Blogging Idol 2: Back to the Drawing Board

Daniel

blogging idol

Update: Thanks for the feedback guys. Looks like the new rules are good to go, so we will be running the competition on November. Next Monday (October 27) I will be posting the final post and opening the applications.

I thought I had the perfect plan for Blogging Idol 2, but the events proved me wrong. I figured that an AdSense based competition would really be cool, since we all want to understand what are the best, real methods for making money with PPC ads right?

It might be the case, but it turns out that very few people were be willing to start a new blog or website for that purpose (and the ones who did were worried about getting their account banned if other competitors tried to sabotage them). Over the past week I received only 20 applications. Probably some more would come over the next week, but it would still be below the minimum number for making the competition worthwhile for the readers or for the sponsors.

So that is idea is canceled.

At this point I have two options, just drop Blogging Idol 2 for now, or try to launch with another set of rules.

I was thinking something that would let you guys use your existing blogs, be funny, and yet fair. Frankly, it was hard finding the answer. Most types of competition are too easy to cheat, and I can already foresee the bitching that will come along with it.

One idea that I had:

Make the competition based on 4 parameters:

  • RSS increase
  • Technorati authority increase
  • A voting session where readers would vote for their favorite competitor
  • A judge panel (with 3 experts) that would award 3 votes for their favorite competitors

So in total there would be 6 points to be won (3 from the judges, and 3 from each other parameter). After the four weeks, the blogger with the highest number of points would be the Blogging Idol and win the $4,000 in prizes.

Even if someone tries to cheat on one of the parameters, therefore, it would not compromise the competition, and it could even backlash for the cheater because people would talk about it and it would affect the voting from the readers and from the judges.

What do you guys think?

Let me know if you would be participating if we used those rules. If enough people express interest we might end up running it. The $4,000 in prizes are still there after all.

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61 Responses to “Blogging Idol 2: Back to the Drawing Board”

  • Sohail

    Well i was getting ready for first competition and was a bit disappointed to see this post so i commented in a bit hurry having seen it again i see two issues here if they are resolved we are(at least me) happy to go and will love to compete

    1. Regarding Back links : Can we submit in directories and stuff if YES (and its natural way) one can submit to thousands of directories so is that allowed (even its not called black hat)

    2. judges votes are nice way to go but members votes are not so please consider only judges option. Member will not see work but they will vote their friends and stuff.

    3. And also can we have contest and stuff to have more subscribers?

  • Brian

    I’m going out on a limb on this one because I really don’t like the new rules. Let me explain:

    1. RSS increase. Really, I don’t have too much of a problem with this idea except that this was the whole theme of BI 1.
    2. Technorati – How would you rate this? By number increase? Because honestly it is so much easier to go from 100,000 to 50,000 than it is to go from 7,500 to 5,000. Some clarification on this would be great.
    3 & 4. Please, please don’t do voting. Voting gets biased (whether it is intended or not) and there will be tons of controversy over user voting and people buying out votes etc. Just my opinion, but I feel that this competition should be purely quantitative, not qualitative.

    So what are my ideas?

    1. Keep the new website idea, but just don’t use adsense. I know lots of people want to start new sites, they just don’t have the motivation. Why not have participants make a new site and see how many a) new rss subscribers or b) newsletter subscribers they can get.

    OR have people compete to get higher ranks on google for X amount of keywords – I think this would be not only fun and exciting competition, but it would also be a very valuable learning experience for people who are trying to learn SEO and how to get onto search engine listings.

    2. If you, or everyone else, simply doesn’t like the new site idea, then let’s work with our existing sites. Why not try # of newsletter signups? Slightly different from RSS, but still a fun way to compete for readers.

    OR once again, use the keyword ranking idea from earlier, except this time people can use their own sites. Although this may be a little unfair between people with PR 8 and PR 2 etc.

    Those are my ideas for now. I’ll post again if I think of more.

    I know that I am a minority among people who like your ideas, but if you use a voting system for BI 2, I most likely will not compete. Same thing with Technorati.

    If I was unclear, or you want me to clarify anything, let me know, I’ve subscribed to the comments.

  • AnotherGuy

    For those of us who create a new site…. any kind of bonus? 😉

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Matej, AdSense is not an option. People are worried about getting banned, and this is too great a risk to run (and I agree with them).

    Also, I would say that 90% of the people don’t want to create another website, but hence to focus on growing and improving their existing one. It is a strategy that I recommend myself, so I got follow that.

    Technorati authority is updated daily. It only increases with backlinks, so it is not that easy to cheat (sure you could buy backlinks, but I will be watching out for this).

  • Matej

    I really liked the AdSense based competition, but with new sites. Competition with established sites is … less interesting and less fair IMO.

    I’m not sure that I like Technorati authority increase parameter …

    How often is it updated from Techorati, does it increase when users “favorite” you?

    I would add more parameters to old idea ( adsense + new site ) so that people also focus on actual quality of back links (techorati) and readership ( RSS ). That way we will have less MFA sites.

  • Jason

    Sohail, I don’t really see it as there being too many things to do. The general guideline is, promote your website, and that’s what it’s all about.

    Subscribers and technorati authority should come naturally as you continue to promote your website (assuming you have a good site).

    I expect readers to vote on whoever has the best idea, and has worked the hardest to create the most successful site. Same for the judges.

    So really, the only thing to do is build success.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Gary, it is very easy spot purchased links though, and you cant hide them once you purchased.

    I will as usual do my best to monitor the competitors, so I don’t think it will be an issue.

  • Gary

    This is a significant improvement over both ideas so far.

    Technorati is very easy to increase. You can buy links, which I’m not sure is really even gaming the system as opposed to just a method of link building.

    I’d not give all the categories the same weight.

  • Technotip.ORG

    Ofcourse I would be participating in this competition.
    Rules are better than the previous one.
    Actually I loved the previous rules, but I don’t want to take chances with my adsense account 🙂

  • Daniel Scocco

    @AnotherGuy, the problem with 1 thing is that it becomes really easy to cheat.

    With 4 parameters, you need to focus on improving your blog as a whole.

    Increasing RSS subscribers and backlinks is something you try to do regardless also, right?

  • AnotherGuy

    Daniel, I can understand that. I guess my other issue lies with what Sohail said with too many things. I was going to use this new blog to test my adsense skills. Perhaps if we can find just one thing to focus on it would be more appealing to me (and others).

    I’ll think of a solution later and let you know what I think. I hate whining and not giving a solution in return.

  • Jodith

    I was interested in the AdSense thing, but was concerned that it would be really easy to cheat.

    I’m still up for it with the current rules, although I’d rather do it with a new blog rather than an existing blog. I already have my new blog all planned out *laughs*.

  • Sohail

    not a great idea..i mean its toooooo much for a competition …too many things to do ..

  • How to Cope with Pain

    I’d participate in this one!

  • Daniel Scocco

    @AnotherGuy, the judges will cast their votes on the blogger using the cleverest promotion strategy. I don’t think you risk pissing of any of them therefore 🙂 . Also, the judges are only one of the 4 parameters, you can win even without their vote.

  • Jani

    I’d definitely participate!

    I was a little sad when you announced your first idea, because I didn’t want to make another whole blog for the sake of the competition, but this one is great really.

    I’m really glad you decided to start this new one. Thanks!

  • thatdisneygirl

    I would participate in this contest. Honestly, the last one seemed like it would pull me away from my main blog and I didn’t want to make the sacrifice. I think this new format sounds much better.

  • AnotherGuy

    Personally, I don’t like having judges. It can become bias (if a blogger writes about something a judge likes, for example) and it may not even be intentional, but it happens. I was planning on applying next week after I get all of the details figured out.

    I’m still gonna do my plans, and in fact I will be emailing you shortly with a few questions.

    Thanks, but I don’t know if I’ll be joining in on this one. There’s always gonna be someone who doesn’t like the rules though, so don’t stop with me by any means.

  • Jason

    I was worried about getting banned from Adsense just for having a competition with it. Google is funny about things like that from what I can tell.

    I think using all 4 parameters is perfect. The fairest way, imo.

    On a side note, I think you should push the contest back a few weeks….so I can join of course 🙂

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Mac Apps, using only the first two would be to easy to manipulate. The voting and judge panels make it easier to spot the “shady” competitors, and to give points to the worth ones.

  • L-Jay

    This new idea sounds great – it’s a more ‘friendly’ method of improving our blogs – I’m in.

  • C.J. Harley

    Sounds good to me. I like that we will be able to vote for our favorite competitor.

  • OnlineGodfahter

    I am in! 😀

  • Clare Swindlehurst

    I much prefer these rules and would definitely sign up

  • Mac Apps

    I think only using one and two. Making it a combination of the both. I don’t think voting would be very fair, although judges rules might be interesting.

  • Ajith Edassery

    I like the new set of rules… The other one had a potential risk of getting banned by Google thereby loosing out on the bread and butter of a budding blogger.

    Let’s go with the new rules!!! Moreover, that will be the logical sequel to the Blogging Idol -1 which had RSS increase as the main KPI (and those who could not participate then would relish this episode)

    Cheers,
    Ajith of DollarShower.com

  • Matej

    I liked the Adsense thing. Not sure about others, but I wasn’t planing to send application before 30 October lol …

  • LindsRay

    I agree with your point – it’s just too much work to try to maintain an existing website to start from scratch (great learning experience though it might be). I’d definitely join the contest if that was the case!

  • Rajaie AlKorani

    I agree, these are some much better rules. As you said, Daniel, the third one will also make it hard and even useless for anyone to cheat.

  • Writer Dad

    I love this. Much, much better. Thanks.

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