Many of the IT bloggers I know write as a way to help others. They spend their free time writing (and podcasting) to share their insights and analysis on technical topics. They write when they finally solve a problem they couldn’t find an answer to anywhere else online. Or they write when they’re studying for a certification to help the next people who do. We think IT bloggers are an under-appreciated community of technical influencers and advocates.
So, last week we kicked off the IT Blog Awards, hosted by Cisco. We established the program to recognize great work and bring the larger blogging community together to celebrate excellence.
Entering the IT Blog Awards should be pretty easy. They’re focused on the body of work you’ve created over the last year – not on a single post or something written specifically for the program. The awards focus on seven categories:
- Best Analysis
- Best Cert Study Journey
- Best Group Effort
- Best Podcast or Video Series
- Most Educational
- Most Entertaining
- Most Inspirational
We created the categories to cover how someone might think of the content as a reader vs. by particular topics. You can often guess the topic based on the blog’s name or the titles of posts. But which blogs are insightful? Which blogs have you found particularly entertaining? Which blogs do you find yourself turning to again and again for insight, ideas, or a different perspective?
One thing people have asked about is the name.
We called it ‘IT Blog Awards, hosted by Cisco’ instead of “Cisco Blog Awards” with the intention that they aren’t meant to only focus on people who write just about Cisco. As much as we may like our own products, we know you use many types of technology. These awards are for the broader community to celebrate each other. While Cisco is hosting the competition and will winnow down the list of finalists, we’ll look to you – our community — to vote to help determine the winner. (For [REDACTED] reasons we had to have a second round of judging which will focus on the top two blogs in each category.)
The IT Blog Awards are for independent bloggers. “Independent” is an oddly hard thing to define. The goal is to recognize people writing (or podcasting) from their own perspectives. (It would be weird to have other vendors or partners in the running.)
As we were developing these awards, we talked through the program with the Cisco Champions. They pointed out the incongruity of offering Cisco Live passes as an award for a program meant for the broader technical community. We hope this will be exciting even for non-Cisco focused bloggers. Cisco Live is a great opportunity to learn a few new things. (You also get to meet the truly awesome folks who attend Cisco Live.)
If you’ve read this far and you’re a blogger, I hope you’ll consider entering. If you have a suggestion for how we can do this better next year, please let me know in the comments. Since this is our first year, we’re open to iterating and making it better and better. This year, let’s celebrate our fellow nerds who have worked all year to share their perspectives and insights!