Friday, August 03, 2007

Lessons Learned in Organizing a Writing Project

The Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs was the first writing project that I've organized online out of inspiration. There were several lessons learned that I've reflected upon and would like to share it here.
  • Regardless of age, we certainly can be of positive or of negative influence to others.
    The young bloggers and the not-technical-type of bloggers are gaining readership while providing active interaction as well. They may not have the bulk numbers, but are able to mobilize their small base to participate.

  • One must take the effort to reach out and ask for help.
    The youngest blog age winner in the group just started last June. He made himself known faster by providing a service that he is an expert in it.

  • Being honest and truthful in sharing yourself matters
    Every blog that has entered the top 10 has their own unique charisma. They are able to engage their readers with almost every post they make.
On the organization challenges side, this is what I learned:
  • Getting international participants takes more work.
    My blog's name, having Filipino in it, immediately gave an impression that it is limited to the Philippines - which may have a direct impact on attracting entries. Next year, we could either do better in attracting more foreign entries or just limit it here in the Philippines. I'm still biased on making it international or at least that is still the end objective.

  • To tally or not?
    The original idea for the writing project was just for entries to share their top ten emerging influential blogs. There wasn't supposedly any tallying to be done each week. However, as the entries came in, where the first two weeks had a good number of international participation, the information shared were more than useful and got distributed through the weekly count.

  • Writing project or be a real voting thing
    In determining the top 10, one suggestion given is to make it a real award thing by having a voting or judging system. The informality of the writing project has its own beauty and makes the process more open. It also makes the overall top 10 list reflective on the community that participated. If done again next year, I'm hopeful that participation will be better. There are also three ongoing Internet-related awards that gives recognition to blogs and perhaps best to let those established already to take care of it. Rather than become a me-too kind of thing.

  • More promotion for blogs
    I encourage those who believe that there's a better way to do something like this to organize their own activities. Much like with the face-to-face Internet surveys I've done, whenever results are doubted, I tell them that opinions are not enough. Match the effort made with the same level of work I've given or better, as it is so easy to just "say something." I'll be happy to compare notes on successes and failures.
Achieve the objective
Not to lose sight or focus, the primary objective of the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs writing project is to create awareness on new blogs that are making great waves out there. Discovering more than 500 new blogs from the 193 participants, thank you for sharing them!

Want more?
There are ongoing writing projects that the DigitalFilipino.com Club has supported such as the Wika2007 and You Got Blogged. Check them out!