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• Monday, March 09th, 2009

What is a blog carnival?

Social Media Blog Carnival - Hosted by Jack LeblondWhat’s a social media blog carnival you ask? It’s a weekly online event where people submit and nominate great blog articles about social media, new media practices, theory and statistics and the best are chosen by the weekly judge (that would be ME this week!) and results are posted on New Media Lab. I’m looking forward to seeing the results from the other judges each week, this should be a lot of fun – and a great way to find some sites we may not see otherwise.

How are winners picked?

Since I have the privilege of being the first host in the resurrected carnival, I’ll explain how we’ll be evaluating the submitted blogs.  Naturally, we want to make sure that everyone gets a fair shake, regardless of which of the ten judges evaluates them.  To assist with this, we’ve created a grading scale that we use while reviewing.  The 55 point scale scale assigns points in seven categories.

  • Originality
    With a possible 15 points, this one is very important.  There is always some duplication in the blogosphere, but we really hope to get original content and not something that has been covered 100 times over already.
  • Reach
    Worth 10 points, this is a gauge of how many people this post could possible impact – lots or just a few.
  • Measure
    Another 10 pointer, measure is our estimate of how much impact the article might have on each reader.
  • Lastly, at 5 points each there is; Entertaining, Informative, Spelling/grammar and Visual appeal
    We all want to have fun while learning.

I was very pleased with the number of submissions I received for this first week, well over 20 of them.  I wish I could review them all for you, but that’s obviously not practical – what do you think this is? American idol?

Topics discussed were pretty well dominated by Twitter, but there were also pages about possible legal issues, American English vs. UK English, LinkedIn and Face book – to name a few.

Most of the articles were pretty good, but many needed some work before they can really be considered “great”.  For the benefit of all, but without naming names – here are some things to consider (in no particular order) when writing your own blog posts.

  1. SEO is on almost everyone’s mind, and keywords are a big part of that.  However, don’t get so wrapped up in keywords that they take over your article.  If you use the same word 23 times for example, you should reconsider.
  2. Cute titles are OK, but make sure they relate to what you actually will cover in your post.
  3. Break up long pages with headlines and/or images.  This is certainly something a lot of people (myself included) could do better at.  Readers need things to stimulate their brains and keep them moving forward.
  4. Before you write about something you think is absolutely amazing, take a minute or two and search for it on Google, or the engine of your choice.  Don’t risk embarrassing yourself by chronicling some cool new trick that has actually been around since the early days of the web.

Honorable Mentions

Before I get to the winners, there were two submissions that while they did not score well enough to win – really could have done better have with just a little work.

  • Erika Collin submitted 100 Essential Legal and Privacy Guides for Bloggers
    Even though the “100” in the title scared me a bit, I was excited to read this one.  Most of us want to stay out of trouble, and this seemed like it would help me do that.  I was disappointed that the page was actually a list of links off to other sites.  Still helpful, but not what I had expected.  My suggestion for improvement; break this list down into several posts and do a more detailed intro/review of the links – tell your readers why the info is important to them, and what makes them a good and trusted source.
  • The folks at One Language submitted Differences Between British and American English
    Having been to the UK many years ago, I looked forward to reading an entertaining comparison of the two.  (Side note:  People in the UK do not take kindly to drunken submarine sailors yelling at them to speak English – it’s a long, but funny story for another time) The post started out strong, gave me a couple examples but then lost me in a disorganized list of words.  My suggestions for improvement; put your examples in a table so that your readers can more clearly see what you are talking about.  Also, in the article you make mention that some words are pronounced differently – I think it would have been really cool if you had included some audio samples.

The Runners-up

  • Sigrid Landau submitted SAM – The Three-Part Process of Social Media Marketing
    Social media and its possible benefits to business of all types and sizes has really been talked about about so much that its almost become just another passing buzz word.  One of the problems for larger companies is they just don’t know how to start, who should do what and how.  The SAM process does a good job of breaking it down into three simple, easy to implement steps.
  • Ideas For Marketing Using LinkedIn, written by Sandy Mitchell
    LinkedIn is one of those sites that many have a hunch will help them grow their business, or online reputation – they just don’t know how.  Until now anyway.  Sandy provides three tips that honestly are so simple you’ll probably do a “V8 head slap” and wonder why you didn’t think of them yourself.
  • Scott Allen submitted Thinking Systemically About the Impending Death of Twitter Auto-DMs
    Even if you are not a twitterholic, you’ve no doubt still received a few auto-direct messages.  Scott’s article explains why Auto-DMs were even created, how they were supposed to be used and what went wrong – horribly wrong.
  • Twitter for Entrepreneurs – Part 1: Getting Started is another post by Scott Allen.
    The twitter “how-to” pages are almost a dime-a-dozen these days…you may even find one or two here at my site. Scott provides an entertaining and informative article explaining to entrepreneurs how to get started on Twitter, and promises to continue with more info soon.

The Winner

Chris Allison did a guest post at TwitTip.com titled:  Welcome to the Hive Mind; Learn How to Search Twitter that will answer the first question often asked by new Twitter(ers) – How do I find people that talk about things I want to talk about?  The answer is Twitter Search.  Two of the other articles submitted this week were about tools created with the intention of searching twitter.  It struck me funny that self-proclaimed “power-tweeters” wouldn’t know about http://search.twitter.com – but that’s a rant for another day.  Chris does a great job of breaking down the advanced search tools, making it easy for you find the things you want, avoid the ones you don’t and even how to locate people in certain areas of the world whether they are across the street or an ocean.  Nice job Chris.

Be sure to check out other Carnival winners at these sites:

So that’s it – week one is over.  Hopefully you find these blogs as interesting and informative as I did, naturally I’d love to hear your comments.

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5 Responses

  1. 1
    Ruth  //

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    Ruth

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