Back in May, Boston Mamas was nominated by Nickelodeon/Parents Connect as Best Local (Parenting) Blog in Boston. And while initially I thought this was pretty awesome, I soon had some misgivings: Did I have the stomach to pester people daily for the two-month daily voting window (no)? Did I want to be responsible for the social fallout/discomfort between other contenders and mutual friends (absolutely not)? Wouldn’t it be more valuable to the user if a top picks list was created editorially instead of by vote (in my opinion, yes; see for example, Jennifer James’s recent 25 influential moms in the Twitterverse post)?
Once I engaged in the vote, however, it was hard not to finish what I had started. Plus, I believed that Boston Mamas should win. So I did what I could; putting out a weekly ask on Twitter and Facebook for friends and readers to vote (with my tail between my legs) and generally feeling troubled by the whole thing. I felt immense relief when the voting period was over; relentless self-promotion just isn't my thing.
On Monday I learned (via Twitter of all places) that Boston Mamas won the vote. And while at one level I was happy because I believed the site should win based on content and design, the feeling that resonated more strongly was one of gratitude. I felt grateful that people I’ve never met took the time out of their busy days to vote. I felt grateful that time-pressed bloggers such as Christy (More Than Mommy), Jennifer (Mom Bloggers Club), Melissa (Shoestring Magazine), Elizabeth (Busy Mom), Jackie (The Silver Whining), Danielle (That Danielle), Liz (Mom-101), Paige (Mudroom Boston), Lisa (Lisa Johnson Fitness), Amanda (Oh Amanda), April (Wicked Tasty Harvest), Carol (iRelaunch), and many, many others took the time to tweet the vote on Twitter...sometimes repeatedly. I felt grateful for countless friends and family who voted regularly and also shared the link on Facebook and asked their friends and families to vote via e-mail (especially my brother Jason, who went above and beyond the call of duty to remind people to vote).
In short, I felt grateful for my community. In the grand scheme of things, this contest is not a big deal; it's not achieving world peace or ceasing world hunger and there's no material gain to the accolade (in the way of cash or some other prize; I would have disclosed that at the outset if that were the case!). But the contest did serve as a conduit through which I saw the generosity and kindness of my community rise strongly. And that moved me.
This all may seem a tad long winded, but in these days where kind and generous acts often are overlooked or assumed, I wanted to take the time to say thank you again for your readership, friendship, and support. We rocked the vote together...there was no other way!
Finally, along with my congratulations to all of the other category winners, I wanted to call out in particular the well-deserved wins of my friends Sheri and Eli at Magic Beans, talented photographer, friend, and Boston Mamas contributing writer Kristin of Kristin Chalmers Photography, and the employment of my youth, Rancatore's Ice Cream.
And yes, I voted for all of these people regularly.