Check out John Hewitt’s blog tournament on the Writer’s Resource Center. The tournament started in March and you can read all the posts in the archive March Writing Blog Madness. I do regret that I stumbled across this tournament only today, especially since it’s been going on since March. So many blogs, so little time! But I already knew and liked John’s blog, so I really have no excuse for missing this. Some of my favorite blogs got in the tournament, but there’s quite a few I hadn’t heard of. What a fun way to raise their visibility and provide the rest of us with more blog-hopping opportunities.
In keeping with the style of basketball’s March Madness, John proposed to “use rankings to help determine who will enter the tournament and at what level. … The rankings were determined by a simple formula based on the blog’s Google Page Rank and Alexa Site Rank” (original quote). Thirty-two blogs were selected to be in the tournament. I’m not going to say who won–that’s for you to find out at the archive.
It’s a grueling game, and John really puts the blogs to the challenge. His judging criteria (which I’ve copied directly from his post) were:
- Archives: This is the heart of a site. Substance is the key to a good blog. What are the best articles and how good are they?
- Design: Substance is great, but flash does count for something. A site that is pleasant to look at makes a difference.
- Usability and Navigation: This is the second half of the design puzzle. How easy is it to move around the site and get to the best stuff? Can find the best articles?
- Purpose: What is the blog supposed to be about and what is the blog really about?
- Personality: Some sites thrive on the writer’s personality and others stick to the information without giving any hints about the writer.
- Five Most Recent Posts: This category is all about what the blogger has done lately. How good are the most recent articles and how often do they appear.
These criteria are useful for newbie bloggers like myself. I can already see that I have such a long road ahead of me …