Liebster Blog Award: This Time I Try to Respond in a More Normal Way

It happened again – I have been bestowed a blog award despite the way I handled my last nomination.

This time I will respond in a different way. I – the Subversive El(k)ement – will adhere to the rules!

Geeks, please bear with me though! I still think that blog awards are just ridiculous chain letter Ponzi schemes. But I found a loophole I am going to exploit.

I am using the standard template although I abhor templates in general (in particular faulty, nearly corrupt MS Winword templates migrated from platform to platform since MS Office 2.0. But I digress).

Information to my nominees: The template text is formatted as bold.

What is it?
The Liebster Award is designed to bring recognition to smaller blogs–that is, blogs with 200 or fewer followers.

And this is related to the attack vector as we hackers say, or the loophole: I have discovered many blogs, followed them enthusiastically, and lost them again. Blogs ran dry and faded away. People simply stop blogging. We need more new blogs with few followers to compensate for that.

Thus the rough estimate on exponential growth – incomplete it was. <– This is Yoda speak, I am trying to geek-up this post, compensating for following the rules so strictly.

I did not factor in a medium blog-die-out rate! We would need to run a numerical computer model to simulate the behavior of the blogosphere in order to analyze how many blogs to nominate for an award in order to compensate for the termination of others. Ignorance is bliss – therefore I simply nominate as many as required by the rules … and I don’t feel like creating an expontentially growing avalanche.


The Rules
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog

Thanks a lot Kristen for the nomination! To my readers: Please go visit her blog :-) If my authoritative endorsement (remember, I reviewed the world’s first spam poetry book) does not convince you, this is how Kristen describes her blog in her acceptance speech:

“… often I feel my blog is sometimes a teenage-esque angsty diatribe bordering on diary that is only looked at by myself and other angsty people (statistics show that I’m on the first page of google results when you search ‘letter to an ex-boyfriend’) and people from all over the world who google search ’cool photoshopped pictures.’ That one’s fun because I’m apparently linked on some Russian Website for my edited picture of ‘Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima.’ Go figure.”

So Im honored that the author of these sentences picked my blog. And of course I quoted them because I hope for terrific Search Term Poetry.


2. Post 11 facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions asked of you, and create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate.

I add both my responses as well as the new questions for my nominees below, after the section 5.


3. Nominate 11 blogs you think deserve to be noticed, and leave comments for them letting them know they’ve been chosen.

I have picked 11 blogs that I have followed for a while and that have less than 200 followers (as this blog. More precisely, you had less than 200 when I started compiling the list a few days ago. If your number of followers has inflated since then I expect you to repent in public and return the award).

These are my nominees, in no particular order. Blogs marked with (*) had already been featured on my recent Bloggiversary.

postmoderndonkey – The carnival of instability in language, thought and audience. (*)
Poetry, stories, and other postmodern stuff entangled with a down-to-earth Zenvironmental journey.

From the Broom Closet – Broom closet: a narrow space to store lengthy items. I’ll try and keep my posts to a reasonable size though.
The broom closed is stuffed to the ceiling with sophisticated philosophy and honest, opinionated posts.

Duck? Starfish? but…23 – one rock at a time (*)
The authoritative blog on distant learning before MOOCs have become a hype – and the most beautiful images of Newfoundland.

nebusresearch – Joseph Nebus’s work in progress.
Fine mathematics and history of science. Checkout out Joseph’s Humor blog, too.

carnotcycle – the classical blog on thermodynamics (*)
Original historical papers on thermodynamics expounded in a comprehensible and entertaining way.

I really Just Pretend to Know Stuff – I digress
As weird as it sounds. I am considering to write a Weird Manifesto on Why the World Should Worship Wonderfully Weird Writing – this is my showcase!

Play – Stories and Photos from the Southern Saskachewan Prairie (*)
… and basically: The Life, the Universe and Everything, analyzed from 1000 angles: Geeky, literary, philosophical.

weeklybraindump – A quasi-weekly braindump with no particular thematic unity
Education, philosophy, ethics, and again Life, the Universe and Everything. And another denier of chain-letter style blog award propagation :-)

Many Worlds Theory  – In one universe, this blog is about quantum mechanics. In another universe, it is not. (*)
In the universe the wave function is collapsing onto right now this is a first-class blog on physics. And Matt Damon. Sometimes.
(I plagiarized myself here, sorry.)

The Unemployed Philosopher’s Blog – Just because you’re unemployed, it doesn’t mean that you’re out of work (*)
The geekiest blog on philosophy. Both very entertaining and useful for graduates in the humanities.
(Is this tag-backing? Dan has once nominated me for the Reader Appreciation Award. Is is tagging others bloggers “back in the award chain that bind these bloggers to your blog”?)

Science Mentor – Step-by-step Guide to “Self-Mentoring” for the Science Professional
I wish a blog like this would have been available when I graduated. You should follow her on Twitter as well!


4. Display the Liebster Award logo.

I am linking to Kristen’s image in order to avoid mutation. It looks a bit washed out already, doesn’t it?

An image search for Liebster Award brings up a lot of images that do not really resemble each other.

The linguistically inclined among you might be interested in the fact that liebster in German means dearest. Or was this the whole point of the name and you all knew this, and I am looking like a fool now? Googling for “liebster dearest award” seems to corroborate that hypothesis. Did it spread from Germany to the whole world?

Or was Ms. Liebster a Victorian poet perhaps and the award started out by circulating steampunk-style silver-and-brass-plates?

5. No tag-backs.

Looking even more like a fool –  I was not able to find out exactly what tag-backs are. No, really!!

2.a 11 Things About Me

1. I don’t know what tag-backs are.

2. Nevertheless, I pretend to be geeky.

3. I have an old-school BlackBerry-style (even worse: Windows Mobile BlackBerry style smartphone) as I don’t like to touch screens.

4. Still I pretend to be geeky. (I said that already, right? Is this cheating? So I better add:) I like to make and bend the rules as a go – whatever rules are concerned.

5. I am probably applying or using tag-backs without being aware of it.

6. I don’t kill or repel rodents (on purpose). This was my utmost trauma.

7. So I plugged off the microwave for some days after that has happened. After several days I did not care any more about rodents.

8. I am not mowing the lawn. I am scything it. And it is not a lawn.

9. I have written a single serious poem in my life. In German. It is published on one of my weird websites. I don’t add a link – my attempts to bait followers should not be that obvious.

10. Thinking once more, I’d like to state: I have published a single so-called serious poem to one of my German websites, but it might actually just be one of my geeky self-ironic attempts to imitate so-called poetry.

11.When asked to provide some facts about myself I do this in a very special way.

2.b My responses to Kristen’s Questions for the Nominees:

1. Why did you start blogging?
In order to answer question 2.b.1.

2. What’s something you could write about, in your opinion, better than many other people?
Spam Poetry and Search Term Poetry of course.

3. What’s been your hardest challenge thus far?
Reducing my consumption in coffee. Now it’s my turn to repent as I announced it publicly.

4. What is your dream job?
Scientific consultant for Hollywood science fiction movies. But I learned from Sean Carroll’s book The Particle at the End of the Universe that he did exactly that – so I am most likely not qualified.

5. What was a big decision you had to make, and would you choose something else knowing what you know now?
Succumbing to the dark side of the force.

6. Who is your greatest inspiration?
Douglas Adams.

7. Who is your favorite writer or artist?
Douglas Adams.

8. What is your favorite song (or favorite song lyrics)?
It’s Slinky, It’s Slinky! For fun it’s the best of the toys

9. If you could intern anywhere or with anyone in the world, who would it be with?
The NSA.

10. What’s one of your favorite memories?
It’s in the – very near – future (Time travel is OK, isn’t it?): Tomorrow, Labour Day, 08:00 AM when I will be waked up by the local brass music band.

11. If there was one thing about politics you wish everyone would agree upon, what would it be and why?
Don’t panic.” Applies in particular to financial crises, bank runs – and the like. Issues that would not happen if nobody panicked.

2.c My Questions to the My Nominees:

Please correct my typos and other grammars without making me aware of them. If possible, hack my WP blog and correct them here as well.

1. (How) would you try to circumvent the rules set forth by the unknown founder of a blog award with an awkward pseudo-German name?

2. If you could re-design the rules for this award, what would you do?

3. What were the criteria for your choice of your WordPress blogging theme?

4. What is your favorite quote about science? (You can interpret science in a broad sense.)

5. If you need to compile lists of funny questions and answers, and you run out of quirky ideas – what would you do?

6. What is your favorite movie or story on time-travelling?

7. Have you ever been called a nerd or geek or have you called others nerds or geeks? Do you believe ‘nerd’ or ‘geek’ is a compliment or rather the opposite?

8. Have you ever written a book or do you plan to write one? If yes, what would it be about? In case, this is too personal: What would your book NOT be about?

9. Do you know what a tag-back is (without asking anybody and without using that advanced type of googling Elkement incapable of).

10. Did you really read this post word by word down to this line? (You may lie.)

11. A very personal question you do not need to answer: How much coffee / tea do you drink per day and does blogging or other writing has any impact on it?

23 Comments Add yours

  1. The Real Cie says:

    Reblogged this on The Cheese Whines and commented:
    I received a Liebster blog award. I appreciate it and am going to do it, all except for the nominating other blogs part. Elke explains much more intelligently than I can about why I also put in my sidebar a bit of text proclaiming my future non-acceptance of blog awards.
    Elke is a person with a very big brain in a normal sized head. I can only assume that her head and brain work on some sort of TARDIS principle for said head to contain said brain.
    For my own part, I think my brain looks a little bit like a dribble of burnt cheese which occurred during the making of a grilled cheese sandwich.

    1. elkement says:

      I am honored by this reblog! Readers who follow my blog because of its weirdness: you need to follow hers!

  2. M. Hatzel says:

    You’ve started a satiric trend here. It’s so wickedly awesome. I’ll post in a few days, I hope. Nasty cold today, so thinking is not working out very well for me. :)

    1. elkement says:

      Yes, the compliance rate of replies is very low so far :-D
      postmoderndonkey (pingbback below) has just “nominated all blogs everywhere regardless of orientation, quality or intent for the Liebster award.” and advised everybody to visit this mad tea party here.
      So finally I have achieved my goal: The Subversive Element followed the rule (once) and motivated anybody else to break them!

      1. M. Hatzel says:

        :) :) :) This in itself is sooooo award worthy!

    1. elkement says:

      Readers, please check out this reply – it is epic!!

  3. Thank-you Elke, for nominating me. As you know I enjoy both your blog (and yes, I am learning to love spam poetry) as well as your comments on mine, which are always insightful. Never one for the rules here are my replies and, yes, I know I’m breaking yours…and loving it. Answers:
    1. By answering right on the nominator’s page :>)
    2. I would make it such that the nominator had to gift each nominee with a plastic slinky.
    3. simplicity. I like 2010 very much for that reason.
    4. It’s a toss-up between one by Emerson and this one by Carl Sagan: It is the tension between creativity and skepticism that has produced the stunning and unexpected findings of science.
    5. Have some beer with friends–either way I win.
    6. Looper
    7. Depends on who’s saying it and how they say it. It’s always okay for one geek/nerd to call another one that way but for everyone else it’s probably not okay.
    8. Yes, many, but all textbooks and teachers’ guides. May write a piece of historical fiction in the next five years though.
    9. Never heard of it before today.
    10. Yes I did and i can prove it: I love D Adams too. See I had to read it all to know that.
    11. 1 coffee and maybe 2 teas. No–unrelated to blogging as I do that at night when I DO NOT drink coffee.

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks for replying directly here – another “interpretation” of the rules I did not even consider :-D
      I am really looking forward to your book on historical fiction … and I admire anybody who can resist the temptation of coffee!

      1. Hey who says I resist…and I was careful not to tell you how large the cup was :>) Just kidding, though, but I do have tea two and that’s not too far off coffee as far as caffeine is concerned.
        …and you didn’t ask me about Canadian Whisky either.

  4. Wow, I have never been nominated for a writing award before, not even a fake one, so thank you for the honor! I will be glad to accept the challenge this weekend when I get time to ponder your questions…

    1. elkement says:

      Looking forward for your scientific replies, Donna! I like your apt description of blog awards: “… a writing award before, not even a fake one … “.

  5. Geek on and blog on Elke. A most well deserved award and unique acceptance post. May you receive a spate of spammy comments to continue to weave your poety magic :)

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks, Judy for visiting – after your blogging marathon!! The number of spam comments in my queue is increasing exponentially – developing software that allows for filtering those for interesting ones (from the poet’s perspective) would be a unique business opportunity. I should try to find some investors! Oops, i should not discuss this in public!

      1. You never know there might be some spammy venture capitalist just looking for this opportunity!

  6. marksackler says:

    (I know, I’m such an award grinch)

  7. marksackler says:

    I am guessing a tagback would be nominating the person who just nominated you. And at 11 new nominations per award recipient, every living person on earth would have received this3 times after just 10 iterations. :P

    1. elkement says:

      But I developed a new theory in this post: Blogs are dying as people stop blogging. We need to factor this in and adapt the model of exponential growth with a decay / friction like term in the differential equation of the blogosphere!

    2. elkement says:

      Thanks for enlightening me about the tagback – so I can safely nominate somebody who has once nominated me for a different award (I guess :-))

      1. marksackler says:

        Whatever. It was just a guess. I could be completely wrong–it wouldn’t be the first time

        1. elkement says:

          I don’t care about the rules so much anyway! Will the Corporate Blog Award Quality Initiative Task Force Officer arrest me know if I did not follow the SOP? ;-)

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