Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lessons Learned in Organizing a Writing Project

Anybody can start a blog nowadays but coming up with a niche where you can institutionalize your purpose takes time. Coming up with the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs writing project was a big step for me towards this direction. Its initial concept to enhancement requires a lot of risk taking.

Blogging Ahead Mind Map from Blogging from Home book
Click on the image to see a bigger version.

The 2nd leg of this writing project has provided a glimpse as to how the blogosphere is changing. It partly help shape the blogging ahead segment of my book - Blogging from Home.

From the winners list, I noticed that:
  • Much of the content now focuses on how the information being posted on the blog shall serve the interest of the reader.

  • Focused on "new" or "unique" as strong value or what the reader may not know.

  • Blogging is serious business.
    At least for most of the blogs that made it to the list, there is a sense of structure in the content presentation. Posts are not just being made out of the whim. Most are well thought of and planned. A good number uses pictures and videos to accompany a blog post.
What we've done differently this year includes:
  • Tapped Twitter to reach out and invite prospective writing project participants. I've sent a lot of direct messages for this purpose. Some did while others are either busy or find the process too tedious.

  • Use Entrecard. Disseminate word about the writing project as early as December 2007 and place ads on blogs.

  • Use Google AdWords. Campaign was made from May to August inviting more folks to join.

  • To boost quality of entries and respond to request, only those who made a full top 10 list were included in the raffle. This is also to stick to the purpose of the writing project.

  • I've written to some of the big names in the international blogosphere asking their help to spread the word but did not succeed in getting support. I'll try again for the 2009 leg.
These developments perhaps influenced also the youngest blog that made it to the list. Last year, the newest blog was created in June 2007 compared to April 2008 in this 2nd leg.

Some of the items being thought of now for the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs for 2009 are (although this can still change):
  • Blog creation cut-off date is from May 1, 2008 to the present.

  • Only those who makes a full top 10 list at the end of the writing project cut-off date shall be considered for the count and be included in the raffle.

  • Get volunteer coordinators per country to attract writing project participants.
    Money spent for the Google AdWords campaign I did this year will be better spent and given to coordinators for 2009.
Thank you again for supporting this humble writing project.

Of course, this writing project continues also with the support of sponsors. Parties interested can e-mail me at digitalfilipino (at) gmail (dot) com.