The awards curve

I haven’t done a stats related post for ages, well, an unrelated to one at least, so this is kinda fun.

So, you wanna run a blog awards huh? Fancy you’ll get a bot of traffic do ya? Well, you’d be right… but not perhaps where you might first expect.

The background to this is the shift of The Edublog Awards (in their fourth year) from the somewhat dubious URL of to the rather more snappy

The process was split into three stages, nominations of blogs for the awards over a few weeks (we received over 500 via an email contact form… nice barrier!), voting over a couple of weeks and then the announcement of the winners.

Nominating not a big deal:

edublog awards nominations

While there was some initial interest in the awards (new domain, graphic design etc.) the actual nomination process, despite garnering many many links out of pretty significant mavens in edublogosphere-land didn’t exactly test the servers ;)

On a related note one of the biggest whinges seems to have been ‘I didn’t know about these’… so perhgaps it was a marketing thing, none of them have any excuses next year though!!!

Shortlists big, voting quite big, results kinda small:

edublog awards voting stats

However, as you can see once the shortlisted blogs were announced (about 70 of them) things got a bit more busy!

Voting went on for two weeks and I reckon the dip for the second week might have a lot to do with me making the ongoing results invisible (oops… I thought it’d attract more action;).

Perhaps the most interesting element is the last 3 spots on the graph… as that’s straight after the winners being announced. Sure it was all done in Second Life and on Audio etc. but it’s hardly the burst you’d imagine. Again, perhaps a bit down to tired organisers, lack of marketing push etc.

So in conclusion:

The process of nominating has to be easier and more fun too… perhaps a mini vote in itself, or maybe something like the Mashable blog-partners thing?

Announcing the shortlist is really crucial and that’s when you really want to pay attantion… better (and more) badges as well as code snippets for people to copy into sidebars would be good. Some tools to allow people to promote directly from the site (import webmail stuff?) could work well.

Don’t shut off the developing results, even if it does make the awards party more fun :)

In that vein, announce the winners on teh site first, get a day or so out of that (i.e. steer more traffic and links to the site) and then have a party… that way, as everyone knows who’s won it’ll be more fun… right?

Any other ideas?

4 replies on “The awards curve”

  1. My thinking is that the announcement of the awards wasn’t much of a big deal because everybody could see which way the wind was blowing early in the voting process – specifically, that the people campaigning for votes, or had people campaigning for them, especially among their students, were the one who were going to win.

    The only real exception to this was corporate blogging – bt you could see where this one was going when all of the nominees learned of the news from the same source – the eventual winner of the category.

    There’s no way to deal with the campaigning – it even infects major awards shows like the Oscars – though you could probably minimize the effect of pack voting by creating a slate of voters (much in the way the academy does). Though this does not minimize that effect – witness last year’s results when the US K-12 bloggers voted en masse for each other.

    If you want a splash, keep the nominees secret until you announce them, the way you did this time, and keep the results secret until the ceremony.

    I would also consider attempting to merge with other awards in the field. I just finished reading a post about e-learning course awards — — and lst week I saw something about e-learning technology awards. John Hibbs used to suggest that there should be an Academy of e-learning . The way to do that is to get these various contests to coordinate.

    I think this would have quite a number of good effects. It would increase the pool of voters, but it would diversity it as well. People looking at the blogs would be looking at some of them for the first time (since they would be course designers and software writers and the like).

    You could have a space for people to write testimonials, to describe the entries (especially in the course and technologies entries), etc. etc.

    I think it would be very good for the discipline as a whole to have a set of awards, recognized and promoted by the major players (each of which could sponsor an award or a category). It would prevent award overlaps, and it would vastly overshadow vendor-specific awards.

  2. Thanks Steven… v good suggestions, will put them on simmer for the next six months and then pretend I thought them up ;)

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