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Killing Community Support

DangerCountry Living magazine made a number of mistakes recently in the midst of a blogging competition.  Some would argue the biggest error was changing the rules of the contest.  I agree that was pretty bone-headed, but I think the biggest screw-up has to do with the magazine's expectations.

The editor pointed out that she chose the finalists, "who despite only posting a small number of times demonstrated 'quality over quantity' and 'showed real potential.'"  What's the problem with that?  The magazine is looking for a columnist in the midst of a blogging competition.  The best bloggers, as measured by things like frequency, brevity and popularity won't necessarily be the best columnists.  The editorial team should have decided early on whether they wanted a great blogger (as determined by the community) or a great columnist (as determined by the magazine's editor).  They weren't likely to stumble upon someone who happened to be both and they made things worse by changing the rules in mid-contest.

P.S. -- Intervening because "posters...did not have the time to read all the blogs and then vote" was also the wrong move.  Why not just extend the contest deadline?


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