I'll start with the happy stuff: lots of good things happening around the Blogosphere today! Elana and Jen have great contests to win awesome books; the talented Crystal Cook is doing an art giveaway and Melissa is holding Harry Potter Giveaway!
So. Why am I annoyed, when there's so much coolness going on? Let me begin by professing that I hold The Guardian in high esteem. Even before I moved to London, it seemed the very pinnacle of leftist idealism -- all shiny happy socialism and such.
But it has angered me now in its very attempt to be alternative.
You might have heard of a little thing in the literary world called The Man Booker Prize. The Guardian Books Blog launched its own prize cleverly entitled The Not The Man Booker Prizer, encourging readers to vote for its long-list. I was thrilled to see a few books on the long-list that I'd read and enjoyed and promptly scooted over to vote. Only to be told the next day... sorry! My vote didn't count, because authors on the long-list had used social media to encourage people to vote and it wasn't 'fair'. But hey, don't worry, the editors here have chosen their own short-list as well!
Hello Guardian Books BLOG! Did you think authors wouldn't use social media to get votes? We're encouraged time and again to use our social connections to leverage our books. Why should we then be penalised for doing just that? Democracy, in this day and age, is just as much about motivating people to go out and vote as it is about the vote itself -- look at how Obama got voters out in the last election. Why shouldn't authors employ those same tactics?
OK! Rant over.
What do you think? Are prizes like these ones just becoming popularity contests? Should authors use social media to get votes?
(Thanks to the most recent sign-ups to my Blogsplash: Sarah Wedgbrow; Caroline Smailes; Trashionista; Samantha Verant; Gardner West; and Mina Joshi.)