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!


Anonymous said…
Congratz Ms. Janette for a job well done.
Anonymous said…
I agree with MLQ3 that defining influential can be quite stingy. I wish we could have only one "definitive definition" of the word. I still mull over the "leadership is influence" thing.

I think that's it: the Digital Filipino name affected the scope of participants of the writing project. Even some Filipinos thought that it was an only-in-the-Philippines project.

I'd also want it to be international, but attracting international participants is just really hard. Besides, Filipinos are generally more active when it comes to these kind of things, and we Filipino bloggers are more consolidated OFFLINE than bloggers from other countries.

You couldn't have done any better than you already did, IMO. For the first time anyway. It's not your fault that some people chose not to participate in the project, or that some people just have too many things to say about it. :) At the end of the day, it served its purpose well.
Congratulations Janette! It was a project worthy of applause especially since it helped in community building. It served its purpose well and you managed to reach your objectives - to get the new bloggers known (and I'm one of them hehe).

Never mind those who've been ranting. It's sadly part of our culture - crab mentality. At the end of the day, the objective was met and there are a lot of people who now have new friends.

@Shari - it's true, our blogosphere is noteworthy and my colleagues are envious about it. Sa susunod sama niyo naman ako sa gimmick niyo! :)
Anonymous said…
hi, Janette,

win some, lose some--we cannot have it all. we cannot please everybody. what is important is that at the end of the day, all's well and that the objective has been met.

you do not know how much you have touched the hearts of many people, particularly the "young" bloggers, meaning those who have just started blogging. through this initiative, many "young" bloggers have become known to others and accepted in the community.

the community has not been stingy, though. those who participated have been good enough to endorse/nominate the blogs that they felt made some impact. seeing the happiness and the glow exuded by the winners was for me an emotional experience. the happiness was catching.

we are not here to make any judgments--who are we to judge anyway? this was all done in the spirit of fun and camaraderie. anything that has a good objective should be lauded, not brought down.

congrats, Janette. for me the "contest" or whatever name it is, has been a humbling experience for me. i have not expected such show of support, not only from those who participated in this initiative, but also from those who have been watching in the sidelines.

my heartfelt thanks to you, and to everyone.
Anonymous said…
Hi Janette,

First of all, you've done a great job and became an inspirtation to others.

Some of my thoughts to add to the "learnings".

1. Make it open for Filipinos, not just here but abroad. There are a lot of talented bloggers out there. Let's focus on expanding the Pinoy blogosphere.

2. Get the other famous pinoy bloggers (read: those with high hits and already succesful) to participate by at least "endorsing" or promoting the next big project on their sites.

3. Focus on a writing theme and reward those whith creativity. This means that some form of judging can be placed within the system.

4. Educate companies to support this. Well, if they don't, ours will most certainly be willing to help.

I guess that's it. More power and thanks for dropping by at gmtristan.com

aka GM T

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