Sunday, September 5, 2010

Is it actually Fair?

Events like the BAT , no doubt , are a great source of inspiration-they actually help you recover from that writer's/blogger's block that you have been going through.Besides, you get to read the most amazingly wide variety of articles/stories/poems on the same prompt.The condition for putting up the post on the same day by everyone and the voting system seem to be just fair. But, is it actually fair? Let's see..

Though I , myself , am new to this BAT thing (have participated just twice!) but much before I joined it, I used to observe the scenario in this contest(Yes, I had all the time in the world to see what everyone had written and what kind of response they were getting!).Coming back to the point, I feel that there are little pools here in this contest (or in any other contest, for that matter). There are some veteran bloggers which remain confined to their own group.There's nothing wrong with it but when they've been blogging for such a long time and are almost adept at it, shouldn't they visit and encourage new bloggers? After all that is the very aim of such contests, right? Fine, not everyone would like to take up the responsibility of encouraging each new blogger but when someone has bothered to write an honest comment on their blog post, should not they be courteous enough to visit them in return and leave their genuine footprints-it hardly takes any time but leaves the other one with a great sense of fulfillment.This was about the judging thing but what irks me most is that while voting too, the system remains the same. They go through the posts of ONLY those whom they have known for quite some time.When they don't read all the posts, how can we expect the voting system to be fair? And it's not about just one or two bloggers, owing to my good observation powers, I know which one belongs to which pool (I wont take any names here!) and believe me, there are a number of them and thus the fairness of the system fails here. I am not writing this because I want to garner some votes for myself (I participate just for improving my writing and that's all).There are way more talented and deserving people who enrich this event but it irks me when some most deserving candidates are left out of the race just because they are new to the event or they don't belong to any particular pool of bloggers.

And what I was most shocked at,  was that a participant (again, I wont take any names) had given the link just in time before the entries for the event were to close but when I visited the post, it was BLANK .Obviously, he did post the entry later on by editing the same blank post. Of course it's okay to edit the post to make some changes after the submission, but submitting a completely blank post is the height of unfairness and thus I am forced to write this post.

Another thing that I have noticed is that, the new participants too believe that if they visit the FAMOUS bloggers and vote for them, it'll help them in getting noticed. Again, I have observed this many times ( I just can't help observing behavior of people!) .They visit their blog, say 'hi' , 'hello', 'nice post!' and thus vote for them, even if they haven't read their post properly, probably in the hope that they will visit them someday  or they'll be able to attract more blog followers. I just don't understand their strategy or motive behind participating but I, for one, make it a point to visit new bloggers even if I have to miss out on reading some posts by 'the so-called famous bloggers' and quite obviously I usually don't vote for them either because my vote will not make any difference to them(they already have a huge vote bank with them! ) but I try to vote for someone whom I want to encourage to write more and better and not just to make them win, because I know that even if one single vote is in your favor, you're a winner already .

So here's hoping that the system will get fairer with time - Marshal tries his best to keep the integrity of the system intact but ultimately the onus of maintaining the fairness of system falls upon the participants(democracy you see!). 



  1. There are very few people on this planet who are actually modest and fair.. Whatever you've mentioned above happens in every walks of our lives and it is really good that you have taken an initiative to talk about it. Nobody cares for beginners or the aspiring ones because people always do things that brings profit to them. Very few people do things selflessly but we can always hope that the situation was other way round.
    We have to be positive to make the right things happen and definitely on a brighter note there are people out there ready to help and encourage beginners; similarly, there might be such bloggers group too that cater to instigate the upcoming writers..:)

  2. wow i love ur honesty :)

    Well that's one reason I hardly participate unless I have the feel for the topic ....because for me writing is to improve myself not to compete....I have been in poetry since school but here i see people going abt writing styles of poetry where u can learn a form but there is no feel and i can never do so .... and what irks me is ppl go crazy to win and cry if they lose....i am like was it a booker's price? .....Neways each to it own.....if writing never improves u no point in it...if it does notin better.

  3. There's a popularity contest among bloggers? :O No.
    Anyway, I'm planning to enter the blogaton.

    Nice blog, btw. :)

  4. I never participated in online blogging competitions and ain't planning to do it for quite sometime now. One reason is that for me, Ideas, they take a very long time to materialize. Oh and yes, its not just in the contest zone, its everywhere on the blogosphere, that people follow a 'Hit and Run' policy on the comments section. Never do they care to read the whole post, but just advertise their blog.
    Most of us never care to drop back in to see if the author or some other fellow blogger has replied to our comment.
    Par kya karein... its a mean, mean world :)
    You keep your spirits high and continue the good work, personal efforts on everyone's part will make a change someday. Maybe from today itself.

  5. Hey Jaspreet.. Totally agree wit you. Voting I'm myself against the voting system and keep least hopes on winning. Only the comments that i receive on the posts get me going. I suggest they should hire judges to judge the event. I strongly think this Will give a fair chance to fresh bloggers. Anyways this is my first week wit BAT so lets see.

  6. u are talking about being fair !! dis voting stuff in blog is a very trivial thing.. do u think all dese award functions like filmfare and those reality shows are fair !! well nothing is fair.. well life itself is not fair..

  7. hey i absolutely agree with you. I've just participated thrice in BAT and have observed how people stick to their own groups and friends and don't bother to read everyone's posts. that's what put me off the whole thing a bit. Also, on one topic there are so many different genres and style of writing that come in that it becomes difficult to vote based on common criteria. for e.g. most people vote for posts which have a social msg or are highly emotional and that makes it unfair for other posts which are in a lighter vein or non-serious. so it kind of doesn't make sense. So basically the voting method just does not work very efficiently in my opinion. Not everyone gets the time to read every single entry and hence the voting activity becomes futile and pointless with popular bloggers winning all the time...

  8. Jaspreet , I would agree to every word of yours .. Yes , most of the times , a game of favoritism is played in front of our eyes , and we fret and fume , feeling helpless ... I myself used to pariticipate in lot of prompt-blog and contests ( of course to improve my writing ), but then over a period of time , I relaized that its just sort of business deal .. Many a times , fellow bloggers drop in , or going a step ahead , will follow you , expecting the numbers(of folowers) / words(honest comment for their nice one ! ) in return ...It pops up lot of question and at times anger on the unknown face ..

    And well coming to the BAT , although I have participated for about 4-5 times , there was once a time , I voted for one of my friend , who I felt genuinely wrote a good post , but then I hadn't , for others , because of lack of time . as I couldn't read so many of them . But from then on , I have decided that if I do vote it would be , by visiting every blog , otherwise no vote at all ..And I am sticking to that for past 3 BATs ..Though I am aware my one vote may make difference to someone , but still adhering to some principles is far more better than being a part of unfair game ..

  9. I landed on this post of urs , thru a common fren. Jaspreet i must say very deep n sorted observations , well that's the "cry of a amateur blogger" like me ,u have jotted down really nicely. I was thinking about the same past few days , as i dont participate in any competition , n it was my first time ;). courageous effort. and yea thanks for landing on my blog.

  10. @Jaspreet: I appreciate your honesty and audacity. You've voiced your vexation rather than choosing to sulk about it behind closed doors. Three possibilities to this post:
    1.Genuine appreciation
    2.Hypocritical feedback/draw flak
    3.Little or no response('Who cares?!' attitude)

    It's but human to seek attention! To stay in the rat race people go to any extent be it ass-kissing. Just because the world functions in certain way shouldn't put you off.Let's face it. If writing is what matters to you the most, just do that and forget about every other aspect! Remember all the great writers never had such platforms earlier.They gave their heart and soul and hence are where they ought to be.Chetan Bhagath is a hit with masses(though he is an average writer wrt literary skills). Why he is successful? It's the 'fire' in him and 'marketing' strategist that he is(instilled by IIT & IIM lifestyle perhaps)that's taking him places. 'Selling' is the order of the day and all these platforms help sell your work albeit any fiscal transaction(in some cases). So let the world function in its way and you stick to your style ;) :) :)

    Give it your best shot. Sooner or later appreciation will come your way.(You = generic not specifically you) :)

    Stay put. Don't be bogged down. 'Results' should not deter you :) Keep writing. Keep smiling :)

  11. PS: I do agree that the 'new comers' have to put up with their share of struggles. Recognition doesn't come easy sweetheart. One has to 'earn' it over a period of time. Instant recognition is a matter of LUCK isn't it? :) I had similar perspective earlier whereas now, I look at it differently :) :) Cheers! Take Care.

  12. @All: Thank you all for sharing your views here...I think most of us do agree with the fact that system is not completely fair.But we must do , whatever , on our part we can and we can just hope that things will get better soon.

    @Raksha: Thanks Raksha :)
    Very true, if writing is what matters , then one should keep on writing without bothering about any other aspect.But apart from a writer, there is a thinker /observer in everyone who just can't sit quietly and remain a mute spectator to fair/unfair things happening around-writing a post voicing one's (and probably many others too) opinion is the least one can do, isn't it?
    Yes i agree, results should not bog us down and what matters most is that you are satisfied with what you've done.Winning should not be the ultimate aim-i have seen people who get so bogged down if they lose by one or two votes.

    And yes of course, one has to 'earn' recognition over a period of time and this was one of the motives behind writing this post- quality speaks for itself, one does not have to get noticed by visiting the 'famous' bloggers.
    But we obviously can't change their attitude, we can only change our perspective of looking at things or at the most we can write and comment on such posts , right? ;)

  13. Hey very honest post I say! You said everything I wanted to say! Each and every time i come up with something other dont do and some sentimental post which makes people use a tissue wins it. Earlier I used visit everyone's blog and comment like that only to get "nice post...Great post visit mine" comments. Do they really mean anything. This really pissed me off.

    Thats why Nowadays I dont even vote. I dont even see who wins it. I just write a post and put it up and visit people who comment on my space. And I dont leave stupid comments like "Nice post, great post" I honestly put up what i feel.

    To be Honest this BAT has been one of the dullest I just cant read many of the posts. I've read only 4 this time. Why do every other post have to be a melodrama!

    I found your comment on my blog genuine that is why i visited your Images blog and comment your RETURN post :-) I like the way you go about things please dont change!

  14. And this time I will vote for some post I've read. It may be bad or good I doing that!

  15. @Venky:Thanks for dropping by and for leaving your footprints :)
    Sure, I too wouldn't want to change!
    Well go ahead! Vote for whosoever you think is deserving and who you think can do better:)

  16. I think you should actually read this entry by Karthik

    This actually changed my mind havent seen anything like it before! May you get the pleasure that i derived!

  17. Very brave of you to post such candid comments, Jaspreet. The problem is there are too many writers and too few readers on such contests. When I buy a book and read it, I read it to enjoy or get enriched by the writing and not as a favor to the author so that he reads my works. As a writer, I don't need money but genuine readers who really enjoy my works or find it enriching and honest criticism if my work did not turn out worth enjoyable or enriching. But most comments leave you feeling that people only read as a favor to you so that you read theirs. But I wonder what is the solution to get genuine readers. Honestly, except for a few writers of who I have become a fan, I also find it tiresome to read 60 odd posts and leave stony comments of encouragment on those I do not relate to. But I can't know beforehand which of them would turn out real good and after reading I can't criticize people without being sure how they would take it.

  18. Who better person to ask, other than me; there were two spammers on a MASS marketing spree of their blogpost all over the blogosphere for a contest on Indiblogger, And I just asked my friends to do it for me! Come on that's fair, friends can be tortured (Read:spammed)! And thanks to them I won! :D

    I am not against such contests, they give you something to write about when you have nothing in your mind! But there has to be a limit to everything!

    PS - Thanks Jas for the comment, vote and the follow. :)

  19. @The fool:Exactly! nothing satisfies a blogger/writer more than honest appreciation/criticism does. I know it's really difficult to visit each and every post and that's why I have mentioned in the post that I try to visit max new bloggers( even I ,myself, am new to this world of blogging) because a few words of encouragement do matter.
    And as far as criticizing is concerned, some people are really touchy in this matter infact some of them have already taken offense to this post when I didn't really intend to !..the aim was just to share what I actually feel about these contests and I am glad that many people have come forward to share their opinion.

  20. @Sourav:Hehe...sure friends can be tortured and congrats for the win! :)
    Even I am not against such contests but the point is that system of voting by fellow bloggers is not completely fair.

    I really like your blog-I have read a few of your honest posts! and thus I had to follow :)

    Vote! which vote? which contest? I didn't vote for you or for anyone else, for that matter :P

  21. @Jaspreet: I do suggest you try INDIBLOGGER once and you'll know how much 'fair' the system is!The whole voting system in itself is a major FLAW. I doubt people don't even 'VISIT' the page let alone 'READ' the post! Hypocrisy at its best!'Warm smile in front of you and laugh at your back' is the order of the day it seems!

    It's sad that we are living in times where one is treated for not their true worth but rather for their ability to politicize each and every situation at hand! And the whole 'junta ka vote' being the latest trend globally, people are judged less by their individuality but more for their capability to be a part of the 'VOTING BANK'! Sad but true.

    @The Fool: Well said! :) Appreciate your take on it.

  22. @Raksha:I have been hearing a lot about the unfairness prevalent in this INDIBlOGGER thing...will visit their website soon to see what it actually is! m really curious now :P
    And the 'voting bank' thing is just so true...i think in this case, the Weblog's system is quite fair..they have separate weightage for each vote and somewhat higher weightage for the judge's vote.

  23. he he heeheh NICELY done ... loved it you have written in a better way then what i wrote.. indeed This is the competetion .. it seems to happen on all contests .. I am not saying voting is bad , but that doesnot make a fair choice..

    even the judges who are educated they make mistakes like in a competition which was suppsoed to be the best a article won where they said tiger is the king of the jungle, it was an article on TIGERS .. and it won , NO matter how good the article is but a mistake a blunder like this shows the opposite..

    All that happenes is that the name and fame of such compitetions suffers and even though small it hurts in the long run .. so all those who arrange such contests shud be FAIR to everyone and this new trend of votes doesnot seem to be working .. at alll

    but i like this idea of posting jsut before the time is up :)