Tots100 Update – A Sponsor

Tots100 After running the Tots100 index of the UK’s top 100 parent blogs for six months now, I’m a broken husk of a woman. I twitch involuntarily at the sight of Excel spreadsheets and a misdirected URL feed can reduce me to heaving sobs.

So when some nice people came along and offered to do clever computer jiggery-pokery to so that no matter how many new blogs sign up, I’ll be able to do the whole thing in a morning – well, I was definitely interested. Then they offered me money as well, so I said yes please.

What this means is that from March, the Tots100 index will be sponsored by a fantastic family holiday company. There will be shiny new blog badges that will automatically display your position in the index, and the whole business will be much faster, and a bit less prone to human error.

A lovely bonus of this sponsorship is that there will be prizes for the bloggers in the index. I’d really like some feedback on this – what do people think  would be the fairest way to assign the monthly prize (it’s not a speedboat or anything, but will be something fun, like a voucher or camera, or similar).

My initial thought was to give the prize to the highest new entry each month as a way of welcoming new bloggers – but then this rules out everyone who’s already in the index. Then I thought about the blog that has risen furthest up the index each month – which puts the top 20 blogs at a bit of a disadvantage.

We could award to the blog scoring highest in one particular metric – say, the most linked to blog, or the blog with the most comments? Or we could just award a prize randomly (thanks Dan, for that suggestion) but is that a bit – well – random?

Really interested in your thoughts – do leave a comment!

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

28 Comments

  1. 16th January 2010 / 8:43 pm

    How about a rotating criteria –
    So one month you could have highest gain, one month completely random, one month highest new entry, one month longest sustained gain, etc etc. Then everyone gets a crack of the whip, but equally everyone qualifies to be in a chance of winning something.
    Other than that, I think highest gain should do it and sod the top 20. The arrogant bunch of swine

  2. 16th January 2010 / 8:47 pm

    You could change the reason for a prize monthly but announced in advance? Congratulations on the sponsorship and especially the magic bit 🙂

  3. 16th January 2010 / 8:51 pm

    I think the number of comments is good – shows interest!x

  4. Liz (LivingwithKids)
    16th January 2010 / 8:58 pm

    Wow! Fantastic news. I’d suggest making it as simple as possible Sally and drawing the name at random, either by using random the site or simply by just closing your eyes and pointing at the screen. However, as you have been doing all the work… you should totally have the first prize!

  5. 16th January 2010 / 9:23 pm

    As someone who is working very hard on trying to get into the Tots100 (its not my day job though!) a prize for entry seems like a great incentive but you’re right, once you’re in then you’ve got nothing to aim for. I reckon randomness is the way to go – you’ve just got to be in it to win it.

  6. 16th January 2010 / 10:42 pm

    I’d go with the random thing Sally and give yourself first prize. I’ve seen some fancy malarkey on an American blog where they run a lot of sponsored competitions and they do a random number generator thing and take a screenshot of it to prove they haven’t just picked their best mate.

  7. 16th January 2010 / 10:43 pm

    Well done on getting sponsor! Shame there won’t be a speedboat as a prize though. How about three prizes a month which reward new bloggers and established ones at the same time? Eg highest new entry, highest climber and highest number of links?

  8. 16th January 2010 / 11:45 pm

    Like Dan’s rotating criteria – a good way of rewarding all sorts of different forms of success. This sounds a great idea and good to know you won’t be wearing your fingers and brain out doing it all yourself any more.

  9. 16th January 2010 / 11:58 pm

    Rotating criteria sounds good to me. Or just random, if it gets me a chance to win!! 😉 Seriously though, you deserve a break and a prize for doing it every month xx

  10. 17th January 2010 / 3:12 pm

    Wow well done on securing a sponsor. All are valid grounds for awarding a prize but if you are worried about the fairness then I guess the random idea would be best.

  11. 17th January 2010 / 4:37 pm

    Dont dictate, a reason.. I blog because i believe in blogging. Some months i dont make the top 100, other months i do.. I am worried that if we all blog to make it into the top 100 then the range of interest in the different blogs might become dictated too by yourself. This i feel is NOT what you want!
    I think your monthly competition needs to be aimed at originality for that month. Thus allowing you to keep control of why you have designated the prize…
    Just my random ramblings!
    vicki
    http://www.familytreehouse.co.uk

  12. Carly
    17th January 2010 / 4:41 pm

    Well Done, all your hard work has paid off 😀 It cannot have been easy doing this every month. I work with stats and OMG it is a minefield out there!
    I think this is great news and now that I have got rid of using my forwarded domain url hopefully I can be back in with a chance again too!
    WADs (Wives & Daughters)
    http://www.wadswivesanddaughters.blogspot.com
    I think the rotating criteria is a good idea, gives everyone a shot then, even the top 20 who deserve it more than anyone really.

  13. 17th January 2010 / 5:10 pm

    well done you on getting some recognition and even financial (and technological) support for all the massive hard work you do. I would go for random – or a ladies & gentleman’s agreement that the same blog can’t win twice in a 6 month period say…. well done.

  14. 17th January 2010 / 7:18 pm

    Random! Or put the names of everyone in the index in a hat and get Flea to pick one/however many prizes there are- fairy squarey!
    Congrats on the Sponsorship deal- just hoping I’m back in there next month!
    Claire http://20somethingmum.blogspot.com

  15. 17th January 2010 / 7:29 pm

    random works for me

  16. Insomniac Mummy
    17th January 2010 / 7:48 pm

    Excellent stuff!
    I think a random number generator or a rotating criteria is best to give everyone a chance.
    🙂

  17. 17th January 2010 / 8:10 pm

    I think that maybe a random number gets a prize… although if it is a new digital camera one month can my number be the random one?!

  18. 17th January 2010 / 8:49 pm

    Thanks everyone for your comments.
    Firstly, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for being so supportive of the sponsorship.
    @Vicki – I hope that people wouldn’t entirely change the focus of their blog in return for a £100 voucher! I think the problem with rewarding something like originality is that it becomes my personal viewpoint, and that opens us up to accusations of bias or favouritism, which I want to avoid.
    Having read all the comments, I feel that awarding the prize at random would be TOO random, I can’t help feeling a prize should reward something. I think a rotating criteria will be applied with a wildcard month twice during the year when it will be given at random.
    Howzat?

  19. 18th January 2010 / 9:25 am

    Thanks Jax.
    Personally, I’m not too keen on awarding prizes randomly. I’d do it twice a year as a wildcard, but I think more than that makes the idea of ‘winning’ meaningless – it’s just a lottery or prize draw. In fact, I’ll need to check out whether it’s possible to do it randomly of if it falls foul of competition rules.

  20. 18th January 2010 / 10:42 am

    That’s wonderful that you hsve a sponsor! It’s testament to all your hard work.

  21. 18th January 2010 / 2:40 pm

    Make the award for Most Beautiful Blogger, and have a swimsuit round live on YouTube.
    Or maybe best to go random after all. Go for whatever brings you least headaches and most joy.

  22. 18th January 2010 / 7:38 pm

    I’d like to opt out of the list please. Very happy to see my place taken from now on by some new blood in the parenting blogosphere.

  23. 18th January 2010 / 8:04 pm

    I like Dan’s idea too!
    Congratulations by the way, you totally deserve it, as they’d say in a US teen drama.

  24. 19th January 2010 / 1:02 pm

    Oooo.. Prize’s sound great! 😀 Congrats on the sponsor! 🙂

  25. peggy
    20th January 2010 / 7:03 pm

    Fab news! Well done you deserve every success with it, you have been working so hard.
    I think random is good. Any other way of doing it and it might turn the whole top 100 into a massive competition machine and develop huge sense of competition between bloggers. Just a thought anyway.
    Again well done!!

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