Friday, March 29, 2013

The Fish Head Whisperer Reigns Supreme

The Fish Head Whisperer is the Champion!

I recently competed in the 3rd Annual iPura Tweet & Blogfest at IBSS 2013, the 2013 International Boston Seafood Show. In this contest, local bloggers vied against each other to present the best, most comprehensive and interesting coverage of the seafood show. An impartial third party judged the contest and the top prize was a significant chunk of change, $1000. Yesterday, I learned that I have been selected as the winner and I am quite happy.

This was not the first time I have won. I was the champion of the 1st Annual iPura Tweet & Blogfest and in their 2nd Annual Contest, they added a prize for Best Coverage of Seafood Sustainability (sponsored by Global G.A.P.), which I also won. This year, there was only a single prize for Best Overall Coverage and my efforts lead to success. Kudos to all the Fish Heads who contributed to my win.

I would also like to thank the contest judge, Fiona Robinson, who is the Associate Publisher and Editor of SeaFood Businessfor her time and effort in judging this contest. SeaFood Business is a cool and informative magazine that covers the seafood industry and I highly recommend that everyone interested in seafood check it out. Personally, I find plenty of story ideas in each and every issue of the magazine, as well as learning more about various seafood topics.

Big thanks also go to the good people of iPura, a food safety company, and especially Jason Simas, who runs their blog and social media. iPura has been supportive of Boston bloggers for several years and they understand the value of social media. They have also been extremely supportive of seafood issues and have helped elevate the visibility of the International Boston Seafood Show. The local print media, the newspapers and magazines, provide very little, if any, coverage of IBSS, often little more than a single basic article. Yet local bloggers, due to the iPura contest, have provides plenty of stories about IBSS.

If you know me, you understand that I am competitive so I worked hard to win this contest. I wrote a dozen posts about IBSS, tweeted up a storm, posted a YouTube video and more. I would have written about IBSS even if the contest did not exist, but the contest provided an additional motivation. The Seafood Show is a compelling event, and highly recommended for anyone who loves seafood and writes about seafood topics. I previously wrote about the reasons you should attend IBSS.

What does it take to win this contest? Based on my experiences, let me offer some suggestions and advice on how you could win the contest, which hopefully will be held again next year. First, the event is held for three days and it would be most beneficial if you attended for all three days. The more time you are there, the more information you can gather. You will be able to attend more seminars and panel discussions, be able to speak with people at more booths, and be able to taste more seafood samples. The show is huge, and you really need all that time to get an excellent sense of everything.

Second, though you receive bonuses for the number of posts and tweets you make, the true key is diversity and depth. Ten blog posts, that are all basically the same, probably won't reign supreme over five posts that show great depth and diversity. You need to write about a variety of seafood topics, and do more than present shallow, surface coverage of those topics. For example, plenty of people will write about sustainability, but your post will shine if it is more creative, original and shows a greater depth. There is no dearth of story material at IBSS so you just have to look below the surface for the most interesting stories.

Third, size does matter. As I said, you receive bonuses for the number of posts and tweets you make and that can make the difference in comparing the work of different people. You should be able to write multiple posts about IBSS, ensuring each post adds to your work, and is not just a rehash of another post. One or two posts probably won't be sufficient to touch on all of the diversity and depth available at IBSS. You will need to write numerous posts to address all of the different issues and stories you find at the seafood show. Ten blog posts, each showing diversity and depth, will trump five blog posts which do the same.

You can't win though unless you enter the contest. In 2014, the Seafood Show will be held March 16-18, 2014, so make plans to be there and hopefully the contest will be held once again. If so, I will welcome any and all competition. Come see if you can become the new Fish Head Whisperer!

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