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Google Business Blog Nightmare: Reality 2.0

Posted by Jeremy Tick

Google Business Blog

Guest post by Jeremy Tick.

 

Ten years ago I made a mistake.  I stopped doing business with my business partner.

My colleague had made a larger financial investment and felt he owned more of the firm. Because it was my sales and marketing that helped the business quickly grow I thought the partnership equal.  We could never agree on who owned what and tensions frequently arose. When this happened, he reminded me of my youth and less formal education.  The relationship became deleterious to both my confidence and my ability to produce and it hurt the business.  After learning that he withdrew a larger portion of our income for himself without my consent, I left.

As children we’re taught to ignore bullies.  As adults we’re taught that relationships are sometimes transactional and we need to move on.  I thought I understood both sentiments and responded accordingly.  But these are not the old days anymore – we live in “Reality 2.0.”

Unsuccessful in running the business without me, my partner closed it down.  Ten years later, however, he still maintains the company website with the caption on Google stating the business is out of business and “cannot be held accountable for any of Jeremy Tick’s actions.”  Embedded in it are links to my old resume, tax documents from 2004, and a slew of defaming blog posts, written by him, about me.   These posts attack my personal character, work ethic, educational and socio-economic background and psyche.  Despite my effort to end an unhealthy relationship the web won’t let me.   My former partner doesn’t have to do anything to maintain our connection: Google does it for him.  And I pay the price.

When I first learned of the blog’s existence I paid no attention.  It was 2004 and I had never heard of a blog.   But while earning my Master’s Degree these posts became of concern. Despite being in a top-notch school with significant real world experience, my resume didn’t get nearly as much attention as those of my peers.

I soon learned why.  It was now 2007 and ever more frequently people were being “Googled” by hiring parties.  Curious, I looked up my name and found the return search populated entirely by these slanderous posts.   Unbeknownst to me, the relationship was still alive in the eyes of the world – and that was the only thing that mattered.

Learning that most websites claim no responsibility for the content they house, I attempted to create alternative content to push the blog down in search results but it was so chock full of my full name that anything I created was secondary.  Some ‘THING,’ had more control over my own name than me.

But I’m not the only one.

Businesses suffer tremendously when unwarranted or exaggerated negative feedback is posted without recourse.  People are hurt when bullying occurs over social media.  These mediums, by their design, empower the abuse and further disempower the abused.  The repercussions of such acts are of far greater consequence than the costs: it’s easy to do, often anonymous and, as evidence has shown, it can hurt.

It’s sad that this vehicle with which we can do so much good can render us so imprisoned by our new ‘sensationalist’ behaviors.  ‘Business at the Speed of Thought,’ might not be so thoughtful.  But we can change that.  Through the speed with which we exchange information and the impact we quickly have on others, we can actively redefine what constitutes social norms, decorum, and common sense.  We must learn to exalt compassion, kindness and responsibility ‘online’ and not tolerate petty meanness and hate – just as we do not when ‘offline’.  We need to remember that some relationships live their course and come to an end, that just as in real life, some things are better left unsaid, even online.   Our impact on others, not because of a lack of proximity to them, but because of our new proximity to everyone, has become far more substantial.  With any new tool comes precaution for its potential harm.   We need to learn to use this one more responsibly.

So go ahead, Google me.  Besides learning what a crud I once may have been, you’ll learn just how accomplished and resilient I am - how despite the one negative check in my background, I’ve done some pretty cool things – probably because Google encouraged me to do so.  I dare you, Google me.  Just remember, don’t believe everything you read online.  

Coach for EntrepreneursGuest blog post by Jeremy Tick, Coach for Entrepreneurs. A business owner since the age of 24, Jeremy is uniquely familiar with the challenges faced by individuals at all stages of business development.  His work is dedicated to aid Creative Professionals in building meaningful brands and developing systems and structures for success with which to create sustainable profit. You can reach Jeremy at www.jeremytick.com and www.tickmanagement.com

 

 

Visit Jeremy Tick on School of Coaching Mastery

 

Topics: business coach, blog, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, coach, Google, business, Entrepreneur, black hat

Infographic: Top 100 Life Coach Blogs 2013 - We're Number 3!

Posted by Julia Stewart

Top 100 Life coach blogs to follow

An infographic by the team at CouponAudit

School of Coaching Mastery hosts the Best Coaching Blogs Contest each year (The above Top Life Coach Blogs To Follow in 2013 is not part of our contest - obviously we can't win our own competition!). Subscribe to our blog (above right) to get an announcement to enter your blog in Best Coaching Blogs or to vote for other blogs. Click the button below to view 2012 winners:

Winners of Best Coaching Blogs 2012

Topics: life coach, Life Coach Blog, Best Coaching Blogs, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, coaching blog, coaching blogs, Top Life Coach Blogs

Best Coaching Blogs Triumph Despite Historic India Power Outage

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching Blogs 2012The votes are in and the 1st Place winner of Best Coaching Blogs 2012 is Life Coach Vatsala Shukla of India, who did a brilliant job of mobilizing her voters, despite India's massive 2-day power outage, which plunged one tenth of the world's population into darkness, making it the biggest loss of electrical power in world history.

Since its first year in 2008, Best Coaching Blogs finalists have been  decided by a combination of popular votes and comments left by fans. But in the end, the contest finalists themselves, choose 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place winners via a closed ballot.

There were key changes in this year's contest, which for the first time, was formatted like a blog. Each blog entry appeared as a separate blog 'post', with a link to the blog itself, plus a comments section and social sharing buttons, like those at the top of this post. Social shares counted as votes and comments were used as tie-breakers. The  'down vote' option that coaches disliked in previous years, was removed and voters were allowed to vote as many times as they liked. This produced a competition that was both more cordial and more social.

Vatsala's Tips for a Stress Free Life Blog quickly took the lead in both popular votes (social shares) and comments and it prevailed in the finalist's closed vote. 2nd Place went to Evelyn Kalinowsky's Inner Affluence blog and 3rd to Gerard Corbett's PR Job Coach blog. Rachel Grant Coaching blog and Andrea Feinberg's More Free Time blog rounded out the Top Five Winners. Angela Goodeve's* new blog, Life Advice the Coaching Way, received an Honorable Mention.

Congratulations again to all the new winners! Below are statements from three:

1st Place: Vatsala Shukla: "My blog Vatsala’s Tips for a Stress Free Life had just completed its first year of existence. Entering the competition was my challenge to improve myself.  Friends and associates told me my posts were good. That was expected as they know Vatsala the person in all her multi-roles of finance professional, life coach, daughter, pet parent and friend. They understood the context in my writing. What about the world? Was my blog up to the mark? So I entered the competition and was accepted. I was elated. It was only after I started reading the blogs of my fellow competitors that I realised that I was competing with the best of the best. My challenge to step out of my comfort zone went a step further to hold my ground against great veteran bloggers whom I have over the last 4 weeks added to my must read list! Receiving the largest public votes and comments was confirmation that readers liked what they read. Winning from the finalist voting round validated it. I am overwhelmed, humbled and grateful for my win which means a lot more to me than I can articulate. My next challenge is to honour the voters and finalists by being my best."

Top Five: Andrea Feinberg: "Thanks for the opportunity to participate in this contest and end up a winner among the Top 5, my first time! We each have such different targets and I see that as a testament to the swift and broad expansion of professional coaching throughout personal and business sectors. Congratulations to my fellow finalists; we enjoyed the validation of our work through the strength of our supporters who both voted and commented on our behalf."

Honorable Mention: Angela Goodeve: "Yay!!!  Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!  It was a great experience participating in the contest, and I am so flattered and proud to be given the Honorable Mention!  I love writing the blog posts in the hope that they will provide inspiration, "food for thought", tips, and guidance to improve people's life for the better...and give them an idea of what the wonderful world of Life Coaching can do for them!  I am grateful to you Julia for being a great Mentor and Teacher, and for challenging me to join the contest, and open up more possibilities for me and my business!"

As always, the Best Coaching Blogs Contest is a fun way to expand the conversation about the benefits of  business and life coaching. Plus it highlights the many varied approaches that coaches take to empower their clients and it builds awareness of the incredible growth of professional coaching, which continues to be the second fastest growing profession is the world.

Thanks to the coaching bloggers who participated. I hope you all attracted new readers and clients by taking the courageous step to enter your blog. I look forward to next year's contest and the connections that are built between coaching bloggers themsleves, as well as  with their new fans.

Congratulate the coaching winners below and visit the Best Coaching Blogs 2012 .

Become a coaching blogger yourself! Download the free "How to Blog Effectively for Your Coaching Business" eBook: Free Blogging eBook

 

Download Now.

 

 

*Full disclosure: Angela Goodeve is a life coach student at School of Coaching Mastery.

Topics: business coach, professional coach, life coach, Coaching Student, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, Career

Best Coaching Blogs 2012 Entry Period is Open

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching Blogs 2012The annual Best Coaching Blogs Contest is starting up again this month and the entry period is now open.

Every year, since 2009, School of Coaching Mastery has sponsored this online contest between many of the top blogs in business and life coaching. Thousands of readers check out the blogs entered and the coaching bloggers, themselves, report that it's fun, attracts new readers to their blogs, as well as new coaching clients.

Best Coaching Blogs Contests in past years, have always thrived on social sharing and cooperation, as much as on competition.

This year, we've revamped the contest to make it even more social than ever and we're putting it in the format of a blog, which kind of makes sense! We've also gotten rid of the dreaded 'Down Vote' option, which caused a fair amount of consternation in years past and we're experimenting with allowing people to vote as often as they wish.

This year, when you enter your coaching blog, your entry will show up as a blog post on the contest page. Each entry/blog post will have social sharing buttons at the top of it, like the ones you see above this post. The social sharing buttons will function as votes, which will display the total number of shares/votes for that entry. The 20 bloggers with the most votes will themselves vote via closed ballot for the Top Ten Best Coaching Blogs of 2012.

Winners will receive permanent listings on this site, with links to their blogs, plus winner badges and bragging rights. In past years, major coaching organizations have entered, as well as coaching students with brand-new blogs. The winners every year are a mix of established blogs and newbies, meaning anybody can win this prestigious blogging contest.

 

Here's how the new Best Coaching Blogs contest works:

 

  1. Enter your blog in the contest - it's free (be sure to read the rules)
  2. You'll get a badge for your blog that announces you as a contestant
  3. Invite your mailing list to vote for you and add their reasons why they love your blog in the Comments Section of your blog entry
  4. Blog about it on your blog
  5. Share your entry with your social networks on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ and invite folks to vote for you
  6. Use social sharing best practices: if you share with sensitivity, your contacts will share with their contacts and you votes could go viral, but if you over-share with your network, you may annoy and/or lose your friends and followers. (If you set up dummy accounts and over-share to non-existent contacts, you may be banned from the contest)
  7. Get to know your fellow bloggers and support the blogs you think should win - this is a friendly contest
  8. If you make it to the semi-finals, vote for the Best Coaching Blogs of 2012, based on the quality of their content and good sportsmanship.

 

Do you have a Coaching Blog that you'd like to enter in Best Coaching Blogs 2012?


Click me

Topics: Coaching, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, coaching blog, coaching blogs, coaching clients, Life Coaching

How to Win the Best Coaching Blogs Contest

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best coaching blogs contestHave you ever wished you could get insider tips on how to succeed at something?

Like how to win a contest or how to attract more clients? Well, I'm about to give you insider tips for both.

Marketing experts say that blogging is one of the most important tools for client attraction in any type of business, particularly if you don't have a big advertising budget. That advice couldn't be more true for coaches.

That's why we sponsor the Best Coaching Blogs Contest each year. Coaching Blogs offer some of the most cutting-edge information about coaching and they are free. That's awesome for the consumer and it's a great marketing strategy for coaches. The contest highlights the very best and it's an effective inbound marketing strategy for School of Coaching Mastery. Everybody wins. But not everybody wins the contest.

Winning at Best Coaching Blogs is a lot like winning at blogging. Both will attract more clients to you, so listen up!

9 ways to win Best Coaching Blogs:

1. Know your audience. The easiest audience to write for is yourself, your friends, or your clients, in that order. But if you're writing to attract more clients, you need to work harder to offer value, to be understood, to create fans and attract clients. If you're writing to win Best Coaching Blogs, remember that your blog will be read by folks who don't know you and you'll need to win over both coaches and non-coaches. They are very different audiences.

2. Know the difference between a business blog and a personal blog. A personal blog, or weblog, can be quirky, weird and profane. A business blog can be all of that, too, depending upon your audience. Generally speaking, a business blog needs to offer more service and value and build more trust than a personal blog, because you ultimately want your readers to spend not just their time, but their money with you. That usually requires more discipline and perhaps less soul-baring. Service, value, trust and discipline will go a long way to help you win the Best Coaching Blogs Contest.

3. Actively create trust. Notice that the word, 'trust' is coming up a lot? You may have already created a fantastic level of trust with the folks who know you, but if you want to attract more people (and contest votes) via your blog, you'll have to create trust through your actual writing. How do you do that? Tell the truth. Give away your best secrets. And show up consistently, meaning develop a consistent voice and blog regularly and frequently enough that people start to count on your articles. As a rule of thumb, you need a minimum of about 20 articles to create blog credibility and you should be blogging once per week or more.

4. Titles are critical. Learn to write titles that engage quickly and pique curiosity. You only have a second or two to convince someone that it'll be worthwhile to spend their valuable time reading your article. Check the right-hand column of this blog for a list of our ten most popular blog posts and you'll see examples of many of the types of posts that engage and create curiosity. If people don't read your articles, you won't attract either clients or votes.

5. Make sure the article delivers what the title promises. Piquing someone's curiosity and then immediately pulling a switcheroo to get them to buy or download something is just plain rude. It's also marketing suicide and readers will mentally blacklist you in a heartbeat. Don't use your blog to sell. Also, don't use it just to write about a product or program, unless your audience tells you they love that. Do offer something of value at the bottom of your posts for people who may want more. Treat your readers with respect and they'll come back. They may even vote for your blog.

6. Be remarkable. Thousands of life coaches write about the Law of Attraction. Don't be one of them unless you have something different to say. Write what no one else writes. Empower your readers. Help them achieve their goals. Make them feel smart for discovering you and they will tell all their friends. And their friends will tell friends. Soon, you have raving fans for your blog and for your work. Fans vote with a vengence.

7. Be Social. Success in the blogosphere is achieved through cooperation, not competition. Read other blogs and comment on them. Link to the best ones. Guest post on some. And announce what you and other bloggers are up to throughout the social media web. This advice is especially important during the contest. Treat your fellow contestants like friends instead of enemies, because in the end, the semi-finalists choose the Top Ten Winners.

8. Play nice. Every year, at least one blogger succumbs to the temptation to cheat and it's the other contestants who notice it first. That's a dumb strategy, because the contestants are the ones who choose the winners. Either play nice or loose. 

9. Break the rules. Although I'm giving you awesome advice for writing a successful blog that wins like crazy, your audience may want something completely different. Pay attention to them first and foremost and watch your blog grow in popularity. Best Coaching Blogs is in many ways a popularity contest. Write for your readers (and voters) and win!

Go here for a related article called, Best Coaching Blogs: Why a Winning Strategy Might Not Win.

Are you a blogger or even winner in one of the Best Coaching Blogs contests? What strategies do you use that I've left out here? Please share your best blogging strategies in the comments below.

How to Blog Effectively

 

Want more ideas? Download the free How to Blog Effectively for Your Coaching Business ebook here.

Topics: coaching business, Best Coaching Blogs, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, School of Coaching Mastery, coaching clients, Life Coaches, How to, Law of Attraction

Best Coaching Blogs 2010 Open

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching Blogs 2010Best Coaching Blogs 2010 opens this morning. Enter your blog to win!

The Best Coaching Blogs 2010 contest 'officially' opens this morning. A few of last year's participants entered over the weekend, so you can begin voting right away.

However, we will still be in the 'entry period' until the end of May, adding new blogs as they are entered. Right now is the time to enter the coaching blog contest.

How does the Best Coaching Blogs contest work?

Any self-described coach who blogs on coaching themes may enter for free. You'll get a badge, similar to the one above, to post on your blog, website, and social profiles, with a link to the contest, so your readers, clients, followers, etc., can all vote for you. Only one vote per blog entry, per IP (computer) address. And of course, you'll want to blog about it and post about it on social sites. Last year, major coaching organizations, professional coaches and even student coaches all entered - and won!

'Thanks again, Julia, for this competition. I joined for a lark, and got into the top ten! Incredible!' - Coach Gaye Wilson  

How are Best Coaching Blogs winners chosen?

Initial votes are cast by the public, so be sure to mobilize yours. Final results will be determined by the Semi-Finalists, themselves, in a closed vote (online survey). Criteria for winning include the quality of blog content and good sportsmanship. A summary of the final vote counts will be made public in a downloadable PDF document. The contest winners will be announced in this blog on July 1st.

 What do the Best Coaching Blogs win?

Every blog that makes it past the initial entry period will get a badge that describes what level they won (1st Place!) to display on their site, plus bragging rights. And this year, we're adding prizes - winners will receive free memberships to Coaching Insiders. More on that later.

Why should you enter Best Coaching Blogs 2010?

Well, you just might win. Last year, 50 blogs entered. New coaches, as well veterans, competed and won. There were 30,000 hits to the contest page within 2 months and visitors continue to visit the list of last year's winners, which links to their blogs. Winners also got picked up by other online lists of best blogs.

'Wow, thanks so much! This means a lot to me, especially considering the standard of the other blogs - many colleagues whose work I know well (and love reading regularly) were featured in the competition. So this is a real honour. Thanks to everyone!' - Coach Cath Duncan, 1st Place, Best Coaching Blogs 2009

Perhaps the real reason to enter is that you'll get new readers and perhaps new subscribers and clients. That's what last year's participants told me. They also told me the whole thing was a lot of fun!

'...an amazing experience. I'll be following some of the blogs from the contest and have had new people subscribe to my blog and newsletter. It's great to share with those of like mind and receive inspiration and support along the way.' - Coach Marian Kerr 

Last, the Best Coaching Blogs contests are designed to spotlight great coaching and how it helps others do great things and have better lives and more successful businesses. Coaching is changing the world.

'We are very honoured to have been voted one of the ten best blogs - especially among so many other incredible entries!' - Coach Linda Dessau, editor IAC VOICE

Please share this post with as many people as you know, especially coaches. Our social share buttons at the top of this post make that easy for you. And if you decide to enter, good luck!

Enter Best Coaching Blogs

 

Enter Best Coaching Blogs Here.

Topics: Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, coaching blog, coaching blogs, contest, IAC Voice

Best Coaching Blogs 2010 Preview

Posted by Julia Stewart

bloggerLast year's Best Coaching Blogs 2009 was hugely popular.

Over 30,000 visitors read and voted on their favorite blogs and the winners, from all over the world, ranged from big coaching organizations to new coaching students.

We're getting ready to do it again. After reviewing a variety of approaches to help us upgrade security and fairness, we realized we already have eveything we need to run another great contest.

Who can enter Best Coaching Blogs 2010? Any self-described coach who already has a blog. Please don't enter if you aren't at least a coaching student and obviously don't enter this year if you don't already have a blog.

What's the benefit of entering Best Coaching Blogs 2010? Hundreds, if not thousands of new readers, potentially getting picked up by lists of top blogs, connecting with other thought leaders in the coaching world, prizes and bragging rights (including a badge for your site) if you win. Oh yeah, and it's fun!

Right now, we're looking for sponsors to help kick in some prizes in exchange for a little promotion on our site. If you offer a product or service that coaches would be interested in and want to be a contest sponsor, let me know here. (Sorry, contestants can't be sponsors, so you have to choose how you want to play.)

The contest last year ran from May through June, but we'll be accepting entries earlier this year. Watch this blog for upcoming announcements. I recommend you subscribe by email or RSS.

Why do we hold a Best Coaching Blogs Contest every year? Lots of reasons, including:

  • Reading blogs is one of the best free ways to learn about this business.
  • Participating in the blogosphere is a super way to establish yourelf as a thought leader, even if you don't have your own blog.
  • Connecting with bloggers and readers can bring you ideas, opportunities, collaborators and clients.
  • Much, much more. 

Subscribe to the Coaching Blog

Subscribe to the Coaching Blog above right, to keep informed about this exciting coaching contest.

Topics: coaching business, Coaching, Life Coach Blog, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, Coaches, coach

Announcing Best Coaching Blogs 2009 Winners!

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching Blogs WinnersWe have our winners for the 2009 Best Coaching Blogs Contest!

Forty-five wonderful blogs were entered and I've heard  from countless people that it was a terrific introduction to blogs and coaching. Kudos to everyone who entered and participated faithfully. Watch for an announcement about next year's contest in this space. 

But you want to know who the winners are, right? Here they are.

Congratulations to our top three winners!

1st Place: Mine Your Resources by  Cath Duncan

Here's Cath's reaction to learning that she won:

"Wow, thanks so much! This means a lot to me, especially considering the standard of the other blogs - many colleagues whose work I know well (and love reading regularly) were featured in the competition. So this is a real honour. Thanks to everyone!"
Cath has a new coaching site that goes live today:  www.bottomlinebookclub.com

2nd Place: Good Vibe Blog by Jeannette Maw 

3rd Place: Stirring the Spirit Within by Jude Eastman

Jude's reaction to winning third place: 

"Wow-I'm in Hawaii enjoying the surf, flora, and fauna of the big Island. It's hard to imagine winning third place! I feel like Woohoo! I write my blog as inspiration for others who are trying to change their lives. Hopefully,they will be pulled forward into their highest and best life whatever circumstances they are currently in." 

The following seven blogs complete our Top Ten Winners:

Somedays Syndrome

Prosperous Coach Blog

Laurie Foley

All Paths to Victory

Your Web Coaches

Lose the Excuses


Sixteen additional bloggers were semi-finalists. All in all, this has been a really fun project. I've been introduced to some amazing coaches and blogs and learned a lot about how to run a contest! 

Our ultimate goal was to compile a list of Best Coaching Blogs that anyone can visit to learn more about coaching and personal & professional development.

Visit all our Best Coaching Blogs Winners here.

Topics: Coaching, Life Coach Blog, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, coaching blog, Coaches

Best Coaching Blogs Run Off

Posted by Julia Stewart

Over the last 72 hours, I've communicated with virtually every blogger who entered Best Coaching Blogs.

And although most of the coaches have used words like, "thrilled" and "delighted" to describe their experience, with many reporting new subscribers to their blogs, there's no question that the voting criteria was misunderstood by some contestants. Some people voted "daily" instead of just once, so the resulting number of votes is simply not a fair yardstick for measurement.

I really wanted a "people's choice" contest for the best blogs written by coaches, because it encourages more people to read coaching blogs. From what I hear, that's exactly what has happened. (Yay!)

Now it's time to decide the finalists. However, I'm simply not willing to do that based on the votes we have. And although I tested some new contest software over the weekend, making the switch to a new, very different contest format after most of the votes have already been cast, won't really be fair, either.

So I'm going to let the bloggers, themselves, make the final decisions via closed ballot run off. 

This option may not please everyone, but it means we can name the Best Coaching Blog of 2009 with pride and confidence. I've learned a lot from this contest and it will be run very differently next year! 

Thanks to everyone who entered and voted in good faith this year. I hope the introductions to new blogs and the possible awards the bloggers may receive will make this experience overwhelmingly positive!

Topics: Coaching, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogosphere, contest

Best Coaching Blogs Solution?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching BlogsI must say, I feel a bit better about the Best Coaching Blogs snafu.

Based on the comments, it seems the rules need to be clearer and the "vote down" option needs to be removed. Plus we need intelligent protocols for checking what's going on. Otherwise, the competition is too tempting for some and too demotivating for others.

I think maybe, just maybe, I've found the solution. After a Google search (gotta love Google), I found  www.strutta.com, which has some very intelligent looking contest software. I enquired about their security system for ensuring fairness and here's the speedy reply that I got:

'Hey Julia, 

I'm glad you asked. This one is a point of pride for us. Here's the official company line on our voting system and fraud prevention. First, quoting Mike Holly, our Senior Developer: 

"Our users are required to verify their accounts (by clicking an activation link sent in an email) before voting. All new votes and entries are kept in a "pending" state until the user clicks the email verification link. When the verification link is clicked, the user is notified that their votes have been made permanent and finally redirected back to the contest site. Once at the site, the user can clearly see that their vote has been recorded.

By default our software will allow one voter, per user, per entry for the duration of the contest."

So Julia, some voting software will only allow one vote per IP address to prevent more than entry coming form one computer or physical location. We understand that often times several employees of one company or members of one family might wish to vote from the same IP address with different emails, so we've installed filters to alert our staff and the contest creator whenever "suspicious" activity takes place. Wherever multiple votes are cast from a single IP, they are caught in a "filter." Once one of these filters catches a pattern and alerts us to potentially suspect voting, we review each case and evaluate it using a number of other criteria to ensure that all voting is fair, and that no cheating of any kind has taken place.

In the event that fraudulent voting has taken place, the contest creator is given the option of dismissing any and all fraudulent votes. It is up to the descretion of the contest creator (you) to decide whether entries should be disqualified, bearing in mind that it is not always the entrant that is responsible for the fake votes, it could just be one bad voter apple in the barrel. 

I hope this is helpful. If you have other questions, you can send them to us directly using http://www.strutta.com/contact.'
 
Given that helpful explanation, I've set up a "test" or "mock" contest and I invite all Best Coaching Blogs contestents to enter this test contest and votes with impunity. It is live until 2:30 Eastern/NY Time, tomorrow, Sunday, June 21st. There is no winner.
 
The point of this test contest is to get a feel for how the contest software works and how it may be confusing and to try to 'break' the security system.  Go ahead and dump your cache, close and reopen your browser, vote from different computers and with different email addresses. I want to see what happens. In other words, break the "rules". Please don't invite your readers, though. This mock contest is just for testing purposes.
 
The layout and look is very different. You will be invited to enter "text". Enter an engaging description of your blog and a link to it. Also enter "tags", title and a short description.  You must set up an account to do this. It's easy and fast. Please add comments about the mock contest to this post.
 
Ready?

Topics: Coaching, Best Coaching Blogs, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, Coaches

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