Blogging Idol 2010: And the winner is . . .

Chris Lau, an IT professional who has spent the past three years as a driven contributor to ComputerWorld Canada’s Blogging Idol contest, took home the top prize of $1,000 Thursday night amid cheers from his competitors.

The six-week event encouraged members of ComptuerWorld Canada’s audience to write about a series of pre-defined topics relating to enterprise IT, as well as ideas they came up with on their own. The contest produced approximately 150 posts and hundreds of comments. About 30 IT professionals signed up for Blogging Idol 2010. This year marked a major change in the contest as a panel of judges, rather than traffic numbers, were used to determine overall winners.

Lau, who has worked in a variety of IT roles in banking, the public sector and small business, describes himself as a “spreadsheet guru and all about numbers, formula and macros.” Among the more than 20 posts he offered this year were perspectives on Linux vs. Windows 7 in the enterprise, office applications in the cloud and the relevancy of open data.
In a short acceptance speech he joked that if he hadn’t won he would have had to “run out the back door” but praised the other bloggers for their efforts.

“The competition was really heavy this year,” he said. “It was really impressive and you had to work hard.”

Pedro Cardoso, who won last year’s Blogging Idol and who served as one of three judges this year, noted the emphasis on hard-core enterprise IT issues such as software as a service, virtualization and cloud computing.

“Last year it seemed like we all sort of chased the news,” he said. “This year felt a lot more focused.”

The second prize winner was Michelle Labelle, who has also been participating since 2008. Based in Vancouver, Labelle also won a special prize for editorial quality. Tania Samsonova, who first started with Blogging Idol last year, took the third place prize.

Don Sheppard, who won the first-ever Blogging Idol, was honoured with an award for community building based on his consistent efforts to comment on other posts and reach out and encourage his fellow constestants.

Other members of the judging panel included John Pickett, IT World Canada’s community advocate, and Sean Moffitt, a marketing expert with Agent Wildfire.