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Cries of Foul Play in Best Coaching Blogs Contest

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching Blogs 2009Last week I wrote about how competitive the Best  Coaching Blogs 2009 contest had become.

Thousands of votes; lots of excitement. Well, we seem to have turned a corner with that. One blog recently got more votes in a period of a few hours than the number of visitors to our entire website! Hmm...if each person is supposed to vote once, then...

Today, I also received an email from someone who says she's been bombarded by bloggers who are asking her to vote multiple times for their blogs. Not cool. Not cool at all.

The voting software is designed to prevent anyone from voting more than once, but any system can be "gamed". How naive I must be to think that coaches would be above all that!

When I first caught wind of some cut-throat activity, I started watching my web analytics for irregularities and they revealed mostly positive behavior, plus some that I wasn't so sure about. I made some mental notes about how to change the contest for next year, but it meant that possibly I had missed some activities that should have disqualified a few blogs this year and it was too late to be sure. That's not good.

Now I'm thinking that I can't guarantee the fairness of this contest. That makes me really sad, but I'm not one to stand around sniffling. 

Clearly, some changes need to be made. And although I was hoping for a "People's Choice" award for coaching blogs, I think it would be much fairer to let all of the bloggers vote for each other, including those who didn't make the previous two cuts. The web "votes" will now be for "entertainment" purposes,only.

I'm asking myself what I've learned here. Should I have tested the software with a mock contest? I don't think a mock contest would have elicited this result. Maybe experience really is the best teacher.

Perhaps the real lesson is that temptation can get the better of even good people, so it's best not to tempt them. Or judge them.

My hero in all of this, though, is the coach who disqualified herself and withdrew from the contest. She said it was the negative vote option that was her downfall. She did the right stuff to bring people to the site to vote for her, but others kept voting her back down, so she started adding the votes back in. As she said,

'I know the playground excuse of “She started it!” won’t fly and I won’t even try to go there.'
 
Kudos. I was going to invite other bloggers to step forward and disqualify themselves, if needed, but since the contest rules are now changed, there is no need, except maybe for your own integrity. Let's all take a moment to shake off that bad ju-ju and step back into our best Selves.
 
Last points: The contest has succeeded in its main objective, which is to spotlight the best blogs by coaches and encourage more people to read them.  And the remaining bloggers didn't necessarily do anything wrong.  Most of them got to the semi-finals by writing great blog posts and inspiring their readers.
 
Expect more announcements about the contest in this space. 
 
I'm really curious about your thoughts. Did you vote? What was your experience? Were you concerned about fairness? If you're one of the bloggers, what are your thoughts?

Topics: Coaching, Best Coaching Blogs, blog, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, coach

Best Coaching Blogs Competitive Round is REALLY Competitive

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching BlogsThe Best Coaching Blogs 2009 Contest is in full swing.

The Qualifying Round ended with 19 blogs being cut. Now the more competive blogs are jockeying for the first page and top positions. The option to vote a blog up or down, makes the competition particularly fluid. Not sure we'll keep that option for next year, since voting a blog down feels a little un-coach-like, but it makes the contest fun!

With 16,000 hits to the contest page in the last few weeks, votes and positions are changing rapidly, especially between the top five blogs. 

The most common question that I get from owners of the blogs is, "Why isn't my vote count changing when someone votes for my blog?" There are a couple of reasons for this:

  1. A blog can actually have negative votes, but the lowest grade you will see for it is zero. When someone votes for it, the vote will be counted, but it won't change from zero until the net vote is one or higher.
  2. The system remembers your computer, so you can't vote it up more than once. In this case, your second vote won't be tallied.
  3. With 16,000 hits to the page, the odds that someone else is voting at the same time that you are, are pretty good. If they vote down, while you vote up, the net vote is zero. Sounds incredible, but I've seen votes go up and down dramatically in minutes and I've seen votes stay "stuck", as well. This contest is very active.
  4. The position of a blog won't change unless you update the page.

For readers of blogs, this is a great time to read the best coaching blogs, because they are all in one place. Don't worry, here's a strategy for finding the time to read them all. It's also a great time to cast your vote and help determine who gets declared the Best Coaching Blog in 2009.

And for those of you who own coaching blogs and are regretting that you didn't enter the contest in time, there is always next year.

In the meantime, VOTE! 

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Topics: Coaching, blog, blogging, blogosphere, coaching blog, coaching blogs, coach

Vote for Your Favorite Coaching Blog

Posted by Julia Stewart

Click to vote for Best Coaching Blogs 2009Best Coaching Blogs 2009 has gone live. Vote for your favorites! 

 

The contest went live yesterday with the first few entrants and Renee Shupe's Redhead Blog has an early lead.

By the way, if you're a coach who writes about coaching stuff, it's not too late to enter your blog and win. We'll accept entries through May 31st.  It costs nothing to enter and could bring you more traffic, readers, fans and clients, so what's not to love?

 

Your blog will be entered at the top of the list, which gives you a good chance of getting votes and even winning. Voting continues through June 30th. Winners get badges for their sites declaring their blogs 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Top Ten, or honorable mention; plus they get permanent, high-quality SEO links to their blogs and nifty bragging rights.

 

Best of all, quality coaching blogs will get read by more people, spreading the wisdom and value of coaching to folks who need it, especially now, and expanding success for professional coaches. Wins all around.

 

Don't have a blog? Then please read, vote, add your comments and spread the word.

 

VOTE FOR BEST COACHING BLOGS HERE. 

 

 

Thanks for your support!                               

Topics: business coach, life coach, Coaching, Life Coach Blog, blog, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, coaching blog, coach

Best Coaching Blogs 2009 Contest

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching Blogs 2009Are you a coach who writes a great coaching blog?

Want the world to know how great your blog really is? Then the Best Coaching Blogs 2009 Contest was designed for you!

Enter your blog for free. This is an awesome way to spread the word about your blog and attract new readers to it. It's also a fantastic way to engage your current readers, by inviting them to vote and give feedback. People love to get involved supporting the folks they believe in and now you can give your readers the opportunity to support you by voting, adding comments (love notes?) to your entry and inviting their friends to come support you, too! 

Who can enter? Any self-described coach (Life coach, business coach, executive coach, corporate coach), coach organization, coaching company or coaching school can enter, as long as the posts in your blog are about coaching related topics. We reserve the right to reject a blog that is not about coaching or coach related topics, is pornographic or offensive, or is just an ecommerce site pretending to be a blog. (No appeals, sorry!) 

Who decides the winners? The people who vote decide! We're using an automated voting system. We do not control who wins, except for one blog, our own. Our blog can be voted on (we want readers and feedback, too!), but it  won't be allowed to win.

What will you get if you win? You'll get a badge for your blog and/or website (similar to the one above) that declares you the winner (1st, 2nd, 3rd Place, Top Ten, or Honorable Mention), plus a write up in this blog that includes a few cool comments left by your fans and a permanent link from this site to yours. Plus bragging rights!

Why are we doing this? Blogs are a great way to reach out to the world and engage in transformative conversations. And isn't that what coaching is all about? We see this as a cool way to spread those conversations wider and wider and exchange more wisdom with great people. Read more about why coaches should be both reading and writing blogs.

When can you start voting? We're targeting May 8th for the date the contest goes live, but nominations start today and will continue through May. Voting ends June 30th and the winners will be announced July 1st! [Update: Vote for your favorite coaching blog here.] Watch for announcements that it's time to vote!

Know someone else who should enter the Best Coaching Blogs 2009 Contest?  Send them this link to enter: http://tinyurl.com/coaching-blogs Or, use the links above to share with your friends and colleagues on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Digg, etc. 

 

Topics: business coach, Coaching, blog, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, Coaching Companies, Coaches, Coach Training Programs, Life Coaches

Coaching Blogs: Why You Need to Be Both Reading and Writing Them

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaching BlogThe internet is a wonderful tool for helping coaches and clients connect.

And although professional coaches spend part of every work day online, most aren't using the net efficiently.

Gone are the days when having an online brochure (a.k.a. website) was enough. The internet is built for interconnectivity and if you're using it for one-way communication only, you're misusing it. 

Internet = Interactive = interconnectivity = Intercommunication

Having a coaching blog can increase your online attractiveness exponentially, but most coaches blunder into the blogosphere with no plan or strategy and frequently, no clue! If you're a coach who has a blog, but isn't sure how it can attract clients to you, here is a major step that you may have missed:

Success in  the blogosphere begins with other people's blogs, not your own. 

broadcast advertisingIf you were born before the year 2000, then you grew up in an age where business success was built on advertising and promotion that was one-way. To get the word out, you broadcast your message by interrupting people who were pretty much your captive audience. Think: TV commercials and subway ads. 

Rarely is that the case, anymore. Today, people record TV and fast forward through the ads and they read blog posts on their iPhones, while taking mass transit.

If you're still trying to broadcast your message, nobody is listening.

Maybe it's just me, but I think business and life coaches break this rule almost more than anyone else on the net. Are you one of those coaches? If you are using your blog or Twitter or Facebook or Mastery Coach Exchange as a broadcast-only tool, you're missing both the point and the value.

Every good blogging strategy starts with reading a lot of blogs and subscribing to the ones that really speak to you. This not only keeps you well informed, it gives you a change to absorb what really works in blogging.

You may want to comment on some posts. This is your first step toward "intercommunication".

Once you're a bono fide member of the blogosphere, you're ready to start blogging and attracting, yourself. We teach this topic in far more depth in the new Coach 100 Business Success Program at SCM, but if you're not ready to jump right into coaching success, then at least take a baby step toward it by subscribing to this blog.

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Topics: blogs, blogging, blogosphere, coaching blog, Facebook, twitter, Attraction Principles, clients, internet

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