Ok, I’m taking a very deep breath before writing this as I suspect its not going to be a popular post. However, the issue of the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards has been niggling away for so long now that I wanted to share my view.
The awards idea seemed to be a fabulous recognition of bloggers at the very beginning and I even posted about it in a very positive way at the time, but now seems to have veered off into a competition that is somewhat flawed. Initially, I saw my blog pop up on a round up of entries on cosmopolitan.co.uk, and thought that was a little strange to highlight some entrants and not others in a competitive environment. But, when I was emailed by Cosmo’s Deputy Editor asking for my top ten favourite lip glosses – to include links to sites where the products could be purchased – that I really thought, this isn’t fair. I declined to give my top ten and actually asked whether putting some blogs in a spotlight and not others could be considered as influencing votes, but didn’t get a reply. I don’t know if it is the case that Cosmo have affiliate links with commercial sites where they’ll get a kick back for any purchases as a direct result of the blogger’s top pick posts, but then I’m not sure why it was so important for purchase links to be included, other than maybe to add even more free content.
I now see that there don’t appear to be any terms and conditions for this competition – there are clearer guidelines for a new category of fashion bloggers – and there is no limit to the number of times any one person can vote. In one way, this is good – it means you can vote for all your favourites and not just one, but on the other hand, what’s to stop me voting for myself all day, every day.
I also see that a commercial site has it’s blog entered – and highlighted, and tweeted out by Cosmo – with all the links for their top picks going straight back to their own commercial site.
This doesn’t sit well with me – any of it. I am not suggesting malpractice, I am suggesting that it wasn’t thought through right from the very start, and has now become such an uneven playing field that I can’t really see it as a competition at all.
The difficulty with this post is that the blogs that have been highlighted are all amazing blogs who all deserve recognition, so to suggest pulling away from that doesn’t seem fair either…., But at the same time, I can’t help feeling that it should be a scrupulously fair competition that doesn’t lead Cosmo readers to certain blogs, making them more likely to vote for the highlighted ones.