Behind the scenes with the Indian Blogger Awards #IBA2017
2017 marks the Tenth year of IndiBlogger as a free platform for Indian Bloggers across the world. As we bid adieu to this year, we can’t help but feel that it marks the end of an era for us. At the outset we would like to thank all those people who helped this little platform on its journey with acts of kindness that super-ceded the average human’s empathy index! This landmark year was the reason why we wanted to hold our two most loved Blogging initiative’s, #BNLF and #IBA2017.
Below are some feedback, notes and observations by the various judges who volunteered to rummage through hundreds of blogs and come up with a winner. We wanted to give you all an inside peek into how this years #IBA2017 was organized.
1. Opinions Matter:
Blogging is a great way to express your opinions and experiences, but at times our judges were swamped with “How to” posts, faceless “news” like reporting and “tips and tricks”. Although, such bloggers were prolific in their posting, it lacked that extra bite and insight. At times the judges had no choice but to award a blogger who may not have posted as often but had some thought provoking articles.
On the flip side, there were some insightful thoughts and some of the comments said it all. These comments weren’t your run of the mill “Hey great post”, they were deeply entwined in the bloggers thought process and subject matter of the article. A well written and insightful blog definitely caught the attention of our judges as it did with readers.
A Blog is usually a potpourri of experiences. Many Bloggers write about everything that affects and effects their everyday lives. However, at this years awards we found our judges leaning towards people who had focused on a niche. It made the content easier to follow and it gave the judges a very clear indication of the personality, interest and core knowledge of the blogger.
Bloggers who wrote about a mobile phone in one post and a travel experience in the next didn’t give the judges the confidence that the opinion or experience was believable. Some judges even went on to award bloggers who would write about a very small niche as opposed to commonly discussed upon topics. This however didn’t apply to some categories like the “personal” category where bloggers were expected to write on a myriad of things.
3. The Invisible Seams:
We have always found it hard to categorize blogs. Even after doubling the number of categories since our first edition in 2013, we found these unique blogs that could not be stereotyped into a specific category. An example would be something as “innocent” as the parenting category. Some bloggers would have boys as kids and their experience would predominantly revolve around that, some had girls and their content would reflect that, then there were those who struggled to have kids and their blogs would have content such as the latest IVF treatments, then there were those who wrote about their experiences of raising adopted children. If we were to be thorough, we would have to have at-least 5 or 6 categories for Parenting alone! In a category like this that depended on specific life experiences, it was a challenge to select just one winner. As far as the judges were concerned there were at least 5 winners.
The same could be said for the “travel” category. There were people who focused on the USA or Europe or India. There were some who focused on the medium of travel such as road, air, ships etc. These bloggers were not supported financially like some grossly over-funded companies, but the experiences put forth in these blogs were no less unique. They were prolific too, with hundreds of posts. Judging it was like the movie sophie’s choice where a mother in a concentration camp was forced to decide which of her children would live and which would die. #unbearable.
We feel we should give everyone who participated in #IBA2017 an award just for giving their life experiences 🙂
4. The lack thereof:
Some judges asked us why there were a lack of entries in a few categories. some of the sub categories of “Regions” and “languages” that were introduced in this edition did not do well in terms of numbers (although, some of the bloggers were unbelievably awesome). We feel in this regard we will need your help to reach and encourage more of such bloggers to join IndiBlogger. We will also try some alternative strategies come 2018!
5. How did IndiBlogger execute #IBA2017 with the judges?
Here are some insights:
(Specifics of the below screenshots from the IndiBlogger internal dashboard have been “Blue screened” so as to not give away the final outcome. You are most welcome to speculate.)
We built a system that would help the judges seamlessly look at each of your blogs, the three chosen entries that you submitted and the testimonials by your . We wanted them to have not only a birds eye view but the ability to dig deeper.
We asked the bloggers to add three of their personal favorite blog posts to give the judges an idea of what they felt was their best work on the subject. We asked them to get their readers opinions via FaceBook to help the judges understand how regular people would perceive their blog. Comments received on their blog posts added another perspective to individual blog posts and it helped identify why some people would gravitate to the thoughts on your blog.
After checking out a blog, a judge could perform a few actions on it including shortlisting, reporting a wrong category or rejecting them. Judges could also see the other categories that the blogger had applied to, including the status based on the color coding. Yellow showed the other categories applied, Green meant shortlisted and a red strike through meant that the the blog was not shortlisted.
You could also filter entries based on various criteria and once a judge was happy with the shortlisted entry, they could choose a winner.
Winners were indicated with a green marker in the main dashboard as shown in the screen shot of two of the marked winners who were announced earlier at #BNLF this year!
We welcome you to the official winners announcement of #IBA2017 at 11:00 AM on December 30th, 2017. This will be the last big noise we make this year so lets holler away for #Blogging one last time this year.
After all this, one thing was certain , all these blogs were playing a huge part in steering humanity to venture out of their comfort zone, experience new things and understand their present lives. The overall feedback from the judges were one of amazement. Some of them had been a part of the 2013 edition and they cited a marked increase in quality and maturity of the articles.
We wish you a very happy new year and good luck and fortune in the days to come.