouldn’t you share that info with them? Who cares if everyone doesn’t agree? I think sometimes we take the blogging thing too seriously – we need to have more FUN!!! And I totally voted for you Sally….I’ll be waiting for my pony!!!!

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 13, 2013

      Of course you should write about your favorite things. That can be interesting and fun. I share stuff I enjoy all the time. I just don’t feel good about labeling my favorite things as “the best” or “the top” of something. They may be for me, but I’m also aware that someone else may have a completely different experience with that place. I share them, I just don’t call them the best or the top [insert appropriate noun].

      Who wouldn’t vote for Sally? I mean, she’s giving away PONIES!

      Reply

  9. Cristina Garcia
    March 13, 2013

    I love a good Talon rant!!
    These contests are just a piss-taker. I look away every time I see one.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 13, 2013

      I love that expression. LOL

      Yes, I do, too. I was especially frustrated after I had been talking about what seemed like a very cool opportunity with someone, and once it went live discovered it was just another voting contest. Grrr

      Reply

  10. Patti
    March 13, 2013

    Ranting is good. I see a lot of these contests on FB… please vote for my friend’s adorable baby so she can win xyz. It’s called stacking the deck and there is really no fairness in doing so. And for me, someone who is putting her heart and soul into her blog, it can be disheartening to see all of the contests going on. Then I go to the winning site and think, “really?” It’s like being on the playground and being the last one picked for dodge ball all over again.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 13, 2013

      I love your analogy!

      Oh yes! I’ve that experience before as well. Finding the winner and seeing that they were among the worst and saddest sites. . . Ugh!

      Reply

  11. Jennifer Miller
    March 13, 2013

    Exactly.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 13, 2013

      😀

      Reply

  12. Thomas
    March 13, 2013

    While I agree with you, this is a bit difficult for me right now. I recently entered one of these ‘popularity contests’, and I knew it was that from the outset. I did it because I thought it would give me some experience, I did not think I had a hope in hell of winning (some of the other entrants had 4 times the Facebook followers I did – the results were decided by Facebook likes). And I thought I would get a bit of exposure.

    Well, I was one of four who got their trip! And I was not that ruthless in garnering votes – after all as I said the others had four times the followers I had.

    I genuinely believe, having put my heart and soul into my brief, I won because my ideas came across as better. The briefs of the others were … naff! And it showed – their voters just did not show up!

    That said – I will never do it again! But for different reasons mentioned above. I learned a lot by the experience, and I believe it was all about the sponsors trying to get more Facebook likes.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 13, 2013

      I’m glad you won under those circumstances at least!

      Reply

  13. Peter Parkorr
    March 13, 2013

    I agree and hate these type of contests too. There’s also the photo comps where entering gives them carte blanche to use your photos in brochures etc, regardless if you win or not – more BS. If they are asking for content then judging it properly and paying to use the best examples is only fair. Or do they think they are so special we should be queueing up to work for them for free?

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 13, 2013

      Oh, I hate those photo contests! That is such BS when they pull that.

      Reply

  14. Sally
    March 13, 2013

    Talon,
    Thanks so much for mentioning my blog! And now I feel kind of bad about hassling all my readers to go vote for me for a Bloggie (okay, not THAT bad — EVERYONE GO VOTE FOR ME!).
    I do totally agree with you on a lot of these contests — especially the more spammy/company-run ones and the ones where you can vote every day. Uggh. It’s usually just a marketing ploy to get more traffic to the company’s website and makes the blogger look like some desperate crazy person groveling for votes. (Of course, I am not talking about MYSELF and the Bloggies — NOW EVERYONE GO VOTE FOR ME! PLEASE! PRETTY PLEASE! I’LL BUY YOU ALL PONIES!)

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 13, 2013

      I feel a little better about the Bloggies since they aren’t a company just trying to get free traffic from bloggers. And at least you give your readers great gifts like unicorns and ponies.

      Reply

  15. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas
    March 13, 2013

    Ugh, see also: Liz Carlson’s rant on how we both entered a contest that was completely spammy and the three winners had zero comments and something like 2,000 likes. The post I wrote is one of my most popular to date, but it almost disgusts me to read it. Rant on, dude!

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 13, 2013

      That’s another angle I hadn’t considered. Ugh!

      Reply

  16. Aaron @ Aaron’s Worldwide Adventures
    March 13, 2013

    Great rant Talon! I have never been a fan of popularity contests, and I agree with you that many of these contests are noting more than that, with little sponsor benefititng at the expense of all the bloggers involved…

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 13, 2013

      Thanks, Aaron!

      Reply

  17. Ele
    March 13, 2013

    Thank you for writing this post. I think such competitions really suck. The same goes for submitting a photo to win something. I’d rather be selected to go on a blog trip if people like my content, really.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 13, 2013

      Most definitely! And I think these types of things encourage people to care less about doing quality, informative, entertaining posts as well.

      Reply

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