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November 16, 2007

I have some bad news to share with the diabetes community.

I have decided to cancel this year’s Diabetes O.C. Blog Awards.

The reasons are varied, and I honestly wish I had made this decision before spending six hours putting together the nomination forms, but I suppose this is how it goes.

The main reason: I found out today that the service I used caps responses at 100 people. I can only have 100 nomination forms using the basic account. To get upgrade and receive 1000 responses, it would cost me $20 a month. With the awards going over a two month period, that’s $40.

Forty dollars of my own money going to something that I invented as a publicity stunt to spread the word throughout the diabetes community so that the magazines and forums would have a reason to link to the O.C. and we would get more traffic.

But I have to be honest: I hate the awards.

I think everyone hates them a little bit.

I hate spending hours crawling through the Directory, trying to sift out the old blogs and broken links.

I hate trying to figure out which categories people really fit in. Are they educational? Are they personal? Are the both? Aren’t we all educational? Aren’t we all personal? What about the types of diabetes that are too small to have their own category? Should have a special category for the three self-identified type 1.5 bloggers? Should I put them in Type 2 because they use metformin? Type 1 because they are on Lantus?

Yesterday, I said to Fran Kaufman, “I miss the good ole days when there were only two kinds of diabetes.”

I don’t know. And honestly, I don’t care anymore. The Diabetes O.C. doesn’t need awards. You’re all amazing and you all have dedicated readers. You don’t need to see an icon on the side of a blog that says “Best Female Blogger” to know whether or not you should read someone.

I hate that these awards make people feel bad because they think they have no chance of being nominated. That wasn’t why I started them, but that’s always the con to doing awards.

There are far better ways.

Take look at the Directory. I have it broken down into specific categories to help you find who you are looking for. Do some link-hopping. See a comment and what to know who the person is? Click on their name. You never know what great new blogs you’ll discover. Do you have a blog and you want someone to notice you? Start commenting. When people see your name and a brief comment, they’ll want to know who this person is. Then you’ll start getting comments.

It’s the great circle of comments.

If you want to take over the awards, go for it. I’ll even give you the award icons that Gina created.

The awards don’t mean anything. I made them up. The greatest award, in my opinion, is knowing that my blog is helping. And you show me that. Every day. If your blog has helped even just one person, you have the best blog. If you have met one new blogger who is changing your life for the better, they have the best blog. Because who knew, way back in 1997 when Dave Winer decided to string this code together, that blogs would be the impetus to a movement of patient-initiated education and support?

That’s kind of a miracle. And you’re part of it.

  1. November 16, 2007 1:36 PM

    I totally understand the decision, and I think this made sense when there were only a handful of us in the Diabetes OC and you were trying to establish this group. But today, this has become a large and vibrant community. Maintaining the database alone consumes a fair amount of time and effort on your part (and one I’d like to thank you for doing), but I also appreciate the complexity and technical issues with trying to capture the winners, and in some respects, I don’t think a popularity contest should be what this community should be all about.

  2. Allison permalink*
    November 16, 2007 1:40 PM

    Scott, I like how you can boil down my entire post into one paragraph… that’s quite a talent considering how wordy I can be!

  3. November 16, 2007 1:46 PM

    We all kind of have an idea of who the winner’s of the “popularity contest” would be. I think your sentiments are right on target. We are all winners and it is more about being in this together instead of divided by awards. The directory is enough of a job for you to undertake, so thank you for that!

  4. November 16, 2007 1:59 PM

    Allison, I appreciate your reasons for canceling. As the community has grown, placing everyone and their blog into an appropriate category and even compiling the list is almost impossible. Regardless, I think you deserve a heaping of credit for investing so many hours into building such a vibrant online community. Without your help organizing us, I don’t think we’d necessarily be here talking about the awards have run their paces. So… thank you. 🙂

  5. November 16, 2007 3:03 PM

    No worries. It’s completely understandable. Thanks for all the work that you do, regardless of whether that results in awards or not. YOU, my friend, deserve an award for keeping us somewhat organized!

    However, in lieu of awards, I have a fun idea that I might pitch to you. I’ll send you an email a little later. 🙂

  6. November 16, 2007 3:35 PM


    Well said.

    We’re all out here reaching out– telling our stories.

    Supporting one another.

    That’s all that matters, really.

    If anyone deserves an award, it’s you– for the tremendous amount of time and effort you’ve put into the growth of a truly amazing online community.


  7. Sara permalink
    November 16, 2007 3:54 PM

    And to think I was cleaning out the perfect space in my trophy room! 😉

    Totally understand Allison!

  8. November 16, 2007 3:59 PM

    I’m glad you canceled. I don’t know that I would have even voted, because like Jillian said, “We all know who would have won.” And, if that’s how it goes then I don’t see a reason for voting. Plus I hate popularity contests. 🙂 But I’m sure that they ran their course and had their purpose.

  9. November 16, 2007 4:28 PM

    As I said in my D-Blog Day post, it’s not about stats or awards. It’s about community. I am glad the awards are cancelled. Back to blogging for blogging’s sake.

  10. November 16, 2007 4:28 PM


    A strong, brave, and sensible decision. Even if I had voted for myself three times (only kidding).

    You’ve done a great job getting the diabetes O.C. going and I appreciate just how much work that is.

    I think that the folks that we help and the community that we build are far more important that the awards.

    Enjoy the weekend.

  11. November 16, 2007 5:03 PM

    Makes sense to me. Just finding your great list of the O.C. was enough to get me started, reading and meeting others.
    Thank you Allison!

  12. Allison permalink*
    November 16, 2007 5:10 PM

    Wow. I am a little bit so many people are happy that awards are canceled… I sure wish I thought of this last week! Sigh.

    Though I have to admit, I don’t feel like I contribute that much to making this community function… But maybe I just have a warped perception of what I do. ::shrug::

  13. November 16, 2007 7:53 PM

    Don’t sweat it Allison.

    I really wanted one until I was visited by mystic Praying Mantai. That is really all anyone really needs. LOL

    Nah seriously though, maybe we should do an award thing where every year it completely changes like, “best use of the “F” word”, and “coolest background” or maybe just maybe, “most likely to get stopped at airport security for carrying ninja stars.” I dunno. Maybe?

    *ignore last paragraph.

  14. Chris permalink
    November 16, 2007 9:26 PM

    I am beside myself on how grateful i am to you for even starting this DOC. Absolutely tremendous! Thanks. I feel a great loyalty to this community and have no idea what i would do with out you/them.
    People say Emma will never know what its like not to have diabetes (which breaks my heart), but i will never know what it is like not to have this support in my life.
    If i ever see you i will bring you the nicest trophy ever!

  15. November 16, 2007 9:46 PM

    I don’t think we need awards either, Allison. But I do appreciate all the hard work you had put into it.

    We are all here for each other – to learn, to make new friends, to communicate our feelings. No awards are needed for this. I am just happy to be here & have the opportunity to learn so much from so many people during the short time I’ve been blogging. I look forward to it everyday!

    Again, thanks for all your hard work on trying to do this! You’re great.

  16. November 17, 2007 1:06 AM

    Allison, we don’t need the awards any more. Look at this as parent training…..and acknowledge what a great job you have done. The kid (D OC) has grown up! You have been one hell of a great parent! Thank YOU!

  17. November 17, 2007 11:41 AM

    I don’t think we need the awards, either, really. No one blogs for the sake of awards, right? We’re all here to support each other and that is the most important part of all! Thanks for all you do for us!

  18. November 18, 2007 2:19 AM

    Hi Allison,

    Sorry I’m late to this game. My kids have soccer play-offs this weekend, so crazy-crazy. I’m glad you’ve dumped something that was just turning out to be burden on you. Thanks for the OC directory. I’ll take your advice to heart and go thank the Edelmans for their headline service, too.

    You’re the best. (There. I said it.)

    – AmyT

  19. November 18, 2007 7:47 AM

    I’m glad you cancelled it. Everyone has their own best way of doing things. It would’ve been hard for me to vote for a single blog anyway. Thanks for saving me from some anxiety 😉

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