Blogging Idol wins online publishing award

You came. You saw. You blogged. And we won.

IT World Canada’s Blogging Idol competition was honoured as Best Community Feature in the business-to-business media category at the Canadian Online Publishing Awards in Toronto on Wednesday.

“Blogging Idol, which will soon be entering its fourth year, drew some 15-plus enterprise IT professionals to blog for six weeks, producing more than 150 posts on a variety of diverse topics,” said IT World Canada editor-in-chief Shane Schick.

IT World Canada was in the competiton this year with Spafax Interactive and University Affairs, both of which developed sophisticated programs of their own using Twitter, blogs and other forms of user-generated content. Overall, 128 finalists of this year’s COPAs were judged by high-profile media industry figures such as Matt Sullivan, senior Web editor, Esquire; Ian Adelman, online design and UX director, New York Magazine; Mitch Joel, author, Six Pixels of Separation; and Jennifer Campbell, online editor, Fashion magazine.

“We get the award and the badge for the Web site. But it was our bloggers that provided the content, the interaction, the community for Blogging Idol,” said Dave Webb, editor of ComputerWorld Canada.

One element of Blogging Idol that drove the quality of content and community was the competition for prizes, according to Don Sheppard, winner of the inaugural 2008 Blogging Idol competition.

“Blogging is at its best when there’s a challenge, a purpose and a reward, and Blogging Idol provides all of that,” Sheppard wrote in an e-mail to IT World Canada.

“There’s a lot of noise in the blogosphere, but the opportunity to write with an interesting group of high-calibre bloggers helps to improve everyone’s skill and expose our expertise to a wider audience,” added blogger Ron Van Holst. “This leads to one of the best things about blogging, the means to influence our society.”

The 2010 Blogging Idol winner, Chris Lau, said: “After following industry shows on print and online publishing, it is clear that media is shifting. As the 3rd annual contest evolved and matured for 2010, the contest became a community … The resulting content quality was ultimately the result of community, IT World staff co-ordination, and contestants driven to win as the Blogging Idol.”

IT World Canada was also nominated in the Best Video category. At the inaugural 2009 Canadian Online Publishing Awards, IT World Canada received the award for Best News Site in the business-to-business category, while sister site IT Business was recognized as Best Online-only site. The COPAs are presented by Masthead Online, a publication of North Island Media.

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