**Update on 11/10/2021**
Since the original posting, the 2021 IT Blog Awards officially launched. Submit your blog, vlog or podcast by December 10.
Every year, the IT Blog Awards, hosted by Cisco, sets out to uncover and celebrate all of the passionate technology content creators around the globe. Over the past several years, we’ve run several successful contests—receiving hundreds of submissions, garnering thousands of votes and, ultimately, crowning our final winners. It is a very exciting time of the year.
As we gear up to launch our 2021 competition, I wanted to share some insider information that you might find helpful as you prepare your blogs, vlogs and podcasts for the virtual stage.
What’s new to the competition?
In past years, we offered multiple categories for participants to submit their blog, vlog or podcast under. What we learned is that blogs often fell into multiple categories. (See previous year’s winners at cisco.com/go/itblogawards).
This year, in an aim to simplify, we are eliminating the categories altogether. This means entries will not be assessed for their relevancy to a specific category but rather categorized based on medium (i.e., blog, vlog, or podcast). All eligible submissions will move into the finalist round for public voting. Winners will be determined by a point system. More details will be available in the Official Rules when we open for submissions.
What do judges look for when reviewing submissions?
There are several criteria our judges consider, and while I can’t share them all, these are some of the most important. Keep these in mind as you prepare to submit your blog, vlog or podcast for consideration.
Consistency of releases
Are you releasing a regular cadence of content? At minimum, one piece of blog, vlog or podcast content should be released on a quarterly basis between the months of October 2020 and September 2021 for a minimum of four entries within the 12-month period.
Relevancy of topics
The IT Blog Awards, hosted by Cisco, supports content relevant to the field of IT. So here are some questions you should ask yourself: Are you writing about the trends shaping networks and how business is changing? Are you talking about studying for your CCNA or CCIE? Do you noodle on the latest routers, switches, servers, or wireless access points? Do security topics make you feel safe? Do collaboration solutions bring you joy? Have you pontificated on the future of hybrid work enabled by all the above? This list isn’t exhaustive, but hopefully it gives you an idea of what we’re looking for.
Originality of work
We are looking for original content. We realize using credible resources to support a claim is common practice and we totally support that. If someone else’s work is referenced or used, we’d like to see the proper citations. Seeing folks receive credit for their hard work brings us joy, which is exactly why we host the IT Blog Awards.
And lastly, while poor design won’t get you eliminated from moving into the finalist round, it may make it harder for our judges to quickly assess 1) how often you publish content, 2) if the topics are relevant and 3) if what they’re reviewing is your original work. So while it isn’t official scoring criteria, it is an important consideration.
Good luck and happy creating!