7 April 2010

Competition, Cuddles and Rock and Roll

The MADs 2010 are blogging awards, celebrating the UK's best mummy and daddy blogs. MAD stands for Mummy And Daddy (in case you were wondering)! Since their launch last week there have been over 1,000 nominations! Wow.

There are awards for the following:
MAD Blogger of the Year
Most Innovative MAD Blog
Best MAD Family Fun Blog
Funniest MAD Blog
Best-Looking MAD Blog
Best MAD Baby Blogger
Best New MAD Blog
Most Inspirational MAD Blog
Best MAD Blog Photography
Best MAD Blog Writer

The five blogs with the most nominations in each category will go forward to the public vote. The MAD Blogger of the Year will be decided by a panel of judges.

When I first heard about the awards, and the prizes on offer, I thought 'that's great'. There are awards in all areas, why not blogging?

On the launch day, however, I felt uneasy. What if Baby Baby wasn't nominated? This was short-lived. Thankfully a couple of friends let me know that they had nominated me. Phew!

I haven't nominated yet as there are a few categories where I can not decide which blog to vote for. You can only nominate one blog in each category.

I've been delighted to see loads of my favourite bloggers being nominated, including many new blogs. The current list of nominees can be found on Who's The Mummy?.

Through Twitter and Facebook I have seen how happy people are to see their blogs nominated - I know I am. I've also been pleased to see congratulations flying about.

There are some bloggers who have openly criticised the awards, saying that they don't like competition. I can understand this. I know how I felt before I found out that I had been nominated. There can only be a few winners, this makes the rest of us losers. Or does it? 

Competition is part of life. Competition is apparently being removed from the curriculum in schools. When my boys are at school maybe I'll agree with this, but right now I can't see how it prepares them for real life. Surely children need to understand that they can't win at everything. They should be encouraged to excel where they can or improve where they can't - and to know the difference between the two.

I write a public blog. I am excited when I see that I have a new reader or when someone leaves a comment. I am honestly happy that some people like Baby Baby enough to nominate it/me. I'd love to win an award. There I've said it. There's nothing wrong with that, is there? I don't expect to make it to the public vote, but that's okay. Really. I am happy to be taking part. I certainly haven't got it in me to launch a Vote Baby Baby campaign. Imagine begging for nominations and not getting them. Oh the shame!

For more thoughts on competition please read these excellent posts from Baking Mad MamaSleep is for the Weak, Hot Cross Mum, Babyrambles and Battling On.

If you haven't nominated yet, but would like to do so, click here. Nominations close on 25th April.

For more examples of blogs to nominate check out the best of the British Mummy Bloggers carnival at The Mad House.


I was delighted to be asked to contribute a guest post for the new Cuddledry blog (remember them from Dragons Den?). Funnily enough the post I wrote is about child development NOT being a competition - a pet subject of mine. The editor of the blog, Jo, who also writes the excellent Slummy Single Mummy blog, gave my post the title 'Being a Parent - Some Words of Wisdom'. It amused me to be called wise!


Finally... I've finally added a new song to my Myspace. It's called 'I Want More' and it's a rock number! It's about people with no talent who think they deserve to be famous - another example of the anti-competitive trend? I hope you like it.



  1. Hi Sandy

    Thanks for the post. There will always be people who don't like competition in school sports and don't care for awards schemes. That's okay, I can respect that even if it's not my personal perspective.

    For everyone involved in the MADs, the fact that some people may be disappointed at not receiving a nomination, or not being shortlisted is no reason NOT to celebrate the amazing achievements of those who will be nominated, or will be finalists, or winners.

    We have tried to make the awards as fair as we possibly can, and choose categories carefully to give everyone a shot at winning something. It's a learning experience and hopefully as the awards grow in future years, we'll have more categories and more opportunities for people to take part.

    I've been delighted by how well the awards have gone down and I genuinely haven't seen any of the snarking or moaning that some people predicted would be inevitable when "Mummy bloggers" got involved with awards.

    Personally, I like to think we're mostly grown up and sensible enough to be able to celebrate the achievements of those who may be a little further down the blogging road than we ourselves are.

    Good luck to you and everyone taking part this year.

  2. I kind of know what you mean Sandy... and I did go through a few days of wondering whether anyone would bother, but I can't help thinking about the whole thing as a kind of huge celebration of parent blogging... it's competition, yes, but in the nicest possible way!

  3. Lovely post Sandy. I'm with you. Happy that I've been nominated and happy that I've nominated great blogs I love. It's nice to do something like that for people. I'm not sure about the competition in blogging per se, though. I think it can be divisive and can cause some people to give up all together which I think is really sad. As far as I'm concerned if even 2 people read my blog (one of which is my Dad!) then that's great. x

  4. I am one of those that is still sitting on the fence so to speak about the Mads. I love the fact that the blogger of the year is by a pannel of judges, but the other awards just somehow by being down to the most popular rather than the best, if that makes any sence.

    Yes it is down to my lack of self esteme, my lack of ever being the most popular.

    I have yet to vote, like you I can not make up my mind on a number of the catogories and want to use my votes wisely!

  5. I agree Sandy, both about the MAD's and the lack of competition in schools nowadays.

    I am delighted to have been nominated so far in 3 categories, only one more to go for me and I'll be well chuffed. I don't think for one minute I'll be in the final 5 of any of them but just the fact that someone has thought of my little blog whilst typing in their nominations has made my day.

  6. @MadHouse we did consider how to choose winners.

    Our view was that you cannot possibly have a judging panel that would please everyone. Not even close. Think about it - can you imagine the rows, the bitching, the accusations of bias??! If a judge was in BMB, people not in BMB wouldn't like it. If the judge was a journalist, would they be biased towards journalists? If they were bloggers, would they vote for the people who comment on their blogs? If they're not bloggers, could they judge with any authority. It would be absolutely unworkable.

    There's also the question of how do you define "best". Should we choose the best written? The most engaging? The most busy? The most linked to?

    For me, it certainly seems far fairer and more democratic to throw it open and say, "Tell us what you love because the blog you love the most? That's the best.

    Of course it's about popularity. I make no apology for that. What I'd say from my position of having seen every single set of nominations, though, is that I think people will genuinely, hand on heart, be surprised by the shortlists. In a really, really good way.

  7. I haven't been nominated, but then i honestly didn't expect to with all the fantastic blogs that are out there. This however does not stop me from being happy to see some of my favourite blogs get nominations and have a look when one gets nominated that I do not already read.

    Sandy is right competition is a part of life and there will always be winners and those who don't win, but I believe competition is good for us all, it pushes us to try harder, be better.

    I have still to nominate too there are so many good blogs out there, its lovely for them to get some recognition. So I say well done to the Mads and congratulations Sandy on your nominations.

  8. I just went to have a nosy at the nominated blogs and couldn't believe it when I saw my little blog nominated in the photography category!! I know it was probably just one single person nominating me but I am seriously overwhelmed. I never really considered myself as a mummy blogger just a mummy with a blog (although I love following and getting involved in the discussions on proper mummy blogs) so this is really cool!

    I have followed lots of the posts that have expressed concern at these awards and must say everyone so far seems to be taking them in the way they were intended (I presume) as a bit of fun. To me blogging is a personal thing - like an online diary - which you'd like to share with others but I doubt there is one person out there who doesn't get a little tingle of excitement at a new follower or a lovely comment.

  9. Sally, I've just read my post back and I think it reads a bit too much like I'm against competition and the MADs. I'm not. I was just trying to write with a bit of balance (fence-sitting) and see things from both sides. You know I think the MADs are a great idea and definitely a celebration of MAD blogs. x

    Tim, you've summed it up there with ' it's competition, yes, but in the nicest possible way!'.

    It's a Mummy's Life, thank you. How sad that people give up blogging because they don't like competition. You really don't have to get involved with that side of blogging. More than anything I enjoy writing and the friendships I've made. I wouldn't want that to stop. x

    The Mad House, I understand where you're coming from on the self-esteem issue, but my advice would be to not take it too seriously. I held back with giving my opinion as I wanted to see what other people thought. I agree with Sally that a public vote is the fairest way to decide the winners.

    Very Bored, I feel exactly the same. I am genuinely happy just to be nominated. Can't wait to see who the finalists are!

  10. Lorraine, I would have thought that your husband would have nominated you? Give him a nudge! ;-) You're so right about competition pushes us to try harder to be better. Well said. It is lovely for bloggers to get some recognition x

    Photo Puddle, I wasn't surprised to see you there! I think most of us are parents who happen to have a blog. I don't only write about my children, but they are a huge part of my life. You're right, the MADs are fun x

  11. I haven't voted yet either....I'm thinking very hard because there are so many people worthy and i want to make sure I vote correctly, in my opinion. Great post, and I liked reading the comments too. :0)

  12. I have already blogged about the MADs and what I think of them (all good, by the way) but wanted to say that you're quite right, competition is an unavoidable part of life!

  13. Chic Mama, I think there are still a few of us that haven't voted. Yes, some great comments x

    Baking Mad Mama, I've just added a link your lovely post, I knew I'd forget one! x


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