As i'm sure you're all aware by now, Bloody Disgusting recently kicked off a Horror Blogger Awards poll, designed to find and crown the horror blogger of the year. Though it's only been a few days, this poll has already shown serious signs of failure. The horror blogger of the year is not being found, what is being found is the horror blogger who can convince the most people to vote for him - and that quite frankly defeats the whole purpose of this thing.
Now before I go any further, I want to make a few things clear. This is not me being mad or upset that i'm not in the lead in Bloody Disgusting's poll. No, not at all. I quite frankly don't care about that and I didn't even vote for myself. What this is is me being mad and upset that a deserving horror blogger is not in the lead. I don't care about winning, I don't feel as if I should win, but I do absolutely feel that the blogger who has the best blog deserves to win. Isn't that the whole goal of the award? There's literally dozens of bloggers nominated in this poll who pour so much time and energy into their blogs and continually produce great and original content, day after day, week after week, and in some cases even year after year. These are the bloggers that Bloody Disgusting is trying to honor with this awards ceremony and these are the bloggers that deserve to win. But who is currently in first place, with over 10% more of the votes than ANY of the other blogs?
If you haven't heard of this blog, you're not alone.
Benevolent Street has a whopping 13% of the votes at the time of writing this. Nobody else has surpassed 5% yet. Not even Final Girl. Not even Vault of Horror. Not even Day of the Woman. 13% is not a statistic i'd be surprised at all to see from either of the three afformentioned blogs and i'd fully support such a statistic for any of those blogs. They have huge fan bases and are respected by horror bloggers and readers the world over, including myself. But Benevolent Street? Really? Does any blogger in the horror community even know where the hell Benevolent Street is?
Here's a little backstory on Benevolent Street. The site is run by Tony Carroll, a longtime online friend of mine. We've been speaking online for years and he's always been incredibly nice to me, even offering me a writing gig on the site when it first started over a year ago - an offer I took him up on. I wrote for the blog for a few months before calling it quits due to the fact that I just felt the blog wasn't up to snuff and I wanted to have my own content on my own blog. Now if anyone was going to be happy for Tony and his 13%, you'd think it would be me - we're friends, afterall. But the bottom line is that Tony and Benevolent Street do not deserve this award. Sorry, Tony, but it's the truth and i'm here to speak the truth. Benevolent Street is a site that's written by a couple friends that Tony hired and it's updated max a couple times a week, with nothing but poorly written regurgitations of news stories from the big horror sites and occasionally, a review of an old horror movie that we've all read hundreds of reviews of in the past. Barely any work or effort is put into the blog and Tony himself hadn't even made a post on the blog for months - until of course he was nominated for the Bloody Disgusting award (most likely by a friend or staff member). So how is Benevolent Street in such a strong lead over so many respectable horror blogs?
I call shenanigans, pretty obvious shenanigans at that. I don't know if multiple accounts were created or if Tony just got all of his friends and family to vote for him (I do know that he created a "Vote For Benevolent Street" Facebook event page - can you say douche chills?), but one thing I know FOR SURE is that this high statistic is absolutely in no way a reflection of how the readers of horror blogs feel about his less than mediocre site. In fact I don't think they feel anything whatsoever about the site being that most of them don't even know about it. Again I say, sorry Tony, but it's the truth and you know it. When you have a poll designed to pick the best horror blog out there and Vault of Horror has 3% while a completely unknown blog that no effort is put into has 13%, you know something is seriously wrong - that's something that nobody can deny. Not even you, Tony.
This poll has failed all of the great horror bloggers out there and that is a serious injustice that I hate to see. While awards ultimately mean nothing, getting a link and such an honor from a site like Bloody Disgusting is huge exposure for a blog that deserves it and it's a damn shame that it looks like Benevolent Street is going to be getting that much undeserved exposure. While the hits may pour in after the announcing of their impending win, I think we can all be pretty sure that those hits will quickly dwindle down once the readers who click over realize that they've been duped. Sadly, however, the damage will be done and this is going to look bad for all of us horror bloggers. There's surely going to be a few readers who will question the quality of all our blogs when they're duped into thinking that Benevolent Street is the best the horror blogging community has to offer.
In closing I just want to say that i'm fairly certain that Tony does not have bad intentions with this whole thing and i'm not saying he's a bad guy - he just wants hits and recognition for his blog. Don't we all? All i'm saying is that Benevolent Street did not even deserve to so much as be nominated for such an award and I wish that Tony had played fair and let the readers vote on their favorite blog. What he has essentially done is taken a huge shit on all of us who spend our days working to make our blogs the best they can be. Tony, you should be ashamed of yourself and I can guarantee you that the backlash you will get from this obvious scam will toss you right out of the tight knit horror blogging community - a community that plays fair, respects one another, and quite frankly a community that you were never even a part of anyway. Sorry friendo, but it's the cold hard truth.
To any horror blogger who is feeling slighted by this poll, just know that all of the readers and fellow bloggers respect and appreciate your contributions, whether you ever receive an award or not. It's not the awards that matter, and this poll shows that better than anything ever could.
As for the readers, head over to Bloody Disgusting, browse through all of the blogs, and vote for your favorite - the way it was meant to be done.