The Top 100 Language Blogs 2010 – How the competition works

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This is the third year of The Top 100 Language Blogs competition (if you are interested in why we started the competition click here. There are four categories in The Top 100 Language Blogs competition in order to make the wide range of language-related blogs comparable:

1. Language learning: Blogs about the language learning process, difficulties with or discussion about learning a language.
2. Language teaching: Blogs discussing languages from the perspective of a teacher.
3. Language technology: Blogs discussing technology as part of the language learning process.
4. Language professionals: Blogs by people using languages in their profession, such as translators or interpreters.

How exactly does the competition work?
The competition is divided up into three phases. In the nominations phase, you can nominate any blog you like to be included. In the following voting phase you can vote for your favorite blog in each of the above four categories. User votes will count 50% towards the final result, the Lexiophiles ranking criteria (see below) will count for the other 50%. Results will be announced in the third phase on May 28.

What is the exact time frame and what happens during each phase?

Nominations (April 27-May 1123:59 hours German time)
Nominate your favorite language blog. All of last year’s blogs which are still active will be nominated automatically, as well as other suggestions we have received since then. We will contact all the bloggers who are nominated (either by email or posting a comment on their blog) to let them know about the nomination.

Voting (May 12 -May 24 23:59 hours German time)
Out of all nominations received until May 11 100 blogs will be included for voting in each category. On May 12th we will publish the voting lists of the 100 blogs for each category. You will be able to vote once for your favorite one for each category . If your blog is on the voting list you can ask your readers, friends, family and whoever comes to mind to vote for you. We will provide a voting button for your convenience before the voting starts. Each person can only vote once for each blog category. The voting period runs until May 24 23:59 hours German time.

Ranking & Results (May 25 – May 28)
All blogs will be ranked based on user votes (50%) and the Lexiophiles ranking criteria (50%, see below). We will then compile the top 100 overall language blogs list and the top 10 list for each of the four categories. Results will be published on May 28. Each blogger will be contacted when the results are published.

What are the Lexiophiles ranking criteria?
Every blog will be analyzed and ranked with a number of points. There are three main ranking criteria: content, consistency and interactivity. We know that no ranking is 100% accurate and always somewhat subjective. Still, based on our experience from the previous competitions ,we feel that these three categories give a good overall view of how good a blog really is.

Content: No need to explain that the reader appreciates good content. This category takes into account what type of content the blog features. We look for authored and original content, depth of postings, incorporation of multimedia (such as videos, pictures, slideshows etc.) and meaningful linking (e.g. in-depth information for further reading, background information, interesting opinions on a subject , etc.).

Consistency: A blog is about sharing information in a fast and uncomplicated way. The articles are not like research papers you work on for months. People want to read something new every time they visit a blog. Therefore, we look at whether the blog is active, and if so, how active. Frequent postings give a higher score as well as the regularity of postings. We also take into account how easy it is for the reader to navigate the blog, i.e. finding the right information fast and in an intuitive way.

Interactivity: In our opinion a good blog is not a one-way street but involves the readers as well. The most observable feature is comments, but it doesn’t stop there: Can the user contact the blogger via a contact page, Facebook or similar? Can the user follow the blogger via Twitter or RSS-Feed or share the blog with others via a bookmark or like button? Does the blog have a Facebook fan page and show the corresponding activity feed? There are many neat functions that make a blog more interactive.

What about the results ?
The Top 100 Language Blogs 2010 will be published on bab.la on May 28 to reach as wide an audience as possible. We will publish an overall Top 100 list and a Top 10 list for each of the four categories (see above). We also have some nice prices lined up for the top winners. The Top 3 overall bloggers will get a Kiva starter package and we will make sure the no. 1 blog in each category is guaranteed a Kiva starter package as well.

The official hash tag for the competition is #tlb2010.

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