Friday, February 22, 2008

And the Award Goes To...

The thing about working at home doing a job you really enjoy is that there is no off switch. You walk by your computer (and I have one both upstairs and downstairs) and you think, "Oh, I'll just take a second to 1) check email, 2) do a little research 3) start writing something, 4) see if anybody's responded to what I wrote last..." And the next thing you know it's two hours later. The job's supposed to be part time, which is what I get paid for. But it's pretty much not. I think I need to learn to set boundaries.

It's fun, though. Rewarding. I've always wanted to write for an audience, ever since I was little, and blogging is very immediate. You write something, hit publish, and get almost immediate feedback from your readers. I enjoy it immensely.

And now somehow I have become an "Award-Winning Blogger." I somehow picked up the "Editor's Choice Best Blogger" Award from a big English soccer site. One of my co-workers picked up the "Reader's Choice Best Blogger."

What's the difference? you ask. Well, the editor behind "Editor's Choice" offered up the following explanation for why I'm the editor's choice even though my co-worker took the popular vote. It makes both of us laugh uncontrollably.

With due respect to [other writer], football’s also about entertainment. [Other writer] is perhaps the better writer but when Laurie writes she entertains; and that is even rarer in football and blogging.

So essentially he's not entertaining and I can't write. Giggle. And the award for best backhanded compliment goes to...

I shouldn't make fun, though. It's been fun, this experience. I was startled to be nominated, given all the quality out there, and equally startled, not to mention grateful, to be recognized. I'm just a soccer mom who loves to write, and who happened to get in on the ground floor of an enterprise that then exploded.

Our overall soccer site cleaned up with the awards too, taking home four or five other awards, three for the overall site and two for other writers. What's funny is that I've been around from the beginning and seen it grow from nothing, and the part of me that watched the birth wants to say, "But...but...wait! do you know what kind of makeshift site we really are?"

Except now we're not. Now we're huge. Probably one of the biggest soccer sites in the country. Our two sister sites (both of which I write for) and all of their auxiliary blogs had 1.25 million page views last month. One point two five million.

Do you know how many that is? I don't. I can't wrap my mind around the number.

The best part of the award thing for me is that I've created the job of MLS (US league) editor for myself, which involves staffing up all of the team blogs. The day after the awards were announced I put up a request for volunteer bloggers to fill the unmanned sites. I had all five vacancies filled within two days.

It's not so bad writing for an award-winning blog.