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29 December 2012

Liebster Blog Award

Early in December, fellow blogger Randy Nishimura honored me by nominating my Constructive Thoughts blog for the Liebster Award. "How cool!" I thought. "It's nice to know someone actually reads what I write!" Being a specifier, I know how rarely that happens, and the relatively few responses to the hundreds of articles I have written suggests those articles don't fare much better.

The thrill quickly dissipated as I read the description of the award; it's for bloggers with fewer than 200 followers.
The upside is, though my blog is relatively unknown, someone thinks it might be worth reading.
The statistical tools available for websites give a little better idea of how many people at least look at my blog posts. Suffice it to say, mine have not gone viral. I have only twenty followers, but the statistics show I have many more readers. The number varies greatly, depending in large part on how it is publicized, something I'm not good at. Posting a notice on LinkedIn about a recent article brings in more traffic, and a link in the CSI Leader always is followed by a spike in page views.

Randy's blog post included some information about the Liebster award, but, specifier that I am, I had to learn more about it. As I tracked backwards from his nomination, I found several variations with different requirements. Eventually, the rules seemed to stabilize at these:
  • Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog. Thanks, Randy!
  • Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
  • Copy & paste the award to your blog.
  • Nominate 5 blogs that you enjoy to receive the award who have less than 200 followers.
  • Inform them of their nomination by leaving a comment on their blog.
These rules are much simpler than those Randy passed on, which included responding to a list of questions asked by the person making the award. However, in fairness to Randy, I'll respond to his questions.
  1. Do you have ambitions for your blog? If so, what are they? Continuing the ambitions for the articles I have written for more than twenty years, I hope they are useful and used.
  2. Where would you live if you could live anywhere you wanted on Earth? So many choices, and I have seen but a few! In the end, proximity to my family is the most important criterion.
  3. Imagine you’ve won the lottery. If you had to nominate one charity to inherit your largesse, what would it be? Again, so many choices! Our current favorite charity is Hope Academy in Minneapolis. Hope is a privately funded school that provides a safe education - and hope - to inner-city kids.
  4. What is your favorite example of architecture? I love arches, so it's tough to decide between Roman and Gothic. The Romans took the arch and built an empire; Gothic cathedrals are a perfect expression of structure, making a megaton structure look as if it could float away.
  5. What excites you most? At my age, waking up is pretty good.
  6. If you could change one thing about the city or town in which you live, what would it be? I would add a couple of good restaurants.
  7. Are you a glass half-full or half-empty person? I'm a glass is twice as big as it needs to be person.
  8. What advice do you have for the young people in your profession? You didn't learn everything you need to know in school. Those contractors have a lot of practical knowledge you lack.
  9. Has technology changed your life for better or worse? Definitely for the better. As a sci-fi reader, I appreciate the marvels, but I am able to ignore those things that are done simply because they can be done.
  10. What’s the first item on your wish list? After the family is taken care of, more travel.
  11. Do you make and keep New Year’s resolutions? I'm sure I made resolutions at one time, but the only one I remember - the last one - was to quit smoking, New Year's Eve, 1971. I did it!
And now for my nominations. The envelope, please!

After seeing the various ways this award has been made, I'll deviate a bit from the rules. I don't know how many followers my nominees have; I hope I don't offend anyone who has hundreds of followers!
The next nominees don't have blogs, but they should; encourage them!
Finally, visit Randy's blog post with his nominations for the Liebster Award, all but one of which I had been following.

Happy New Year to all!

© 2013, Sheldon Wolfe, RA, FCSI, CCS, CCCA, CSC


  1. I appreciate the honor given to

    I am concerned, however, that the concept behind the Liebster Blog is Award impractical. Consider the math:

    If each award recipient honors the commitment to nominate 5 other blogs, and does so within 10 days of receiving the award, there would be, within the first year, 5 raised to the 35.5 power = 3.2539072e+25 awards given. This is a a quantity that exceeds by orders of magnitude a reasonable estimate of blogs around the world, 1.81e7, tracked by Nielsen/McKinsey. (

    In addition to being clear, complete, and concise, I also aim for constructability. A decision to participate in a "chain letter" of any type can only be founded on the assumption that the instructions will not be followed by all the recipients.

    And if I wanted my instructions to be ignored, I would write construction specifications. ;-(


    Still, I will list some of the blogs I follow: -- I write it. -- the brave new world of digital fabrication and composite materials

    Many science blogs: I don't remember their names because they automatically load to my igoogle home page.

    Beyond that, I love the surprise of wandering through the internet, with one idea leading to another.

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  3. Michael: I thought the same thing about the Liebster Blog "Award" when I received it; I was somewhat hesitant to pass it along because it smelled like a chain letter to me too. I do think the intentions of the award are genuine.

    Thanks for your calculation of how the logarithmic proliferation of the award, if played out, would exceed "constructability." Good one!

  4. I'm glad you stuck to a New Year's resolution. I make them and break them sometimes. It's a bad habit.
    Bright and Shiny