A familiar face came out of the gate swinging with a flurry of activity in the first week of ComputerWorld Canada’s third annual Blogging Idol competition.
Michel Labelle, who took second place in the first Blogging Idol in 2008, was among the first to enter the two-week “warmup” period to this year’s competition and has been the most prolific of the dozen or so contestants so far. Blogging Idol will award a cash prize of $1,000 to the blogger whose posts are considered of the highest quality by a panel of judges over a six-week period. Contestants can register at any point and a series of secondary prizes worth $100 or more will also be handed out.
Labelle, an IT operations manager with more than 20 years of experience in the industry, covered a wide range of topics in his first posts. These included Google’s battle with the government of China, content filtering in the cloud and the “consumerization” of IT. The post that probably hit home to most of the ComputerWorld Canada audience, however, explored the notion of innovation as a part-time activity for IT departments.
“Very few IT departments have dedicated project engineering or implementation staff,” he wrote. “As are result we typically ask our operations staff to learn the latest new product, implement it and hold them accountable for delivering the much needed innovation our organizations require. Oh and did I mention, they need to keep the lights on while they do that?”
Labelle will not be without some rivals, however. Chris Lau, who has placed in the top three every year, has been equally eclectic in his choice of subject matter and provocative in his opinions. This was clear from his post, “Linux vs. Windows 7 in the enterprise,” which made an analogy that would be familiar to anyone who owns a TV set:
“Even though Linux is a superior product in terms of robustness and on security, is Linux’s situation comparable to the beta video recording vs VHS debate?” he wrote. “At home, a Linux would work best if family had nephews/nieces/relatives/offspring who were computer-savvy and who wanted to set up a bullet-proof computer for maintenance-free use. In the enterprise the story is different.”
Peter Armaly, a newcomer to Blogging Idol, entered the fray with a reflective post on what “intelligence” really means and compared the generational differences in attitudes towards technology and work:
“Devices that make us perform functions faster are often symbols of sophistication and advancement but does their existence and utility, and my owning of them, mean I am any more intelligent than my father? I doubt it,” he wrote. “Multi-tasking is certainly, almost indisputably, something my generation excels at compared to my father’s. But in comparison to mine, the same can be said of the generation presently in their 20s and 30s. Does their ability to juggle more things simultaneously translate into greater intelligence. Maybe… but I wouldn’t bet on it.”
ComputerWorld Canada’s Blogging Idol 2010 continues for another five weeks. Join the competition.