Well, the tabulations are complete, the results are in, and the first “Best Blogs” competition is now under our belt with the winners scheduled to be announced on the site Monday. It has been a great experience, and we've learned a thing or two along the way. Over 50 blogs were nominated. Some of the winners are known names in the industry; others not so much. There will be twenty two blogs announced on Monday as being selected for the honor.

That number could have been higher, and I suspect in future years it will be.

For selecting the best of the best, we used four objective standards, based on metrics related to the nominated blogs, and one segment for subjective judging from a panel of experts. The objective categories used were:

  • Number of times nominated – This criteria was not publicized prior to the close of nominations specifically to avoid potential spamming issues. It is a good measure of public support for a particular blog. We will use it in future award programs, but will be adding variables to prevent spamming of the nomination process.
  • Age of the blog – This lends to long term viability. The older the blog, the more likely it has been used and supported by the industry.
  • Average posts per week – This was determined by looking at the last 3 months of activity and dividing by the number of weeks. Active blogs with good recent posting rates signal a healthy forum for information.
  • Average page views per day – This was requested from most nominated blogs (some, such as those based on LinkedIn, display overall read counts that can be tabulated). I should note that about 40% of the nominated blogs failed to provide this information, and that did hurt their score. In a few cases it made the difference between inclusion and exclusion to the final list.

The Objective areas accounted for 60% of the overall score. The subjective portion, the contributions from our independent judges, comprised the remaining 40%. They were looking at content quality, including grammar and spelling, as well as timeliness and value of the information provided.

I want to thank our 7 judges who committed their time and talent to reviewing the nominations. It takes a fair amount of effort to comb through the many blogs that were nominated, and they did their job with competence and enthusiasm. They are:

Pamela F. Ferrandino
Executive Vice President, National Casualty
Willis Global Integrated Solutions

Jonathan Mast
Director of Social Media

Mark Walls
Vice President Communications & Strategic Analysis
Safety National

Jennifer Wolf Horejsh
Executive Director

Thomas A. Robinson
Co-author – Larson's Workers' Compensation Law

Mark Pew
Senior Vice President

Sandy Blunt
Vice President of Insurance Services

One of the things I noted in the process was the absence of nominations for some blogs that are fairly well known in industry circles. Perhaps the Best Blogs program just was not on their radar, and their visitors never connected the dots to make sure they were entered for consideration.  I can tell you blogs that mentioned the program and asked for their visitors support certainly got it. For a couple blogs it really made a difference. Perhaps next time more will encourage our traditionally reticent public to participate.

Other things that affected scores was frequency of posting. Some blogs seemed to have good content – when they posted, but a blog that churned out 3 posts a week or more seemed to fare better overall.

A couple of the judges indicated they were surprised to find good content of which they were not aware previously. That is a hopeful sign to me that we have the opportunity to introduce new quality content to the workers' compensation community.

I will write a bit more on this next week, after the results are revealed. To share my thoughts on some things now might tip my hand as to the results. I wouldn't want to do that; after all, it's all about the suspense…..


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