I, um, hate to ask but...

I gotta confess, it really is super duper embarrassing to write a blog post which has the sole purpose of asking my readers for a favour and to be honest, it sends me into this sort of deep, reflective identity crisis as I question whether or not I write to explore best teaching practices, to share my learning or if I just really need to get applause, awards and all that jazz...

'cause if I'm true to me and all I've got to say (e.g. very not a fan of the EduBlogs awards) nor generally, about all that hullabaloo type of nonsense like holding up a plaque that says I'm a good writer or not...  then why on earth would I ask


vote for me to say I am?

um, 'cause I'm human.

I sort of like to know that what I do (i.e. write articles about teaching and all the things you find on the menu bar above) has some intrinsic or extrinsic value to you as my reader or...

my friends or family members
or well to someone else out there.

...dunno. shrug.

Right, am really scurring off my computer now,  so, um, if you don't have a blog - which has been nominated in my specific category, which is language teaching, and you wouldn't mind kindly nipping off for about 5 seconds

to click on this button below and

Vote the Top 100 Language Teaching Blogs 2010

voting for me,

I'd be super grateful.

photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lemonhead1632/2690712243/sizes/m/

19 Responses to “I, um, hate to ask but...”

  • Suzanne says:
    May 13, 2010

    Voted! :-)

  • Darren says:
    May 14, 2010

    I'll vote for you, but you have to vote for me first.... ; P

  • Joel H Josephson says:
    May 14, 2010

    Looking at the current results, I get a feeling that voting is currently, not about whether a Blog is good as whether it is in Korea or not.

    For me, this is a devalued competition.


    May 14, 2010

    @Suzanne, thank you!

    @Darren, I wouda voted 4 ya but we're in the same category :(

    @Joel - yes, that's actually why I ended up writing this post after deciding not to do so when nominated for the EduBlogs one.

    These competitions are very, very much double-edged swords:

    I think they are done

    a) to bring the attention of one's own blog readers over to the site of the blog award host

    - which is actually okay in my book, I don't mind sharing awareness across the blogosophere and in the case of the Lexiophiles blogs, they provide quality articles on languages - not just English and it's a site actually worth exploring.

    b) to promote a product associated with the blog award host
    - my primary objections in the case of the Edublogs award were

    i)that the prize was for a product that would be free for a year (but then you'd have to pay).

    This also meant that, in this particular case, that one criteria in the selection would be that the selected blogs would be ones that would effectively be promotional to the products of EduBlogs & Elluminate and would not so much about the quality of writing done on any bloggers' page.

    ii) the nominated blogs included blogs which are associated with the organizers - i.e. Steve Hargadon of Classroom 2.0's personal blog (who actually does do an absolutely, absolutely sterling job and provides a mega service to the 'sphere and teachers) BUT how "clean" is it to be listed and voted on when he represents Elluminate?

    iii) some of the nominated blogs had, at the time, only a mere handful of articles - this is also the case with the Lexiophiles nominations - yet, were being heavily promoted (asking for votes) through their associated community groups on LinkedIn, Ning and in Forums and thus - again, whether offering quality postings or not, were able to amass a large share of the voting.

    In one case, one blog which won an award is a blog which is read by virtually no one... (Alexa backs that up) but alternatively, has the "right" connections, so basically, virtually makes a joke of the selection process.

    Also, given that some bloggers have edu-communities that they moderate (as I do but would never ever use my e-community to ask for personal votes though I did to ask to help someone else and then got my fingers slapped and learned my lesson)- but I have to ask how clean is the voting, say against a freelance blogger who writes sterling articles but doesn't own or participate in a city-sized community of learners and teachers who can vote when asked to in these sorts of events?

    It ends up making a joke out of the concept of PLNs, to be honest, hence my "identity crisis" as mentioned above and whether or not I should do this post and ask for votes. (I'll go into why in a second)... I need to rant and digress a wee bit more...

    My eyebrows raise when I hear people making multiple call-outs for people to come and join their "PLNs" because I 100% believe in the concept of a networked community of practice but also believe that beyond a certain point it really is not so much about teachers helping each other out but instead, it looks like, to me, as if the moderators aren't simply wanting to impress an educational company (to get a social-media job based on the numbers of teachers they amassed) AND increase their voting count for things like this...like awards... just in order to get silly badges on blogs.

    Sorry, this is so very jaded of me!

    I have more... (I should have done a blog post rather than comment here... nevermind).

    May 14, 2010


    The silly badges. Who doesn't want own?

    WE all do.

    They tell us personally, that we're on the "right" track... that yes, we're absolutely nutsofacto for spending hours and hours writing articles (or making videos and podcasts like Darren above) for the rest of the world... they say hey, well done. Pat on the back.

    I know that when TEFL.net selected me for the June 2009 website of the month award I went around on a cloud for a week. It was completely out of the blue and when I got this award I was touched deeply that teachers out there and a company thought my words have merit.

    And this is why things like EduBlogs and Lexiophiles Awards exist because intrinsically we humans have a very huge emotional need to be recognized as providing worth. We should be able to get this from our own selves... but...

    Okay, wow, I'm almost done.

    I posted my call-out for votes because actually, Lexiophiles, unlike Edublogs, posted their selection process namely

    a) blogs nominated by the public and then shifted through

    : with an explanation of their list of criteria.

    b) blogs voted for by the public

    c) votes count 50% and their criteria (as explained in relative detail here) counts the other 50%.

    Some of my concerns regarding the Lexiophiles blogs include things like seeing that not all the blogs are listed are actually language teaching or learning related in any way. Some of the blogs have been placed in the wrong category.

    But okay, this is really long!

    So.. um, where was I... may the best blog win.. and hopefully I can still make it into the top 100 :-)

    May 14, 2010

    sorry about the typos.. I do wish there was an edit button on comments!

  • Saša says:
    May 14, 2010

    Voted for you, Karenne. Good luck!

  • blog-efl says:
    May 14, 2010

    We should set up our own blogging awards, Karenne, find a sponsor, decide on criteria / categories and choose a judging panel (to be changed each year)

    Hmm...easier said than done I know, and we'd not get it right either...any awards system can be criticized for something I suppose...

    May 14, 2010

    But then Graham, I wouldn't be allowed to be listed! LOL - yeah, I agree... there must be a publisher out there who wouldn't mind having their logo and badge on global blogs, surely!

    @Sasa - thank you!

  • Jennifer Verschoor says:
    May 14, 2010

    I voted for you!!! This blog inspires many teachers worldwide :-)

  • Jason Renshaw says:
    May 14, 2010

    I can see your points here, Karenne, and can't find a lot to disagree with...

    ... except one. Perhaps.

    Karenne, you don't need to be listed or voted for on those silly lists. People already vote for you by coming here and reading you and commenting here.

    That's the only criteria that counts when it comes to 'rating' blogs - if such a thing is possible to do even remotely impartially.

    There's little to no doubt whatsover, Karenne, that you are our field's leading and most influential blogger at present. I don't need to click a dot on a list somewhere to know that's a fact! Not making those voting lists or not getting as many votes as the obviously far less accomplished blogs out there is probably a sort of indication of your quality and infuence rather than vice-versa (if that makes sense).

    Another exception: the TEFL.net badges are worth getting excited about and feeling proud of. I got one waaaaaay back in 2002 (I think it was) and still present it on my resource site with a rather chuffed sensation. TEFL.net invariably chooses good sites and resource providers for their awards, and without any expectation of either party getting something overt out of the process.

    Anyway... you're the best blogger out there, Karenne. Don't worry about those bloody lists!

    ~ J

    May 14, 2010

    Ah, Jen, Jason... got to pack up my backpack to take to classes this afternoon and now am all kinda choked up -thank you for your lovely, lovely words, got a big massive smile on my face.

  • Joel H Josephson says:
    May 14, 2010

    I tend to agree with Graham BUT who is on the jury and who selects the criteria.

    But there is another way of looking at this whole thing and I blame my wife, an actress for this viewpoint, how can you compare cheese with apples.

    Each blog says something different, how can you compare the Quality - Vote worthiness of one to another, there is no comparison.

    What this particular voting process does is judge who is most popular.

    As Karenne says this is mainly about personal recognition.

    I hope this is partially understandable as my girls are nagging me for lunch and the concentration is wayward.

  • Paul says:
    May 15, 2010

    Also agree with Graham. This is a popularity contest as this appears to be the only criteria as far as I can tell.

  • Ally says:
    May 15, 2010

    I have voted, thanks for sharing all this useful material!

  • Unknown says:
    May 28, 2010

    Congratulations Karenne on getting into the top 10 blogs, that's amazing news.

    It's always nice when one's work is appreciated and you've worked extremely hard so don't beat yourself up about it.

    And if by some chance an up and coming blogger makes loud comments about "silly lists" and "I don't want to be in a popularity contest" and "it's an old-boys (or old-girls more like) network" and says things like "pah!" then ignore them.

    I mean who on earth would SAY something like that for awards for blogs or books or anything that reward effort in education? Wait a sec ... ummm...errr... :-) :-)

    May 28, 2010

    I know...

    but I really don't like "popularity" contests... thing is, tho' I am quite pleased - it's really nice to have been selected like this but honestly, by this time next year with all the new blogs popping up every day, there's absolutely no way :-)

    And I truly don't believe that most competitions or awards are "fair" in terms of determining quality - partly because it is an incredibly and deeply difficult thing to do but also because a number of awards (all over the world from Hollywood to Cannes... have bias).

    But one example in ELT was the ELTons which I think you are alluding to - I think - seriously, there's no way on heaven or earth that Nik Peachey should not have gotten an award for his innovation.

    It is as simple as that...

    It still makes me mad.

    He has put in the work and that level of INnovation should have been appropriately recognized.

    And with regard to the blogs and being no.2 for Bab.la, I'm lucky I guess, I had some good friends and family members that could vote for me and of course some very cherished readers...

    sidebar: if you're one of them reading this - THANK YOU

    ---but as incredibly grateful I am that my blog was chosen (due to the long, long, long nights I've put into creating it) there are a number of blogs which didn't make into the top 100 and that makes me a little bit sad for them.

    So it's mixed feelings here...


  • Janet Bianchini says:
    May 30, 2010

    Hi Karenne

    I would like to congratulate you on getting into the Top 10 Language Teaching Category awards. A fabulous achievement and one justly deserved.

    You give so much to the blogging community and ELT-sphere in general. It is greatly appreciated.

    May 30, 2010

    Thank you Janet :-) I'll comment more in my ELT blogosphere report but you know, fellow blogger girl with a beautiful blog you pour such love and energy into, it's your thank-yous that mean so much more to me!



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