Microsoft announced a couple of weeks back about a new contest that they were holding called Blogstars. This a India specific contest, aimed at improving/supporting technical blogging in India.
At first looks, I was quite interested. I believe that technical blogging in India is still very low. Though blogging as such has grown by leaps and bounds in India, there are few, indepth technology blogs by people living in India (Please note, I did not say Indians).
A second look and I felt something was just not right. So this post is about the positives and negatives, I could see. It would be interesting to see other peoples views on this too..
- Indian Tech blogging scene could do with help this could be it.
- Provide recognition to good tech bloggers, who are currently not well known
- This can be something that provides the needed initial momentum to get some good people to start blogging.
- Create a new generation of Microsoft technology blogging out of India.
- Spur people to blog on their use of Microsoft technology, that helps create more information on the web, thus helping the developer community.
- Blogging is all about sustenance. Since this contest make no difference between a new and long running blog, it actually favour new blogs. So you can start a new blog, register for the contest, produce good posts for 8-10 weeks, win the contest and then stop blogging for the rest of your life. Since a blog that is there for a long time will have technical and personal posts, it is easier for a new blog to be considered more focused and so win.
- It is more than a week since it was announced, but I don't see any blogs listed in the blogroll yet. That is indeed very worrying for me.
- The panel of judges named are well known speakers and very knowledgeable (I actually know all the three very well and have great respect for them personally and know that they have tremendous passion for technology). But except for Venkat, none of the others (Sanjay, Praveen) seem to have updated their blogs recently (Also the updates to their blogs seem to be quite infrequent). And the worst part being their bios on the site does not even mention their blogs except for Venkat's.
So that leads me to ask the question, is this a about tech blogging or just technical writing? If it was about technical writing alone, wouldn't it be easier to have an competition for technical articles?
This is a good move Microsoft. But if you really want to help technology blogging,
- Get this going and get the people who are competing listed on the blogroll.
- Get a few good bloggers also into the panel or get some kind of voting (by bloggers??/technorati??) mechanism to choose the winner.
- Add some way to look at awarding sustenance too, as according to statistics, over 80% of blogs started do not last for more than 3 months.
And am I in the fray? As of now NO. Why? Because, I think I would rather let new talent be recognized instead. [But I will not say no to a link from any other blog or the Microsoft site ;)]
(Posted using Windows Live Writer Beta on Windows Vista RC1)