BLOGGING IDOL: Being judgmental

Our Blogging Idol contestants are truly off and blogging. But our annual quest for community, notoriety and — not incidentally –prizes will be scored on a different scale this year.
For the last two years, traffic has been the only metric by which we’ve determined the winners (except for the entirely subjective Editorial Quality Award). This year, it’s taking a back seat to several other factors. Why? Because simple traffic measures don’t tell the whole story of how effective a blog is.
We’ll try to get that measure of effectiveness by rating bloggers on a number of different criteria to establish our grand-prize winner.
1. Editorial Quality: 20 per cent
Not simply proper spelling, grammar and punctuation, but also effective use of online idiom; effective linking and tagging for SEO purposes; effective integration of other social media tools, such as Twitter and Facebook; and overall persuasiveness/credibility of posts. (The blogger with the highest score in this category wins the Editorial Quality Award.)

2. Branding: 20 per cent
How well the blogger presents a personality that can be associated with his or her posts. After the third post, do you know why you read the blogger? What to expect in terms of tone and content? In what areas you trust the blogger’s expertise? Would you go out of your way to read a post simply because it’s by that blogger?

3. Relevance: 20 per cent
There’s more than one metric for relevance. Sticking to the periodic theme is only one (and I’d argue not the most important). Newsworthiness is a form of relevance; practical applicability is a form of relevance; general interest to our core audience os a form of relevance.

4. Community-Building: 20 per cent
Does the blogger engage with the rest of the Blogging Idol community, offering support, debate, relevant background to others’ posts? Does the blogger engage the reading community at large, respond to comments, integrate reader feedback in future posts? (The blogger with the highest score in this category wins the Community-Building Award.)

5. Consistency: 10 per cent
How regularly does the blogger post? (This is given less weight than the above criteria because it’s also an element of branding, editorial quality and community-building.)

6. Traffic: 10 per cent
Traditionally our king of criteria, it’s been given less weight this year because, with the techniques available to drive traffic that’s not necessarily from our target audience, it’s not as significant a metric of overall quality. (Also, it’s an element of branding, editorial quality and community-building.)
As you can see, even if yuo haven’t registered to enter the fray, there’s still a good chance you can win. So register today and join our community of bloggers.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Dave Webb
Dave Webb
Dave Webb is a freelance editor and writer. A veteran journalist of more than 20 years' experience (15 of them in technology), he has held senior editorial positions with a number of technology publications. He was honoured with an Andersen Consulting Award for Excellence in Business Journalism in 2000, and several Canadian Online Publishing Awards as part of the ComputerWorld Canada team.

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