Welcome, formerly known as 'Salford Swim Swim'. This is a Manchester blog about running and swimming and random stuff. Oh and mental health, it is good to be mentally healthy. Which we of course are not.......so if you're not too then check this out.........Moodswings




Friday, 4 November 2011

I am going to regret this post

You know how I don’t like to write serious or long posts, well, here’s the exception.

I am writing a bit upset today, I read a post by a prominent Manchester blogger about the Manchester Blog Awards this morning. In which she writes about how people who felt left out at the blog awards need to get involved, that it is a clique but a friendly one and everyone is welcome. 

I was honestly really excited about meeting other bloggers at the awards and I was particularly hoping to bump into 'Having a party without me' because his blog is fucking hilarious and I wanted to tell him how brilliant he is and how his blog makes me pig-snort-laugh.  Having a party without me – If by mistake you stumble across this post you are an awesome blogger you are. Keep on trucking, man. 

Sadly, though I was excited to chat to people it really didn’t work out that way, everyone seemed to know each other and I am not confident enough to start randomly talking to someone who is already in a sub group. It did feel like a there was a well-established clique but I’m sorry it didn’t feel like a friendly one (are cliques ever friendly?). And blogging about it isn’t making it sound any friendlier.

We are not writers, we have never protested to be writers. Bloggers yes; kind of more like bloggers by default actually.
My impression is that The Manchester Blog Awards looks for great writers. We’re bloggers not writers so that's cool. Plus, I am aware that my content is daft and that my grammar and spelling is terrible, I know this because Kath tells me so. I don’t care about spelling and grammar, it really isn’t important to me as long as the message gets across and I think it does. Some of you must think it does because we get a few hits here and there and some nice friendly messages.

token kitten photo, unrelated though is a slightly desperate and low attempt to illustrate how I am a little sad. It might also draw some more hits in.
Now here are my constructive suggestions: 

Maybe for future awards they could email the shortlisted few rather than let them find out from the website? This would perhaps make the bloggers feel part of the awards rather than spectators without an invite. And here’s a controversial suggestion – maybe the shortlisted few shouldn’t have to pay to get in. I know, I am being cheeky with this one but there has to be some perks. This would also make the bloggers feel special and important.

And perhaps there could be some kind of networking thingy or something to break the ice? 

Maybe sit all the shortlisted on tables together so they can get to know each other? 

Well because not everyone knows someone from university or from previous awards and it isn’t easy to just start talking to someone you have never met before, especially when they are all grouped up. Especially, if you are not a confident person or if you are a little shy.

So I feel a bit deflated today, kind of indirectly criticised. It kind of made me want to cry a little bit but I sucked it up because that is the ‘Zen’ thing to do. Maybe we were directly criticised - though I wouldn’t be so egotistical to believe that this persons post is in reply to our previous posts about the awards. We can’t be that important you see, we didn’t even make the honour roll despite being shortlisted.  But you know what, that's fine - we get it.

Our own posts about the awards were not critical of the awards and if we came across that way then I am sorry but we didn’t mean to be. We were self-critical because that’s what we do in our blog; but yes we did feel left out. It feels like the post is suggesting that it’s our fault that we felt left out and that makes me feel even more shitty about myself. ‘You’re not in our gang but then it’s your own fault’ kind of thing.
Yes there was a clique, there was clearly a group of people who knew each other and that’s fine, that’s life but maybe you want to look to yourselves a little bit to why people felt left out instead of pointing the finger at them. 

To all the other bloggers who felt left out (I know there is at least one other because there is a little debate going on about it on the web) – you can join my gang. Oh no actually I don’t like gangs because well people always feel left out when there are gangs. I didn’t like gangs much at school probably because I constantly got called mosher even though I wasn’t a mosher, I was into grunge, yeah grunge rocked. RIP Kurt and I sure as hell don’t like them now. 

I am well aware that I have probably just alienated this blog further and now I am never going to be invited into the clique or be nominated for another award but it had to be said. Sorry Kath. 

But I would like to point out that these are my feelings and are valid to me, even if you don’t agree with them. I am sad, I thought getting shortlisted for the awards would make us feel better about ourselves but I have never felt more like an outsider. The post (and some other stuff) I read actually made me want to give up; this post I am writing actually started as a blog resignation and then Kath told me she wouldn’t let me do that. I always do what Kath says.

And I would like to thank you dear readers, your support and kind comments keep us going. I hope this post doesn't offend anyone - I never ever want to do that.

Namaste
Sam

p.s. I am not the anonymous person who commented on the Manchizzle blog
p.p.s. I am not criticising the way the blogs were judged, I hope this is clear in my post

6 comments:

  1. aaarghhh ... I really hate this kind of thing (the thing you talk about, not your blog!) I was at the MBA too, and I understand the point you are making. Another of my friends was nominated too, and sat at the back feeling a little like an outsider... Also, the friend I attended with had said that she recognised a couple of the people who were in the very obvious clique, she knew one through some writing workshop or something, and had commented to me that night about how cliquey the whole set up of that particular event had been too, and that she'd come away from that feeling very down on herself.

    I hope that the person who has made comments that have made you feel this way, and anyone else involved in this clique can take your feedback and more forward in amore positive way with it.

    Keep writing your blog Sam, it's for you, and the people who love to read it - not the Manchester Blogging Clique. Take yourself out of that particular community :)

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  2. I love reading your blog x

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  3. Sam, don't get involved with people like that, they probably hung round in gangs at school throwing dismissive looks to other students thinking they were part of the 'elite'. These blogs are bloody brilliant. Keep 'em coming please.
    Couz.

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  4. Thanks for all your kind responses folks. I just want to say also that I am in no way criticising the way the blogs are judged. I just thought they could be more inclusive and welcoming. I hope that is reflected in my post.

    After reading some of the comments on post I read I am a little worried about what I wrote and the reaction I might get.

    Eeek.

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  5. What's this talk of quitting? It's a great blog - often hilarious, occasionally serious but always highly entertaining. Keep on keeping on guys...

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  6. Hey! I'm Pete who writes Having a Party Without Me. Sorry it's taken about six months to stumble across this post. Thanks for your kind words and for your pig-snort laughter!
    My thoughts on the blog awards were pretty similar, I sat up at the back with my wife and a mate of mine as I didn't know anybody. I did say hello to Kate to thank her for my nomination, but I find it hard to strike up conversations with groups of people who all know each other as well (I am really quite shy though - maybe it would have been easier if I wasn't?).

    We should go to the next one anyway to make a point of saying hello!

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