I took the easy way out last year. As we were beginning to launch our first-ever Blogging Idol contest – where we give away who generates the most traffic on our site by writing about IT issues – I realized we should point out the best technology blogs that already exist.
An article soon appeared in ComputerWorld Canada called “The 10 best technology bloggers in Canada.” I would like to say this feature involved some in-depth surveys and statistical analysis, but that would be a lie. In fact, I did no research. I simply chose what I liked based on what I read, and based on what I thought was relevant to Canadian technology professionals who might want to read such a thing. It was as subjective and opinionated as anything you might read on a blog, and that was the point.
We have now launched the call for registration to Blogging Idol 2.0, and I’m thinking of trying a change in tactic this year. Instead of being the arbiter of online taste (though that is, in some way, what’s required of an editor working in 2009), I’d like to develop a more user-generated list of the country’s best technology bloggers as chosen by our reader community.
The whole point of Blogging Idol (beyond generating traffic; that is the business I’m in, after all) is to find some of the voices that might not otherwise be heard, offering them an incentive and a platform by which they can reach a considerable audience. This year I’m trying to build on what we learned last year by making a video tutorial, hosting an event here in Toronto to discuss best practices, offer more comments and feedback on individual postings and freeing up some of the topic areas contestants can write about.
My end goal through this is to have something with a life beyond the contest. We came close to that last year, with winners like Don Sheppard continuing to write for us on occasion. The best part of last year’s event was seeing the contestants commenting on each other’s entries – not in a negative way – but a constructive dialogue among peers. The only thing I enjoy more than writing a good story is helping foster a connection among the dynamics, creative people we talk to every day.
Take a look at the list I compiled last year. You can pick from those names, or select someone new. Leave a comment on this post or send me an e-mail at email@example.com. If I can get enough user picks, I’ll compile them into something for the next issue of ComputerWorld Canada. What we end up with won’t be a definitive ranking, but I’m not sure if there’s any such thing. What we might have instead is a great collection of sites to bookmark – or to add to our blogrolls.