Brent posted it first and I’m going to borrow his list to post here:
Best Business Intelligence Blog Post:
- Winner: Chris Webb for Implementing SSRS Drilldowns (Blog – RSS)
- Runner-Up: Michelle Ufford for Using Variables in SSIS (Blog – RSS – @SQLFool)
Best New Blog:
- Winner (Tie):
Aaron Alton for The Hobt (Blog – RSS – @AaronTheHobt)
Michelle Ufford for SQLFool (Blog – RSS – @SQLFool)
- Runner-Up: Jorge Segarra for SQLChicken (Blog – RSS – @SQLChicken)
Best Professional Development Blog Post:
- Winner: Kendal Van Dyke for Off-Hours Work Guide for Managers (Blog – RSS – @SQLDBA)
- Runner-Up: Sean McCown for Landing That Job (Blog – RSS – @MidnightDBA)
Best T-SQL Blog Post:
- Winner: Aaron Bertrand for Stored Procedures Best Practices Checklist (Blog – RSS – @AaronBertrand)
- Runner-Up: Grant Fritchey for Unpacking the View (Blog – RSS – @GFritchey)
Best Unusual Blog Post:
See the full post from Brent at http://www.brentozar.com/archive/2009/11/pass-log-reader-award-winners/.
I have to say it was fun to have the contest, but grueling to grade. Very easy for them all to run together. We used a simple system where we each (me, Jeremiah, Brent) scored each entry, then we added those up and took the high scores in each category. The challenge was the scoring. Many were very good, so separating great from good is hard, and of course subjective. I think we learned some lessons and we’ll definitely do the contest again, but we definitely haven’t learned ALL the lessons yet either.
A few general comments from my own scoring run:
- I put a high value on a good descriptive title. Don’t try too hard to be cute on the title, have it tell me what you want to write about, and then make sure your post matches the title (do I always do this? probably not).
- I’m not fond of white text on black background. That’s style and you shouldn’t change because I don’t like it, but think hard about doing anything/everything you can to help the reader read
- Along those lines too, I’ve come to value good consistent formatting with a ‘normal’ font. Posts with uneven breaks between paragraphs, badly formatted tables – after reviewing post #50 or so those things just made my head hurt!
- One post = one topic. I saw a few where they ultimately told the story, but after a very long lead in. It’s good to set the stage, but do it in a few sentences…OR….write the intro post first, then the one you meant to write
- It’s good to have technical content in your blog, but…I (my preference of course) is to keep it to about a page, maybe 700 words max. Got more to say? Make it a series!
We’ll get more news about the contest for next year out by the end of the year after some time to reflect, but it’s a good guess that it will be similar, we may tweak the categories, and we’ll try to add a reader vote to it. In terms of strategy, that means:
- Blog consistently
- Make sure you have a good post for at least two of our current categories
- Write at least one series
I’d also say that it’s pretty incredible the information that gets shared in blogs, and it clearly has a positive impact on both the SQL community and on the writer. Thank you to all who entered for trying the content, and just for sharing as often as you do!