We’re just 12 days into the two-month popular voting period for the 2016 Best Construction Blog Competition and already seeing the shape of the race. Tocci Building Companies, last year’s winner, had (at Friday Feb. 12 at 10:30 a.m.) 100 votes, but Motorhard Blog is not too far behind, and other contenders could quickly intensify their vote-getting results.
The rules are that voters can select as many blogs as they wish in a single ballot, but cannot vote more than once. However, it is perfectly fine to campaign for votes, and contestants can use social media, their email newsletters, websites and internal communications systems to encourage support.
I can usually tell when someone has done some vote-getting marketing; there is a flurry of entries. This means results can change quickly and the final results really won’t be known until voting closes on March 31.
Popular vote is important, but certainly not the only consideration in the competition finalist selection process. The reason is that larger organizations can push for extreme vote getting initiatives, where a popular and high quality blog, with plenty of reader support, would fare less successfully. One year I tried to manage the process by setting a rule that you could only vote once from a given IP address — but this unfairly shut out some bigger businesses, where many employees work from the same location — and favored independent consultants with massive email lists.
The solution: Build in an independent judging component. While the judges can review all the blogs, they give weight to the top seven finalists. In this situation a truly well designed blog, with great content and loyal readers (enough to gain support to be in the top seven) has a fair shot of winning the competition.
The popularity contest reflects an important aspect of the blog’s value and effectiveness, but doesn’t decide the final picture.
If you haven’t already voted, you can cast the ballot below.