Sunday, August 28, 2005

BLOB Awards : The rules

Mic testing.. Mic testing.

Good, now that all of you can hear me and given that we have spent enough time on the Categories, I will summarise the rules, some that we have already discussed and some that I shall propose (and would love your feedback on)
  1. The poll contestants will have to be BITSians only. In other words, any blog that is nominated for an award should be a blog maintained by a BITSian.
  2. ANYONE - bitsian or otherwise - can vote as part of the poll. If you have been following a BITSian blog and want to tell him/her how much you love his/her blog, you can go ahead and vote.
  3. The final list of categories are the eleven categories you see here [link].
  4. You can vote at most three blogs for each category.
  5. The poll consists of two stages.
    1. The first stage will be an open event where people can copy-paste URLs of their favorite blogs for respective categories. At the end of the first stage, the top three blogs in each category will be announced.
    2. These blogs will be the nominations for the specified category and the second stage begins here. People can then vote for the nominated blogs and at the end of the second stage, we announce the winner.
    3. The reason for doing this is even people who don't regularly follow BITSian blogs and wouldn't have voted normally can take time to look at the nominationsand make up their minds.
    4. I have a suggestion here - the nominated bloggers can also make a pitch for their respective blogs during the second stage where they can introduce themselves and "campaign" for their blogs. The idea of doing this is to get to know each other through this process.
  6. The nominations carry over the points they have got in the first stage into the second stage. In other words, it's one contiguous voting process.
  7. There's currently no check done to make sure people vote only once. As mentioned before, if someone is voting for the same blog many times it only goes to show how much he/she likes the blog. So, you can vote any number of times you like [the assumption here is there's a healthy spirit of participation as I am sure we are dealing with mature individuals here].
  8. The results will be completely transparent at the end of the stage. All the blogs that have been nominated will be announced at the end of first stage. We will also provide the different votes that each blog received at the end of the second stage.
So, what are the steps ahead?

We have shortlisted a poll site - - which allows people to create a poll and the poll can be pasted on any site. So, everyone will be able to vote here in this blog. We also have yahoo groups [which however will require authentication and enrollment etc]. But the problem with both these polls are that they allow only multiple-choice type questions. so, having a free text field where people can enter blog addresses is not possible. We can definitely work around this problem but that will involve a little more work for anyone who's voting. A more tailor-made solution would any day be better [And a simple form that can be posted here and a corresponding back end which accepts GET or POST requests and does as much as even send me a mail would be the best :)]

Many thanks to everyone who's passed the word around. We are beginning to get some attention now and that's definitely good news. However, I still haven't got any volunteers for
  1. Any other poll/survey sites that you might know, have heard about, have come across. Please do let me know if you have any in mind. If you don't, please ask around and let me know :)
  2. If you are, or know someone who is, good with graphics and will be willing to spend LITTLE time in designing the "Award" images for the event, that would be fantastic. You will be duly acknowledged in this site :)
Would really [REALLY] appreciate it if you can take SOME time for this.

If things go as planned, we should be starting the poll on September 15th. I am not sure how long we will have the first stage open - I will leave this as an open point right now and decide based on the response we get. Hope that's ok.

As always, do pass the word around; please let me know what you think and make sure you have fed your dog :)

PS: If you have the time to participate in the pilot poll or want to be kept posted on this poll by mail, do send a mail to rathish_balakrishnan [at] yahoo [dot] com or just leave your email address here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

BLOB Awards : The Categories

Bhaiyon aur unki behnon,

Firstly, danks a million for taking the time and commenting on the post below. And many more thanks for having put up notices in your blogs. I was looking at about 25 votes before moving on with the details. However, 16 comments is not a bad number (especially when three people have contributed to more than half the comments ;)).

I have, as I mentioned before, a couple of ideas for the categories. A blog is not probably the best medium for consensus based decisions or brain storming. But let me know what you think and most importantly, give me the list of categories that you have in mind.

My list is
  1. Daily cup of Coffee Bblog - BBlogs that are usually the first ones you visit everyday (as soon you are done with checking the comments counter in yours ;)).
  2. The Funniest BBlog
  3. The most socially relevant BBlog - Blogs that have a strong social conscience, were of use during times of trouble (tsunami, mumbai rain) or bring to light the actual truths.
  4. Direct Dilse Bblog - Blogs that are very genuine where every post is very heart felt. Makes you feel you know the person by reading his blog.
  5. The Complete Bblog - Guess, this is self explanatory. Bblogs that span a whole range of issues, is funny, witty, touchy, mushy, stupid ... just about everything
  6. The Eng-Lang-Ski Bblog - Blogs that maintain a good standard of language (Dr. Meenakshi raman must be proud that I named an award after her course ;))
  7. The Stunner Bblog - The most visually appealing blog. Bonus points for creativity and expertise in HTML. Nonetheless, doesn't have to have barbies and rockets in the template. Has to be neat and appealing.
  8. The 1000 words Bblog - No, it's not about the length :) It's about the best photo blogs (I am not sure how many are there. Still I shall leave it here)
  9. The Killer Name Bblog - Quote - "... in a blog World full of Randoms, Thoughts, Actions, Stray etc., something must be given to a blog with a killer name" - UnQuote
  10. The Oncampus Spy Bblog - For those who brave the connection speeds and dry winds of the desert and let us know interesting information about what's happening in campus. Bbloggers who compete in this category will have to show their mess bill/ID card/C'not Blue moon bills for proof ;)
  11. The Smart-Spammer Bblogger - The ones that leave their mark in as many blogs with some killer comments!
Three nominees for every award and one winner. There are a couple of ideas that I thought of but discarded. Shall list them to - let me know what you think.
  1. Year-wise awards - Where a blogger from every batch is chosen. We have a good list of bloggers for 97-2000. But for batches before or after, the number is way too small to merit representation.
  2. Awards based on Sex (as in gender ;)) - One blogger (for the complete blog award) from either sexes. Again, do we need bring that factor into the whole selection? I personally don't think so.
  3. The best theme-based blogs - For the simple reason that we don't have many around.
  4. The most often updated blog - There's no point in doing the whole drama of choosing someone. We might as well call Sagnik on stage and give it to him right away. This one's a no-contest!
A few more operational details
  1. Where to host? I have checked out a couple of free online survey boards. But if someone has a server where we can host an application, it will save us a lot of time and will help us come up with something better.
  2. Award designers? I am sure there are a lot of creative guys when it comes to colors, images and photoshop (I personally can think of a lot of bitsians!). Cany anyone volunteer to design and create the award icons? A simple (yet appealing) design should do. If you are interested do let me know. And if you are from bangalore, I assure you a treat once it's done :)
  3. Audience? The more the number of people who vote, the better it is. It would be great if we could let a lot more people know that something like this is happening. At the sametime, I don't want to resort to any cheap attention gathering gimmicks either (Spamming anyone?). Can you think of any e-groups where you can send a mail about such awards. If so, please do :)
That's it for now. Once we have agreed on the categories, we can draft the rules for the whole contest. Now it's your turn :) Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

BLOB Awards?

Give me a moment while I dust off the cobwebs that have settled on this blog. Ah! now, this is what I call a neat, clean and an EMPTY blog :) It's been around an year since this blog has been started and now that I see it, the list of bloggers to my right is quite substantial. Apart from this list, I have a list of close to 70 odd bitsians in my blog and I am sure that x 20 is the number of BITSians who are blogging. I have an idea and I need your opinion on the same.

How about starting something like BLoggers Of Bits (BLOB) awards (the resemblance to BOB is purely coincidental, let me tell you!). We decide on a set of categories and readers (BITSians or anyone else who is been reading blogs maintained by BITSians) can nominate blogs of their choice. And once the voting is done, we declare the winners and all the winners will get a "BLOB award" which probably will be a logo (Or some sort of "graphic" that people will like to have on their blogs :-).

I personally would love to do something like this because,
  1. It reiterates the original purpose behind starting this blog which is to bring about a sense of community among all BITsian bloggers.
  2. It's a nice way to appreciate blogs that make our days and have become "our daily cups of coffee".
  3. Sharing each one's favorites gives us a chance to showcase a list of interesting blogs that one can add to his daily list.
  4. IT IS A LOT OF FUN! :)
Of course, there are a lot of operational details to be worked out. Not everyone will have the sufficient time. But the big question is "Do we want to do it?" It doesn't even matter whether you are a BITSian or not - if you find this idea interesting, or feel you can help out, or at least are sure that you will take time to vote for the blogs of your choice if such a contest is started, please take sometime off to leave a comment on the post (A simple "I Do" will do :-)

Or if you can think of reasons because of which this wouldn't work, or things that we have to take care of while doing something like this, or just find this whole idea stupid, please drop in your comments too.

PS: I am not sure how many people still read this blog. So, if it's not too much of a trouble, can you post this link on your Blog so that people can read this post and voice their opinion. Thanks again!