Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Backlash to the (Bammy) Backlash - Respect

The Bammy Awards have generated a lot of discussion online these days.

Pernille's post was spot on and very thoughtful (some of the comments maybe not so much).
I had my own $0.02 to put in.
There were the awards posts, the humorous posts, open letters, and the acceptance speech never to be said...

I think the Bammys has a lot of potential, merit, and great intentions behind it. I was honored to be nominated, happy to attend, and appreciate the efforts of all those who worked to put it on. 

There is a lot of Bammy-related blogging & tweeting going on surrounding the comedienne, Finland, politics, the rational of "red carpeting" teachers, and son on.  Those areas aren't really my thing. Every event will have highs and lows interpreted in different ways by different people. Every event will have champions & naysayers.

As I said, I think the Bammys are a great concept but had some flaws in execution. Those aspects of the execution that stood out to me I felt I should mention. I hope those comments are taken constructively, they were in no way meant to diminish the intentions, work & effort of the organizers, nominees, and winners.

The backlash, however, has impressed me. Yes, there have been a lot of comments about why there needs to be an award ceremony. The merits or honoring teachers in such a public way. The Klout-y-ness (to coin a term) of the voting, and so on. That’s the expected backlash. That’s not what has impressed me.

What has impressed me is the willingness of the organizers to address concerns in various blog comments. I’ve been impressed by the openness and level of conversation they are engaging in. As we all know, the wilds of blog commenting isn’t always the friendliest of places. The Executive Producer, Errol St. Clair Smith, has responded to many posts with poise and temperament. His reasons & explanations may not have sat well with all commenters but they fact he was/is willing to engage says a lot. In addition, he isn’t hitting & running, dropping a single comment and disappearing. On Pernille’s blog in particular he has commented multiple times to address & readdress various points.  

In one comment Errol invoked Lombardi and said, to paraphrase, “... praise in public, critique in private.” In this day and age, with so much being public, including the live-stream of the event itself, it is only fitting both the praise and critiques are public. What is truly impressive are the individuals like Errol who are willing to engage publicly & professionally and address all the comments & critiques alike.

It means a lot to have organizers constructively engaging those of us who have had criticisms. I truly hope the event can learn & grow from this experience and improve in the years to come...

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