The popular vote closes at 5 p.m. today (EDT) for the 2013 Best Construction Blog competition. You can view the live voting results here. So far, as I write this posting at 7:00 a.m. EDT, we’ve received 1,200 votes. Results are surprisingly close — with just a few votes making a difference in popular vote ranking.
The voting system is not foolproof. The Wufoo.com forms system, which I use to calculate the votes, has an option which allows you to restrict voting to one per IP address, and there are other provisions to force a captcha to prevent invalid, auto-generated or duplicate votes. I decided in favor of simplicity. The “one vote, one IP address” restriction seemed unfair to larger organizations, where many employees congregated in single offices. The captcha options made what should be a simple process unnecessarily complicated.
After all, there is no cash prize for winning this competition — just some (well-deserved) bragging rights.
Still, even assuming all votes are valid, should mass voting from employees of large companies carry the same weight as individually-collected votes from dozens of supporters and fans? While I didn’t want to disqualify excellent larger-organization blogs (and wanted to keep the competition simple so that we didn’t have several categories of winners), I decided the best answer to this problem would be to include a judging component.
This year, the four judges (their votes count equally) are marketing guru Mike Jeffries, Construction Marketing Association representatives, and two non-voting Construction News and Report Group representatives, Chase (who is a highly effective salesperson/associate publisher) and freelance writer Heather Kirk. The judges encompass editorial, advertising, association and consulting perspectives. They have an evaluation grid, but are not confined to it — they can make subjective “feel” decisions based on their perception of voting quality, design, content, consistency and reader participation.
Popular vote is still important. I think the judges will likely choose from among the top seven vote-getters, athough they are not restricted to the first page of voting results. We will announce the judged voting finalists and the Best Construction Blog competition winner on April 15.