My Thoughts on The Cosmo Blog Awards – And The Disappointing Reality of Their Judging Process

katyCosmo, Cosmoblogawards9 Comments

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Last night I attended the annual Cosmo blog awards – the awards are in association with Cosmopolitan magazine and are designed (in theory at least) to celebrate the best of blogging. In the run up to the awards, bloggers who enter are encouraged to drum up votes using #cosmoblogawards and from there, a shortlist is compiled.

So far so good.

Last night the event was held at No.1 Marylebone, there were some fantastic bloggers in attendance, it was clear that everyone had made great efforts to attend and online, prior to the awards, promote them on social media and create a buzz around the event.

I spent the evening with some great girls who had also been shortlisted in the sex & relationship category – both highly skilled bloggers who are committed to keeping their blogs fresh, current and relevant to the subject which they had been shortlisted.

When it came round the awards themselves everyone was encouraged to gather round a stage where the winners were announced.

I didn’t win but, before  you shoot me down for ‘sour grapes’, (which incidentally this isn’t a case of – I have been highly commended in these awards before and can confirm that, aside from the ‘glory’ you get no recognition past the actual awards night – the Cosmo twitter account didn’t even follow me on twitter! So I certainly wasn’t relying on a second win to ‘boost’ my profile) Let me explain what I felt most let down by.

After the winners were announced I wanted to speak to a Cosmo representative – there were three members of staff there and I asked them how they judge the bloggers. The response was that the winners are chosen purely on votes, that the blogs aren’t read past the first page ‘to verify they should be in the category that they say they are’ when I questioned this I was told that they couldn’t possibly read all the blogs because they’d ‘be there forever!’

When I questioned this and pointed out that in their terms and conditions it said that the shortlisted blogs were chosen half through votes and half through a panel, they replied saying that that had been the case in the past but wasn’t now – that, this year, it had been 100% voters choice.

hmmm.

So let’s get this straight, Cosmo are running blog awards where they don’t actually read the blogs.

The winners are chosen solely on how many votes they get, i.e. how much they hashtag cosmoblogawards and promote the award. Because, let’s be honest, aren’t awards based purely on votes about promotion rather than merit.

It makes no sense to me and think it does all the bloggers who put so much hard work and time into their blogs a massive disservice.

I should state that those who won were no less deserving than those that didn’t and that my gripe has nothing to do with the individuals selected, it is about Cosmo basically using the blog awards for click bait – to promote their brand through the hard work and commitment of bloggers without even bother to properly read their blogs.

I left the awards feeling disappointed and let down, bloggers are all too often under-valued, under-recognised (and under paid!!) to find out that a brand who promotes itself as supporting the blogging community are using them to promote themselves left me disheartened and angry – and makes the awards a complete circus.

The blogs who won should feel proud of their achievement but those who didn’t should know that hey, it’s not personal – nobody even bothered to read your blog.

katyMy Thoughts on The Cosmo Blog Awards – And The Disappointing Reality of Their Judging Process

9 Comments on “My Thoughts on The Cosmo Blog Awards – And The Disappointing Reality of Their Judging Process”

  1. Kellie

    This has always been my issue with Blog Awards, and I too have been a finalist in the Cosmo Blog awards, many years ago. After that night, I never asked for votes or nominations again. Basically it is the magazines that gain from this, the bloggers don’t gain a thing, the magazine gets extra hits on its site, making THEM look more attractive. When I was shortlisted i didn’t find i got extra traffic or mentions at all.

    Blog awards like this PURELY benefit the magazines running them.

    1. katy

      absolutely, I couldn’t agree more – and to add insult by not even bothering to read the blogs just infuriated me, I shouldn’t be surprised I guess but just wish they were a bit more transparent about how little involvement they actually have!

  2. Jayne Kitsch

    Well done for writing this Katy, no doubt you will get some backlash from it. I know lots of people will agree with you that there are a few blog awards that have become more about the click bait and the promotion than anything to do with bloggers themselves. Thank you for writing this and confirming that those thoughts are right. Sorry that your evening was disappointing!

    1. katy

      I just find it so depressing because bloggers put So much time, care and energy into their blogs – needless to say i won’t be entering next year!

  3. Natasha

    Hi Katy, (this is a long one!!!) I’m just reading your post now having read some general comments over on twitter, some of which I felt were a bit negative and a bit personal about the winners and highly commended bloggers and actually didn’t really do justice to what you’ve actually written about here. Anyway that aside, your post is brilliantly put and you argue the case well. Awards are such nebulous things! Those who give out awards are no doubt getting much more back than those who receive them. Recently, I was lucky enough to be a judge for the Bloggers’ Lounge blogging comp (they invited me to be one, after winning last year.) I can honestly say that every blog that I was given to judge, I read inside out and I loved doing it. As a blogger I was so conscious of giving everyone a fair shot and really appreciating all their efforts and reading a good selection of their posts and also only judging just their blogs and not anything else ie social media etc. And because the BL are all about championing bloggers, they want to make the process fair and to give a sense of achievement to the entrants. I’m not surprised for one moment that Cosmo did what they did. And with all the awards ceremonies across all blogging genres, I’m sure they are not alone. It doesn’t mean the people who won are any less deserving (but in slating the process I think there is an element of that creeping in unwittingly!) , but it does mean that blogs are not being judged on their blogging virtues (ie how they look, good, well-written content, good engagement) but being judged on how many votes a blogger can conjure up. I would love to see more awards where bloggers are voted in by their communities but then properly judged by a panel of experts on their blogging talents. Cosmo did do this last year when they had some big named panellists, however now that has clearly changed, it was really misleading of them to make out that bloggers were being assessed by other criteria, as well as their voting power. This year cosmo also upped the finalists of each category to ten, when last year it was only five. I guess to again increase their exposure. Good for you for challenging their process and their transparency and good for the winners who have obviously got a good enough following that they can harness the votes. They must be doing something right! But not winning does not mean that your blog isn’t ace, either. That is a fact!

  4. Phoebe

    It annoyed me on the night, that they seemed to totally give up on the social media and only mentioned about 2 winners??

    1. katy

      I didn’t notice that but it doesn’t surprise me! They barely mentioned it on social media in the run up to it and there actually presence of cosmo representatives on the night was pretty thin on the ground

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