There’s just a week left in the popular vote for the 2014 Best Construction Blog competition. So far, almost 1,500 people have voted for their choices among more than 30 blogs.
In some respects, the most interesting aspects of the competition at this stage are at the bottom of the visible chart, and just below. I don’t direct the independent judges in their deliberations, outside of some general qualifications, but suggest they can reduce their time/stress in judging by evaluating only the top seven blogs in popular vote. This approach reflects the fact that popular vote should have some weight in the judging process, and ensures the competition is great enough that there still is a good selection of blogs to evaluate on other qualities.
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However, the policy has another, perhaps surprising, impact. If your blog is outside the top seven, you might lose with a relatively small gap between being a real contender and an also-ran.
Last week, for example, Blue Sky Builders pulled ahead to be in the top seven.The gap (at time of writing this post) between the Integrity Software (68 votes) and previous Best Construction Blog winner Burgin Construction is 17 votes. (Burgin’s standing may reflect more in real substance from voluntary client-centred readers, rather than the results of a push from email and social media, especially to employees, from other contestants.) You can see the other bloggers with significant vote counts by clicking on the “view” link next to “other” near the bottom of the visible list.
Finally, I should note I’ve seen a few modest cheats. The most obvious problem occurs when one person or immediate family has several email addresses, and the voter submits multiple entries under the different addresses. This isn’t quite as bad as someone using fake email addresses to cast ballots (this happened a bit last year). I don’t see the volume of these irregular votes to be enough to influence the results. They would presumably only be of real concern from someone trying to “help” a blogger move onto the main page. I will let the independent judges know if I see manipulation in this regard and allow them to view the raw voting data if they wish.