Last month, we launched a competition that marked a lot of firsts for SmartBrief. It was the first time we tried to crowdsource a problem, the first time we actively sought blog posts from readers and the first time we gave readers a shot at joining our social-media advisory board.
I expected maybe 10 people would take me up on the opportunity, and instead we got 38 submissions, most of them from really quality bloggers. The volume of great submissions was so high that it took us an extra week and a half to figure out who the finalists should be. It was a difficult process — anybody who says crowdsourcing a problem is easy is kidding themselves — but it was also a lot of fun. I’m already trying to think of more ways I can get readers involved in the blog.
But alas, we couldn’t include everyone in the final round of the contest. The final four will each be writing a poll question-and-analysis piece for this blog and for our newsletter between Oct. 6 and Oct. 15. And after everyone has had their say, on Oct. 18, we’ll put the contest into your hands, allowing readers of the Oct. 18 SmartBrief on Social Media newsletter to vote for the winner. The victor will be announced on Oct. 20.
Here, at last, our your SmartBlog on Social Media Poll Analyst finalists:
Mirna Bard is a blogger, speaker and consult; she serves as the social-media chairwoman of the Orange County chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and she teaches social media at the University of California at Irvine.
Jeremy Victor is the founder of Make Good Media and editor in chief of B2Bbloggers.com, where he helps businesses integrate business-to-business social media and content marketing with traditional marketing practices.
Erik Deckers writes at ProBlogService, a company that provides consulting, social-media management, ghostwriting and content-creation services, and is the author of the upcoming book “Branding Yourself”; he also writes a regular humor column.
Mike Sansone writes about community building and conversation management at ConverStations; he has worked for America Online and Real Fans Sports Network, among other companies.
Good luck to all our finalists!