2009 College Blogger Contest
Doublethink Online is pleased to announce the second annual America’s Future Foundation College Blogger Contest. The purpose of the contest is to encourage original liberty-minded blogger journalism on college campuses and to identify young conservative and libertarian talent who wish to pursue careers as journalists and writers.
The contest is open to all graduate and undergraduate bloggers age 25 and younger. Ten finalists will be chosen at the end of the year, and the winning blog will be awarded a cash prize of $10,000 and be invited to be a panelist at an AFF Roundtable on higher education in Washington, D.C. Awards will be announced on April 7, 2009. Second place takes home $3,000, and third place takes homes $1,000. Our judges will also provide feedback to all of the finalists in order to improve their work.
Don’t have a blog yet? Don’t worry; you can still participate. Thanks to companies like Blogger.com, blogspot.com, and tumblr.com, starting your own blog can take less than five minutes. The blogosphere is a voracious beast, always looking for more voices, more posts, more topics: add your own! If you can use Microsoft Word you can use any of these interfaces.
The key to creating and maintaining popularity (and, therefore, traffic) for your new website is developing a voice. Anyone can write about the presidential election, but the most popular commentators on the web are the ones you rely on day in and day out to keep you entertained and informed. It can be a frustrating process: traffic isn’t going to come overnight. But it is also rewarding to figure out what works, what doesn’t work, and what boosts the number of people coming to your website.
Most important, however, is adding value to the discussion. Blog about what you know. Blog about events on your campus, developments in your department, and other events that your fellow students will find interesting. There are already millions of people blogging about the Iraq War: odds are there’s nobody blogging about your college’s president and his expense account. Dig around and find out what’s going on behind the scenes at your school. Who knows better than the people on campus?
If you’re still unsure of how to get started, feel free to email the contest manager, Sonny Bunch. He recently started a blog for AFF, which has evolved into the group blog Conventional Folly. Starting at the same point you all will be—with zero visitors and no history of blogging—his traffic climbed to almost 15,000 pageviews a day in less than three months. Sonny will be more than happy to walk you through the process of getting started and offer advice to any contest participant who needs it.
Application Deadline: December 31, 2008
To enter America’s Future Foundation College Blogger Contest, complete the online registration form to nominate your blog. From all the submitted nominations, AFF will choose ten finalists, which will be announced in January 2009. Contest judges will monitor the finalist blogs and announce a winner in April 2009.
1. Applicants must be enrolled as undergraduate or graduate students in an accredited college during the 2008-09 school year and be age 25 or younger.
2. Applicants must complete and submit an entry form online no later than December 31, 2008.
3. Group blogs are eligible. If you are entering a group blog, at this point, please submit only the name of the blogger who will act as contact person for the group. If your group blog is chosen as a finalist, we will contact you for the names of the other bloggers.
4. Judges will judge finalist blogs on quality of the blogs, the intellectual merit of the posts, and the ability of the blogs to make a meaningful contribution to their college campuses. Judges may consider the following criteria:
- Does the blog break news or offer in-depth coverage of major campus events?
- What is the impact the blog has on his or her campus? How can this be demonstrated?
- Does the blog effectively bring conservative and libertarian ideas to their college campus?
- Does the blog demonstrate originality in thinking and analysis?
- How regularly does the blogger post? How many comments does the blog receive on its posts?
- In the case of group blogs, does the grouping of the individuals make sense to its content and/or enhance the quality of the blog?
5. The decision of the judges is final. America’s Future Foundation reserves the right to not award a prize.
Blog Nomination Form
Fill out this form to nominate your blog for the AFF College Blogger Contest. All fields must be completed to be entered.