The winners are out, and News24 is not one of them!

It’s well overdue, but finally the News24 Blogoff competition winners have been announced.

Seeing I didn’t win a thing, *sniff*, I can now rant about the competition.

Its got to be one of the most disorganised competitions ever held in South Africa (this could be a slight exaggeration 🙂 ), the winners were supposed to be announced mid last month. Not a word though. Not a squeal. The South African blogosphere was left guessing whether or not the competition had been aborted.

Rule number 1 in business blogging (ok maybe not number 1, but definitely in the top 10, I’m just emphasing my point): Always respond to comments regarding your product or service, whether they be positive or negative remarks. News24 never replied to one of their many negative criticisms they received on numerous blogs. What did that result in: more negative remarks, and a very poor perception in the blogosphere.

Remarks made:

If I’ve left you off my list PLEASE leave a link, and your feelings on the subject. I’d love to here what you think of the impact this competition has had on News24’s blogosphere presence.

To emphasis my point, type “news24 blog off competition” into Google and see how many links to the competition are negative links.

I must congratulate the winners of the competition though. Your blogs all rock and you thoroughly deserved to win.

  1. First prize: Kyknoord
  2. Second prize: Peas on Toast
  3. Third prize: The harbinger

There are your hyperlinks that News24 forgot to give you guys. Just a text link, that you have to memorise and type into your browser is a bit annoying …

It’s amazing how powerful blogging is as a marketing tool today. Used incorrectly it can be more harmful than helpful. A lesson can be learnt from News24’s mistake, and that I think we can all thank them for.

10 responses

  1. Very slight, I would say. Not that I’m ungrateful or anything.

  2. Congrats on the win Kyknoord! Glad to see you visiting my humble abode. I’ll take a share of the winnings if that would make you sleep better 🙂

  3. I agree fully.

    The fact that the blogs were “judged” is another point one can only smirk at. From my side, I’m mostly amused at how they just don’t GET blogging at all (the text-only links, not replying/commenting, and specifically: following the traditional editorial approach of “selecting” the best entries (as opposed to the voting, web 2.0 way of doing things)). Obviously it was a simple “damnit, we’ve created the perception that we’re behind with this blogging thing… quick, let’s set up a competition to show that we’re not ignorant” management decision. Ugh, I’m getting pissed just thinking about it….

    That being said, the winners are pretty good bloggers, so at least they paid a LITTLE bit of attention to the ‘sphere.

  4. This sums up our sentiments exactly, Mark. What I don’t understand is why News24 felt the need to get into blogging when they had nothing to offer prior to this competition, and still don’t, if you exclude their grouping with MWeb from the equation. Did you notice they removed the link to MWeb’s Blogspace?

    I had problems with their bungled attempt at Flash links too – turns out they work in IE and not Firefox. And they launch in a popup window which is blocked on first attempt anyway… *rolls eyes*

    “Power to the people!”

  5. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m happy for the winners – really – but the organisation of this thing sucked fireballs.

  6. Yeah a very ameteurish attempt at a competition. I’m even more pissed that we never won though, R5000 in vouchers would have been nice. Nice one Kyknoord!

  7. It’s amazing how more-and-more companies are actually getting onto the blog band wagon… I agree with your sentiment Mark… it’s obviously a powerful tool (when used correctly). RE Media24 and the blog off… it’s my feeling that they were just trying to get involved in the “hype” that is blogging.

  8. Yeah, I think Tripeak pretty much has it. This is an example of a marketing department that is trying to jump on the blogging bandwagon using command and control type marketing. It is a complete sham and an excellent example how not to do it.

    My advice to the people behind this competition: read Cluetrain and Naked Conversations!

  9. News24 Blog Off smells a little off…

    News24, a local Web-based news service (and a pretty decent one at that) recently held a competition in South Africa called The Great South African Blog-Off.  Doesn’t ring a bell?  I don’t blame you.  While I am sure the people…

  10. I think News24 approached this completely inadequately and made a real fool of themselves to the point where they lost a lot of cred in the blogosphere! Thanks Mark for providing the links to the winners, seeing as News24 were so useless they didn’t realise they were supposed to!

    I know I’m late in commenting on this one but hopefully some bell end from News24 will come across this article and see the pissed off comments!

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