I did some digging at the Urban Dictionary this morning, looking for the perfect word to describe these little graphic badges or buttons bloggers bestow upon one another. I thought maybe bling would work, but it has more to do with noisy jewelry and rappers.
I figured swag might fit, but the term is best used when describing all the free marketing and promotional merchandise (read: crap) you get from radio stations and start-up bands.
I debated going with flair. Thanks to the movie Office Space, flair is now almost universally defined as “buttons and other decorative accessories added to a work uniform, esp. at chain restaurants.” But flair is something people choose for themselves, and most people, especially chain restaurant workers, despise flair.
All these cheapen, in one way or another, the intent of the giver. And we bloggers are nothing if not a sincere bunch. We don’t bestow these badges willy-nilly.
So I’m going to go with bloglove. I’ve seen it used here and here (with the same graphic, even), just to share a couple of examples, and each seems to get to the “heart” of the point – to express our appreciation for blogs that move us in some meaningful way.
I’ve received this particular badge three times:
RiverPoet at Poetic License, claims I am “a fabulous writer and an honest human being in every sense of the word.”
Tasses at Random Wonder, describes me as “a soul searcher, a writer, a guy reinventing himself each new day.”
And most recently, Erika at Be Gay About It passed it along, claiming, “Brian is the nicest guy I’ve never met. He handles really deep, difficult subjects like race and religion with ease and brings his readers into the dialogue in a nonthreatening way. He’s insightful and honest and I appreciate his ability to laugh at himself. I think if we all loved our families as much as he does, the world would be a more comfortable place.”
I’ve received numerous awards over the years: I have been on the Dean’s List several times; my former university recognized me as an Outstanding English Major; I earned my Eagle Scout award when I was fifteen. I even got my name on a plaque for being McDonald’s Employee of the Month . . . October 1986.
Yes, I am special.
But to be recognized in Blogland is different. I haven’t done anything particularly awesome to warrant these badges. I just write from where I’m at, whenever I get the chance. Some people have read my ponderings and been moved.
And I am humbled.
Every day, I remind myself that you people could read any of the other 100 million bloggers out there, many of them far more popular than me. For example, you could visit the blog of one Xu Jinglei, a Chinese actress, whose site (as of this writing) has received “more than 50 million page views.” And I know you’re busy. If you’re an average blogger, you have a reader of some sort loaded with fresh content from 50 or more other bloggers, all with varying degrees of talent and productivity. (I’m hoping you folks are better than I am at actually reading all those blogs . . . my reader is currently telling me I have over 400 unread posts. I’m working on it! If you haven’t seen me in a while, please be patient . . . )
So I am grateful you choose to visit The Cheek and spend some time with me and peruse my meandering tales.
And so it comes to this . . . the part where I am now obligated to pass along the badge to some bloggers I love. To do this right, I should probably just post links to all the blogs in my reader, for I simply don’t have the time to read blogs I don’t love. But such a list, commonly called a blogroll, would be tiring to maintain and painfully monotonous. (I do periodically share posts that move me. They are listed under the heading “Tweakers Write Too!” on the right, so check them out if you have the time.) And I must confess that I really hate choosing blogs for things like this. I worry that I’ll leave someone out and they’ll be offended or think I don’t love them. I’ll say it here: I love each and every one of you!
Instead, I’m going to pass this along to some bloggers who don’t have a bunch of badges on display. These folks blog for the same reasons I do. Because sometimes you just need to get it out there and see what pots gets stirred. Because some things are better out in the open instead of bundled up inside and festering. Because the strangeness of life moves you in unique ways that need words to make them feel not so foreign or uncomfortable. Because you don’t worry whether people leave comments or send you badges. You do it for you . . .
Michael at Always going, going, going on beyond . . .
Debbeblue at bedrest banshee . . .
Mork at Pragmatic-Eclectic . . .
Bejewell at The Bean . . .
Chanda at Trapped Under Something Heavy . . .
I just spent ten minutes going through my reader, fretting that I’ve left someone out, only to remember that I wasn’t going to do that. You all deserve this award, so if you want it, take it. But these five stand out at this moment. They each touch a particular nerve of mine, so I pass them along to the rest of you. If you love them already, let them know. The rest of you, check them out.
And tell them (the blogger formerly known as) Unibrow sent you . . .