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Mar 03 2014

Pro blogging tip – don’t be an ass – show some class

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I’ve been hosting the top virtualization blog voting for several years and each year I come across a few inspiring bloggers that try and work the voting system to get their blog ranked as high as possible. This results in dozens and sometimes hundreds of votes that hurt the other legitimate bloggers out there. While this is a popularity contest, it’s aimed at voters who actually read blogs and can judge them based on what they read. It is not a general popularity contest for people who think vMotion is a V-Tech game and have no clue what virtualization is. The voter pool should be your blog readers and not all your family and friends and everyone else you know on Facebook. However if your grandma does know what a vSwitch is by all means have her vote.

What’s an obvious sign of a suspicious vote? When all 10 blog selections include your blog and the 9 alphabetically that come after it and your blog is ranked #1. Repeat this over and over and over with many of them coming from the same IP address and the suspicious votes clearly stand out. I’ve been doing this long enough to know what a legitimate vote looks like and if I have to look at every single vote by hand to make sure the votes are legitimate I will. Fortunately my survey tool collects a lot of data on voters such as their city, country, IP address, referring URL and more to help make it easier to spot suspicious votes. I then delete any vote that looks suspicious and will have a negative impact on the results of the survey.

You may be a good blogger but don’t expect that you’re going to become popular overnight. It typically takes years for you to get noticed and gather a good following. You can accelerate that by putting in a lot of dedication and hard work, not by trying to stuff a ballot box with bogus #1 votes to try and shoot up the blogging rankings faster. If you want to see how it’s done properly ask Chris Wahl, Derek Seaman, Michael Webster, Mike Preston, Marco Broeken and Cormac Hogan who put in hard work and it paid off for them. Try blogging with integrity and don’t try and cheat the system at the expense of your fellow bloggers. If you work hard at it, it will come on its own, it may take some time but the rewards will be better than if you tried to force it and ended up with a ranking that you didn’t deserve.

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  1. Michael Webster

    As someone who puts in countless hours of time into creating content that I hope helps others get the most out of their VMware environments, and solve problems, I think it’s appalling that some people are trying to cheat your system. But it’s good to know there are measures in place to ensure they don’t impact legitimate votes and the results overall. Keep up the great work.

  2. Samir Roshan

    Agree to every point said above. The route to success can never be short , if you are looking for becoming an overnight star try something else.

    P.S: I do have a blog but I have not chosen to participate in the voting as I don’t have enough content published last year.And moreover If Eric doesn’t know that my blog exist I am not worthy of it ;-)

  3. Chris Colotti

    Eric, your work on this is awesome. I for one appreciate the weeding out of scripted votes for sure. I vote once and only once, and I will admit I promote the voting to others to make sure they get a vote cast. I think it’s unfortunate that those with scripting skills (Not me….never we all know that), try to run up the score for themselves. Being who I am I’d research the IP and find the owner and strike all their votes and if they are a blogger on the list even consider removing them. Again, that’s just me :)

  4. Abdullah Abdullah

    Well said Eric, I’d say these paragraphs are worth pinning on top of the vLunchPad.

    Thank you for the effort, time and dedication.

  5. vmwarun

    I agree on the blogging with integrity part. It takes perseverance and determination to blog qualitatively and with relevant topics covering the posts.

  6. Mark Jones

    That is disappointing people are stuffing the ballots especially for us little guys like myself who probably don’t have a chance of even cracking the top 75 anyway :/

  7. Mike Preston

    We all most certainly appreciate the amount of time you put in to simply getting the voting underway. It’s a shame you need to spend more time after the fact weeding out votes! But we appreciate that too! I got to say, it’s pretty humbling even being on the ballot, let alone being listed in this post with those other names :) Thanks Eric!

  8. James

    I am certainly not defending any actions by those “stuffing the ballot box”, but how are votes counted or discarded if they come from one office? The reason I ask is, if I work in a large IT shop and everyone knows about virtualization, if all 50 people in the office vote for me (whether it is #1 or #10) are all but one of those votes discarded? If I share the voting link with former colleagues whom I have done virtualization deployments with or consulting firms whom I have advised on virtualization deployments for and they vote for me, are those discarded? I do think that it would be silly to share the link with grandma or Cousin George who know nothing about what they are voting for.
    I am really honored to land anywhere on the list, I know my content should not land me anywhere in the top spots. I have been blogging for over 5 years and I only get to post content maybe once or twice a month. I would certainly not want to land anywhere in the top spots, I just don’t have time or content for it. It would be hard to get all of my IT colleagues to look over all the great blogs listed in the voting process, I just hope what they voted for will not get discarded. I am certainly not trying to create more work. We all appreciate the hard work you put into this voting process for everyone in the community.

  9. esiebert7625

    I don’t really use IP address when looking at suspicious votes. In fact I have that feature turned off as proxy servers at a lot of companies only have one outbound IP address. I’ve been doing this long enough to see patterns and spot obvious suspicious votes. If there are voting from one IP they typically vote very differently and they look like votes from someone that knows their blogs. So don’t worry all the valid votes are usually just fine, even if its borderline suspicious I usually let it go.

  10. Jason Boche

    I was curious if this had anything to do with multiple votes coming from the same corporate proxy server. Thank you for clarifying how that works. Throuhgout the history of this annual event I’ve never once promoted it on my own blog directly or indirectly asking for a vote. That said I’ve had a few colleagues I’ve worked with past and present who do read my blog and may have voted, especially after transitioning to Dell a few years ago.

    Thank you for your efforts Eric. You are one of three people responsible for my blog.

    Jas

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