Technology Bloggers community awards

At the end of 2011, here at Technology Bloggers we are going to celebrate with an award ceremony. We are a community blog, and thought the year, loads of fantastic people have been working on continuously improving the blog, taking it to new heights!

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

This year the awards have all been awarded by me (Christopher Roberts) as a member of the admin team. However next year I hope that we can vote on the awards, so that the community decide who in the community deserves the award.

So, without further ado, the awards!

This year we have 6 awards up for grabs:

  • Top Commenter – The person who posts valuable comments which help to create the fantastic community we have on the blog
  • Top Writer (Contributor) – The contributor who has made the most valuable contribution to the blog – in terms of the quantity and quality of articles published – this year
  • Top Writer (Author and Admin) – The author – or higher rank – who has made the greatest contribution in terms of the quantity and quality of articles published this year
  • Rising Star – Who is really going places? Who is helping to improve the blog and has great potential?
  • Most Friendly Member of the Community – Who has been the most pleasant and kind person on the blog this year?
  • Top All Rounder – The big one! Technology Bloggers ultimate award, who is the best example of a fantastic member of the community?

So, to the awards!

Top Commenter

The Nominations:

  • Alan Tay – Always among the first to add his view, Alan almost always adds interesting information to an article, and he also likes to interact with other commenters – the characteristic of a really good commenter
  • Diana Studer – Diana has taught me many lessons about respect in blogging and always writes very interesting and thought provoking comments!
  • David (from TheOnlyCog) – David speaks his mind, asks questions, adds information, therefore contributing a great deal to the commenting community
  • Chadrack Irobogo – Although Chadrack does not comment very often, when he does, he makes very valuable points, has very good grammar and is always full of support

And the winner is…

Chadrack's AvatarChadrack Irobogo! Pleasant mannered and well written, Chadrack’s comments often bring new information and ideas to the table, which help to improve the community.

Top Writer (Contributor)

The Nominations:

  • Marc Madrigal – Marc likes writing about technology and the web, and he does it very well – useful articles which can be both constructive and thought provoking
  • Alan Tay – Alan’s articles are always popular, probably due to them being well written, interesting and helpful
  • Andrew Doyle – Andrew writes well written articles, which often attract attention from the community

And the winner is…

Alan's AvatarAlan Tay! Alan is a really big member of the Technology Bloggers community, commenting, reading and writing, his articles make great reading and really do add value to the blog 🙂

Top Writer (Author and Admin)

The Nominations:

  • Ron Fletcher – Ron’s articles are among some of the most popular on the blog, he focuses mainly on apps, and always writes good, interesting articles, and then often replies to the comments that arise from what he has written
  • Jonny Hankins – Jonny is new to WordPress, but is making giant steps towards becoming a really good author, he wrights interesting and insightful posts, which usually fire up a debate
  • Christopher Roberts (Admin Team) – Okay, I can’t give an award to myself, but the category was looking a bit empty, since we only have two authors, so I chucked myself in too 🙂

And the winner is…

Jonny's AvatarJonny Hankins! With 8 articles in his inventory, Jonny is quickly gaining experience and becoming a very good writer, who is liked by the community.

Rising Star

Nominations:

  • Jonny Hankins
  • Alan Tay
  • Ron Fletcher

And the winner is…

Ron's AvatarRon Fletcher! Ron has been a great contributor to the blog since he joined us in July, he is getting really good at replying to his commenters, is writing more and more, and what he is writing is getting better as time goes on.

Most Friendly Member of the Community

The Nominations:

  • Chadrack Irobogo – Always giving support, Chadrack is a very friendly character
  • Marc Madrigal – Marc grins from ear to ear in his profile pick, and that happiness seems to come across in the friendliness of his comments
  • Goodwin A I Manson – A very new member of the community with just a handful of comments (3 I think!) Goodwin writes pleasant and friendly comments
  • Lillie Ammann – Lillie is always full of support and always writes in a kind way

And the winner is…

Marc’s AvatarMarc Madrigal! Marc has been with the blog almost since the beginning, and he has contributed many helpful articles as well as interesting comments, the pleasant manner in which he conducts his writing and replying, makes the experience all the better 🙂

Top All Rounder

Nominations:

  • Alan Tay
  • Jonny Hankins

And the winner is…

Jonny's AvatarJonny Hankins! I felt I had to choose someone who writes for us and comments for this award, and I didn’t want to nominate myself, so I had the choice of Jonny and Alan, both fantastic candidates, however I feel that because of the outstanding progress he has made, Jonny deserves this award 🙂

Winners of Technology Bloggers Community Awards - 2011

The Nominees

Here are the 2011 nominees who didn’t get an award. They are also very deserving individuals, and I urge you to check out their sites!

To Conclude

There we have it, we had 6 awards, and 11 different people were nominated for those awards. Of those 11 people 5 of them now have one (or more – Jonny!) of Technology Bloggers first ever awards! Well done all 🙂

I know I have only mentioned a few people, but it is all of us that make this blog what it is, so thank you everyone!

And finally…

A big big thank you to everyone for a fantastic year! 2011 has been great, so lets have have an even better 2012 🙂

Happy New Year!

The importance of competition

This is the forth in a series of articles in which I hope to share with you my knowledge of how and why Technology Bloggers has been so successful, so fast. Learn more about this series by reading our Technology Bloggers success article.

In economic terms, competition breeds quality, choice, low price, innovation and efficiency. In blogging terms its a great way to increase your long-term commenters and therefore your reader base too.

When starting up a new blog encouraging competition is one of the best ways to engage your readers and attract new ones; fast.

If my memory serves me right, from day 1 Technology Bloggers had a ‘Top Commentators’ widget at the bottom of every page on the blog, displaying links to those people who had commented the most. If you have never seen it, scroll down and take a look, or just take a look at this screen shot 🙂

Technology Bloggers top commenters in June 2011Last month Antonia was the top commenter followed by Adrian from Shed Plans, Pete, Anna and finally Diana from Elephant’s Eye. All the people mentioned have dofollow links on every page of Technology Bloggers, to a site of their choosing. But, it’s only the top commenters who get this privilege. This encourages people to visit the blog, to read and comment more to get links back to their site.

You could argue that people will just throw out any random rubbish in their comments and get to the top with ease, but I won’t allow this. Our commenters know (or they should) that I rigorously check through every comment on this blog – with a little help from our spam filters.

So basically what I am getting at is that if you want to encourage more people to comment, use a top commenters widget plugin. I have our widget reset every month as this means that someone can’t get so far ahead that they are almost impossible to catch up!

In the past I have thanked everyone who has contributed to Technology Bloggers success. This includes dofollow links to commenters and authors sites, further incentive to comment.


In the future I have plans to introduce competitions to the blog, where entrants will be rewarded in some way or another for participating. I believe that this will also encourage more people to visit the blog, as competition gets people excited, it gets people interested, and it makes people want to stick around.

How to show more screen options in WordPress

I have noticed that most of the other authors on this blog have failed to write a short excerpt for their article. It’s usually really easy and takes seconds to think of a short phrase to sum up, or entice people into reading your article.

When Marc (from the 360 Blog) wrote his most recent article, I emailed him to ask him why he never filled in the excerpt field, as he is now eligible to apply for author status, but that requires each article to have an excerpt.

Marc emailed back and told me

“You mentioned that you would like a short excerpt written, but there wasn’t a place to do that.”

Out came my thinking cap!

I then realised that when I had started Technology Bloggers, when creating a new post, the excerpt field wasn’t showing ether. The trackback field didn’t show, nor did the discussion field etc.


Do you have problems with

  • Excerpt field not showing when creating a new WordPress post
  • Trackback field not showing when creating a new WordPress post
  • Discussion field not showing when creating a new WordPress post
  • As well as other custom fields not showing

well if so I have your solution!

Screen Options.

The 'Screen Options' button in the WordPress admin consoleYou see at the top right of the admin console there is your name, log out etc. well just below that you should see a tab that says help, and next to that a tab that says ‘Screen Options’.

Click ‘Screen Options’ and it will pull the tab down to revile loads of new fields which you can choose to show or not.

The WordPress 'Screen Options' for creating a post in the admin consoleLike to work light? You may just want the publish box and the article writing area. Prefer to go into detail? Tick/check the ‘Categories’, ‘Post Tags’, ‘Custom Fields’, ‘Send Trackbacks’ etc. boxes for a more advanced view!


Under ‘Screen Options’ you also have the option or changing the screen layout. You can decide how many columns your dashboard uses, to display your selected widgets. On the homepage of the dashboard you can split it down in 1,2,3 or even 4 (if you have a very wide screen) columns. On posts pages you can choose to split the view down to two columns, or just the one.

Ever asked yourself ‘how can I show more comments in the WordPress admin console?’, if so, ‘Screen Options’ could help here too. Just click it and you can show as many or as few comments as you like. I have it set so that the WordPress comments page shows 50 comments per page, although I sometimes change it 🙂

Good luck bloggers with using WordPress the way you like it!