Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Brillante Weblog Premio: Hoax Award?

After receiving the (seemingly prestigious :) 'Brillante Weblog Premio 2008' award by two different bloggers, I decided to track it back to creation and source. Like Paula, I discovered that the 'award' could not be traced back immediately, to anyone. And I discovered it is being spread in two separate forms, one of the logo icons is dated 2008, another continues under a 2005 logo. That is always a bad sign of a either misuse or an online game being perpetrated. Since, the Internet is prime for trickery and deceit and since nothing that is placed online can ever be removed (only altered) it becomes pretty obvious that much we view and do online has to be seen as either games or hoaxes.

The propagation of Internet myths and urban legends abound and not all are revealed without a great deal of checking. I decided to do my own research and search backwards for the source of this one. I can only find the original award that was then, apparently distorted.

The current source seems to be of The Brillante Awards for Excellence, a national society of Hispanic MBAs. Thousands of America's Hispanics leaders will be honored at the NSHMBA 2008 Annual Conference and Career Expo at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta Georgia. This is the most prestigious honor granted by the organization, and is given to bright, radiant, and shining leaders whose work and contributions reflect NSHMBA’s mission “to foster Hispanic leadership through graduate management education and professional development in order to improve society. Obviously, none of us wants to mistakenly distract from this wonderful organization or its awards.

Previous connections links to other awards using the word "Brillante" meaning of course...brillant, bright, a diamond, for example. So, previous links connect to previous awards based on brilliance. Brillance means of supreme brightness or quality, so of course it is something we all want to be recognized for ;)

I can only assume that during this process, someone created a weblog based on these nominations and that awarded mutated......or became its own urban legend, much like memes have. Most bloggers mistakenly assumed that a meme is 'all about me' and posts have mutated to simply become that.

The word meme first came into popular use with the publication of Dawkins' book The Selfish Gene in 1976. Dawkins based the word on a shortening of the Greek "mimeme" (something imitated), making it sound similar to "gene". Dawkins used the term to refer to any cultural entity that an observer might consider a replicator.

Internet Awards, like memes, appear to replicate, or be copied, often in a changed or distorted form. Many of the current 'awards' swarming the Internet, are simply games that someone has created a widget for and propagated as a way of seeing how vast their own blogs reach is...often linking the image or widget back to their own blogs so as to boost their own ratings.

As bloggers, we use 'awards' for the same reason. By selecting a random number of bloggers (in this case 7) to 'nominate', we create link backs to our own blogs....which boost our own ratings. Each link back, links once again or 7 x 7 or whatever, again. The more we are mentioned in a link back, the greater our 'influence' and 'importance' for search engines and weblog counters

So, as in the case of 'buyer beware' awards nominees and nominators beware as well. In the case of the 'Brillante Weblog Premio Award'...whether using the 2005 logo or the 2008 logo...and both are currently in use (a major tip off)...use in fun or don't use it at all. It appears to have begun in Europe, was propagated or spread through the Spanish and Italian communities and then into Scandinavia and then over to the Americas.

So, if we are, indeed, linking back and boosting some trickster's ratings every time we post about this subject, then we (meaning myself, as well) have become part of that game and their ratings

And like all good memes, hoaxes, scams and warnings: Please pass this on as a warning!


  1. Anonymous10:47 AM

    I think you've nailed the 'Award Game' in general. They're only link backs for ratings. I mean, who 'invents' these things, anyway? Just some person who has extra time on their hands and needs brownie points, plays the game and passes it on. It's easy to invent anything you want, create a logo and pass it on. Bloggers do it everyday and other bloggers fall for them.

  2. Well done, as usual, Michele ~ and thank you for the time and effort you put into this particular post!

  3. Yes, indeed! I tried to find the source, but *doh* didn't think to look at the 'logo'. Thanks.

  4. Thanks for the heads up. I find these awards very awkward. Partly it's just a way to say that you read and enjoy someone's blog, but posting them goes against the grain a little. Still, I know the person who sent it means well and I am appreciative of that. But of course, as you say, it's not always what it seems!

  5. it is always interesting when these "awards" are being spread around.
    thanks for the research!

  6. Hi again, Michelle. Just wanted to let you know that I mentioned this post in my blog. You went to a lot of work researching this and it's thought provoking. I'd like more of the quilting community to be aware. But I don't think these awards will stop -- people enjoy letting people know they like their blogs, and we all like hearing that others like what we write!

  7. Leave it to you to receive an award and then research its authanticity! You are so funny! Just say "thank you", Michele! (OK, fine. I learned something from you AGAIN).

  8. Thank you for the post, Michele. I just received a nomination for my art blog from a fellow artist, whose work I like very much, and felt very excited and honored. Then, when I went to look for more information, and clicked on the logo and found only the logo, I started searching Google, and found this "Award" in the Museum of Hoaxes. I certainly understand how an award - or nomination - you're supposed to pass on to seven more blogs is a pyramid scheme, and not nearly as meaningful as it first sounds.

    And yet - I'm still excited!! The artist who picked my blog is someone I respect a lot, and, looking at his other six picks, I feel myself in very good company. And I will be really pleased if my picking my seven favorite art blogs brings other good artists more traffic...

    Thanks very much for your research. I WILL, along with my nominees, post a link to your explanation, and share the information on this non-real Award.

  9. P.S. Coincidentally enough, I'm a quilter too, and I'm very happy to have found your blog, and other quilters', through Googling this fake award.

  10. Anonymous6:33 PM

    Saw this on the Museum of Hoaxes website. They have thousands of similar things listed. People are so gullible or maybe they just want recognition. Anyone can make anything up and invent a logo. I guess if a friend sends it to you they mean well, but it still steals the name from someone else and their genuine award.

  11. The Award came to the Netherland recently. Today I posted my 'nomination' and later decided to check out the source. Your story sounds very plausible to me. And my version of the logo is different. It is the 2008-logo, but with different lettering....
    Thanks for you investigations, I'll post a link on my blog for interested readers in the Netherlands and Belgium.

  12. Anonymous2:33 PM

    I see these things as pretty harmless fun. Sure, you are providing backlinks, if you choose to play, but these links only go to bloggers you know and like, so where's the harm? You're not providing backlinks to the original source(s).

    Memes tend to be more fun than these things, but it can be a nice way for one blogger to say "way to go" or "you rock" or whatever to another blogger.

    It can keep the wheels turning in the blogosphere in another way too, insofar as readers of a blog can discover blogs they didn't know through this linking.

  13. I hate doing these 'awards' myself. But I honor them everytime someone passes these on to me. Most of the time the 'awarder' is a bloggerfriend. I received the brilliant weblog award a few days back and (I believe) I have done it with panache.
    Besides I'm a good blogger but not a great one and may never receive a proper blogging award at all. So awards that come from bloggers who from a mutual admiration society with me are my 15 seconds of glory!

  14. I've had your post bookmarked for a long time and finally provided a link to it from my blog today. Thank you for taking the time to research the origins. This stuff is always interesting.

    As others have said, I see most of these "awards" as harmless and more of a "gift" from some fellow bloggers that I've connected with. No matter the origin of the IMAGE they pass on, their intentions appear noble and genuine. Several of my blogging buddies have even created their own awards that they now pass out monthly. Really we're all just passing around jpgs or gifs that say, "I really like your blog." Silly? Maybe. But I try not to look a gift horse in the mouth when it comes to recognition and awards. They are what they are--nothing more, but certainly nothing less.

    Thanks again! Here comes a link.