The response to the blog award poll has been amazing! Little did I know there were such strong feelings out in Blogland about the blog award issue. I'd like to thank each and every one of you who took the time to either vote in the poll or leave a comment; big hugs to you who took the time to do both! The thought that went into the comments was surprising and much appreciated.
At this writing there have been 30 votes on the poll in my sidebar, breaking down as follows:
You can see that I put the more positive end of the spectrum in blue, the more negative end in burgundy, and purple is the middle ground. Roughly 1/4 of the people who responded to the poll were "thumbs up", while nearly half were "thumbs down" on the blog award issue. It's not a scientific poll, so don't be upset with me if I misread any intentions when you voted; this is just how I viewed the voting results. I'll leave the poll in the sidebar for a few more days in case others would like to participate.
Some interesting suggestions were made in the comments, including offering awards with no "strings", or designating your blog as an award-free zone. After seeing the poll results so far, I'm going with the latter option and am putting up a graphic that will help folks know that I no longer participate in awards. I'm also removing the awards that I had previously posted in my sidebar, but would like to send out a huge thank-you to those who had awarded them to me.
Another interesting suggestion was "blogging without obligation". I'd like to amend it a little for my own use. In future, I'll be considering my area of Blogland as a "duty-free blog zone"...a place where I can share and enjoy without feeling the weight of "duty" in participating.
Olde Dame Penniwig has been kind enough to draw up some graphics for those who wish to declare their blogs "award-free". I particularly liked this one, which she described as "naughty" (Penny, old gal, you're a hoot!). As much as I'd like to use that one, I think I'll go a little more low-key.
Updated to add: I just found another graphic in Blogland that you may like that was created by Shanda of Front Porches, Sweet Tea, & Old Aprons. Bless her heart, she is willing to share it with other bloggers. You can read her post about going award free here.
For those of you who still plan to participate in blog awards, please don't be offended by this discussion or by anyone's decision not to participate. I don't believe that any one of us want to hurt anyone's feelings by not participating; in fact, I think it's quite the opposite.
Now let's have some fun! Get blogging!