Changes to our writing structure

Change happens. Often change is neither good or bad, it’s just different.

Technology Bloggers logo (2.0)Here comes some good change.

When I founded Technology Bloggers almost three years ago, the idea was meant to be a blog that was built by a community of people. We did have a good diverse mix of writers, however over time quality started to dip and many writers only wrote one post – which was not the aim. As you may have noticed, it is only really myself and Jonny who post now, as bringing new talent through takes such a long time.

One of the advantages I have now is that I understand blogging a lot better, and this has helped me to step back and look at the system we have to see if it is working. It isn’t. We are getting too many applications and it is becoming hard to keep up with them all. Also, many of the applications are not what we are looking for.

Changes

Today the whole writer landscape changes. We do away with the old system of contributors, authors, editors and admins and move to a new system of guest bloggers, authors and editors. The old Write For Us page has been updated to reflect the changes, and is now called Join Us. Head over there for details on each of the new roles and how to apply.

In brief, guest bloggers are those who write one-off, special posts for the blog. They are already well respected individuals in their field and will only be posting occasionally.

Authors post more frequently and are a more visible part of the community in the long-term. Editors are those who post very regularly and also have additional responsibilities.

Everyone who has recently applied to become a contributor will soon be sent an email informing them of our new structure and asking them to check out our new structure if they want to apply. All current authors and contributors will also be contacted to let them know what we are doing.

Our cluttered Our Writers page has gone, and it has been replaced with a new page to reflect the changes. Here you will be able to find out much more about who writes for us than you could before.

Jonny Hankins Profile

Jonny’s old profile (top) and his new profile (bottom) on our new Our Writers page.

I have more (exciting) changes planned for the very near future, however I would like to know your thoughts too.

Do you feel these new changes are fair and will take us in the direction we need to go? Do you have any more suggestions or comments on anything related to the blog?

Thank you for your time, over and out.

Technology Bloggers community awards 2012

Slightly later than last year (I was on holiday in Italy over New Year this year), I am now going to announce the winners of Technology Bloggers community awards!

This is the second year of community awards, and this year, the awards were democratic. I gave you (the community), the opportunity to suggest awards and nominations, and then you voted on who you wanted to win each of the six awards.

This year each award had 4 nominees, meaning that there were 24 nominations; which were filled by 13 different people.

You have voted, and the results are now in. Here are this years winners.

Top Commenter

Nominees:

  • Lillie Ammann
  • Peter Lee
  • David Jamieson
  • Neil Duncan

Runner Up

Lillie AmmannThe runner up for this years top commenter community award is Lillie Ammann! Congratulations for Lillie for her nomination, she doesn’t comment very often but when she does, it is always kind words and useful feedback :-) You can find out more about Lillie by visiting her blog.

Winner

Peter LeeWith 57% of the vote, the clear winner of this years top commenter award is Peter Lee! My thanks go out to Peter for his fantastic contribution to the blog. Peter commented on the blog around 60 times in 2012, which is quite a lot! Never were his comments bland or meaningless though, they always added value to the article, which is a credit to Peter and the community. Peter has a website which you can visit called Computer How To Guide.

Top Writer (Contributor)

Nominees:

  • Alan Tay
  • Hayley Anderson
  • Nick Sotos
  • Chadrack Irobogo

Runner Up

Hayley AndersonHayley Anderson took 29% of the community vote, putting her in second place. Hayley likes to write about nanotechnology, a very interesting industry which is advancing all the time. Hayley maintains a website herself, which is about Microscopes.

Winner

Alan TayThe winner of the top contributor category of the community awards 2012 is Alan Tay! So far Alan has contributed 7 articles to the blog, and displays many of the characteristics of a good writer. Alan often replies to people who comment on his articles, and generally writes thoughtful and useful material. Alan is a specialist in IT Security, which he blogs about on his own site too.

Top Writer (Author+)

Nominees:

  • Christopher Roberts
  • Jonny Hankins
  • Steve August
  • Ron Fletcher

Runner Up

Jonny HankinsIn a very respectable second place is Jonny Hankins. Author and innovation and responsibility researcher for the Bassetti Foundation, who currently resides in Boston (USA), Jonny has been a great author this year. His posts have inspired, amazed and amused, making him a true credit to the blog. Check out more of his work by visiting the Bassetti Foundation website.

Winner

Christopher RobertsIt is with the utmost pride that I announce that the winner of the top author award 2012 is me – Christopher Roberts! It was a close fought contest between me and Jonny and myself, with 37.5% and 62.5% of the vote respectively – I am honoured to have won. Personally I feel that Jonny’s posts are often better than mine, but I shall acknowledge to the public vote and declare myself the winner. Thank you everyone :-)

Rising Star

Nominees:

  • Steve August
  • Jonny Hankins
  • David Jamieson
  • Chadrack Irobogo

Runner Up

Steve AugustWith 25% of the vote Steve August is the runner up for this award. Steve is relatively new to the community, and yet in the 5 months of 2012 that he was part of the community, he posted 7 app reviews – his preferred area of writing. Steve also contributes to Alpha Digits where you can read more of his work.

Winner

Jonny Hankins63% of the vote saw Jonny Hankins take the 2012 community award for rising star! My heartfelt congratulations go to Jonny for his fantastic contribution to the blog. With 59 posts and a series under his belt already, who knows where 2013 will take his ever progressing blogging career!

Most Friendly Member of the Community

Nominees:

  • Tammi Kibler
  • Peter Lee
  • Lillie Ammann
  • Chadrack Irobogo

Runner Up

Lillie AmmannLillie Ammann was also nominated for this category, and took 25% of the vote, making her the runner up for this award 2012. Again, well done Lillie for the nomination and votes, you are a truly valued member of the community.

Winner
Peter LeePeter Lee took his second award this year by winning the most friendly member of the community award. Huge congratulations to Peter, as willing two awards is quite something! I look forward to your participation in 2013 :-)

Top All Rounder

Nominees:

  • Christopher Roberts
  • Jonny Hankins
  • Alan Tay
  • Chadrack Irobogo

Runner Up

Jonny HankinsNow for the big one, the top all rounder. In the past I have referred to this as “Technology Bloggers ultimate award” as it is for someone who is an example an outstanding community member, which is why it is very deservingly that Jonny Hankins was nominated for this award, which he claimed runner up status for. One community award and runner up for another two, not a bad 2012 Jonny!

Winner
Christopher RobertsI am truly humbled to have received 91% of the vote for this award. I love this blog and the people who make it as great as it is, which is probably why I put so much time and effort into posting content, moderating comments, tweaking things and generally just doing my best to make it a fantastic site to visit. Again, I would like to thank everyone who voted for me, I am truly grateful.

Well that’s 2012’s awards over, 6 categories, with 7 unique winners and runners up, democratically chosen by you: the readers of the blog.

2012 Community Award Winners

2012 was a brilliant year for us, and our visitor numbers prove it. Here is a sneak peak at some traffic stats that I wouldn’t usually publicly release.

Technology Bloggers Traffic

The number of visits the blog has had (per month) since it started on April the 13th 2011.

Happy New Year everyone, here’s to 2013!

Community awards nominations 2012

In around three weeks time I hope to reveal the winners of Technology Bloggers 2012 community awards.

To do that, there are a few things that need to happen, one of which is for you (the community) to vote as to who you feel deserves each award.

The aim of the awards is to recognise key and valued members of the community, and to celebrate the brilliant personalities that make up our blog.

Here is a quote from my article on the awards last year:

“…at the end of the year, we shall celebrate the people who have helped make this blog the huge success it is today.”

Last week I asked for your award suggestions and comments, and from the response I received, I am assuming that everyone pretty much liked the awards we had last year, so we are going to stick with them.

So, without further ado, let the voting commence!

Below you can find the 6 awards that are up for grabs, and the nominations for each award. Read the description of the award, consider the candidates and then cast your vote as to who you feel should be claimed victor.

Top Commenter

Who do you feel posts the most valuable and interesting comments, which you always enjoy reading?


Lillie Ammann's AvatarPeter Lee's AvatarDavid Jamieson's AvatarNeil Duncan's Avatar

Technology Bloggers Community Awards 2012 - Top Commenter


Top Writer (Contributor)

Which writer do you feel has made the most valuable contribution to the blog in the last year. Who’s articles do you love to read?


Alan Tay's AvatarHayley Anderson's AvatarNick Sotos's AvatarChadrack Irobogo's Avatar

Links to writers archive pages: Alan, Hayley, Nick and Chadrack.
Technology Bloggers Community Awards 2012 - Top Contributor


Top Writer (Author+)

Who has been your favourite author (including those of editor and admin status) this year?


Christopher Roberts AvatarJonny Hankins AvatarSteve August's AvatarRon Fletcher's Avatar

Links to writers archive pages: Christopher, Jonny, Steve and Ron.
Technology Bloggers Community Awards 2012 - Top Author


Rising Star

Who do you feel has great potential and in the future will become an ever more important member of the community?


Steve August's AvatarJonny Hankins AvatarDavid Jamieson's AvatarChadrack Irobogo's Avatar

Technology Bloggers Community Awards 2012 - Rising Star


Most Friendly Member of the Community

Who do you feel deserves this years award for conducting themselves in the most friendly, and supportive way they can?


Tammi Kibler's AvatarPeter Lee's AvatarLillie Ammann's AvatarChadrack's Avatar

Technology Bloggers Community Awards 2012 - Most Friendly Member of the Community


Top All Rounder

As I said last year, this is Technology Bloggers ultimate award! Who do you feel is the bet all round community member?


Christopher Roberts AvatarJonny Hankins AvatarAlan Tay's AvatarChadrack Irobogo's Avatar

Technology Bloggers Community Awards 2012 - Top All Rounder


I will be adding voting widgets to the sidebar to make sure that we get a reasonable level of votes in.

Voting closes on the 30th of December 2012. The winners will be announced in the community awards article hopefully on December the 31st, or soon after.

Congratulations to all nominated, happy voting!

Technology Bloggers adopts post authorship

Until recently I haven’t been as aware as I probably should have been of the Google update, which allows authors to claim authorship of their posts in the SERPs.

I was recently talking about the blog in the (Google) Webmaster Central Help Forum, when someone suggested that we should use Google Authorship. I had heard of it before, but wasn’t 100% sure what it meant, or why we should take the time to adopt it.

So after a little research, I am here to present my findings to you :-)

What is Google Authorship?

Google Authorship is a relatively new part of search results, whereby Google shows the (Google+ profile) avatar of a person next to articles they have written in the SERPs. This means that people know who wrote something, even before they visit the page.

Google will not only give an avatar which it fetches from the writers Google+ profile, but it will also link to that persons profile. It might also provide additional information like how many circles the person is in. See the image below for more of an idea of how it looks.

Examples of authors Google+ profiles in the SERPsHow Can I Claim My Posts?

If you run your own blog, and you are the only person who ever writes on it, it is dead easy. Just add a link to your Google profile page with ?rel=author after it, and with the text being the same name as your Google profile, to your profile, or just every page of the blog.

The code would look something like this:

<a href="https://plus.google.com/114686389155717038852?rel=author" rel="author" title="Christopher Roberts on Google+">Christopher Roberts</a>

What if I Run or Am Part of a Multi-Author Blog?

If you are part of a blog with multiple authors, it can get a bit more complicated. Basically, the admin needs to make sure that there is no sitewide Google+ profile link, as that could mess things up. Each individual author will need to either link to their Google+ profile with the tag rel=”author” on every post they write, or link to their profile page on every page they write with the tag rel=”author” and then on their profile page link to their Google+ profile with rel=”me”.

It may sound a bit complicated, but it does make sense. If you don’t own a site, don’t worry about it. If you do and need some help, ask me in the comments, or send me a message :-)

How Do I Claim Authorship of My Posts on Technology Bloggers?

Recently I have been very busy tweaking bits of WordPress’s code, in order to make it as easy as possible for you to claim authorship of the posts you write on Technology Bloggers.

There are three really simple tasks you need to complete. The first is to go to your Google+ profile ‘About’ page and under ‘Contributes to’ add Technology Bloggers – http://www.technologybloggers.org. The second step is to copy your Google+ profile URL and paste it into the ‘Google+ Profile URL’ box on your WordPress admin profile page. Finally in the box below (‘Google+ Name’) add your name as it appears on your Google+ profile. That is it! The blog does the rest of the work for you, and adds a link to your Google+ profile to your writer profile page.

Screenshot Technology Bloggers Admin Profile - Google Authorship

A screenshot of the data you need to fill in on your profile, in order to claim authorship of your posts on Technology Bloggers.

If you don’t have a Google+ profile page, your link will just direct to your WordPress profile page. Not sure what I mean? Don’t worry, if you don’t have one, nothing bad will happen!

I have updated the post guidelines to include a section about how to link to your profile, however this article probably has a more detailed explanation!

A Final Word About rel=”author” and rel=”me”

If you are still confused about rel=”author” and rel=”me”, look at it this way: rel=”author” lets search engines know that the URL with that tag in is pointing to your author profile, be that WordPress, Google+, about.me or another; rel=”me” lets search engines that the URL with that tag in is another website/profile/blog etc. that is yours.

To see the Google Authorship in action you will have to wait a while for Google to index the pages and register the authorship. To check that your code is working okay and that Google can find your authorship, try using Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool.

For more information on Google Authorship, please check out Google’s help article on it.