Wednesday, 14 July 2010

EuroSTAR BlogSTAR Candidate Roll-Call(?)

Is the popularity/talent contest format crossing over to the testing world now? Maybe, and maybe that's a good thing. It has the potential to generate interest and involvement, publicity for the conference and a way-in and impetus for testers whose company budgets can't stretch to the conference.

EuroSTAR's search for a BlogStar sounds interesting - and worth taking a look.

Is this the next X-factor or "The Testing Blogger's got Talent"? It's got the popular vote factor - and that's a really interesting angle.

There is the potential for a great showcase! There's a lot of great bloggers - some who didn't make it to Eurostar via the VideoStar competition that I'd be really interested in seeing blogging.  Note, I haven't re-freshed myself on the video entries (and maybe my memory is a bit hazy) - but I voted for the 3 mentioned below.

So here's my short wishlist for entries.

Possible Line-Up?

Rob Lambert - always got something topical to say. His video entry was slick - something about roadsigns? :)

Pradeep Soundararajan - his "joker" video gave me willies! His writing has many learning observations.

There are other Indian bloggers that could easily enter and generate a lot of interest - Parimala Shankaraiah and Ajay Balamurugadas to name but two!

Then there's the group that are regularly involved in WTANZ - Marlena Compton, Trish Khoo, Keis & Oliver Erlewein - all generating good work - with opinions aplenty!

Anne-Marie Charrett - her "don't vote for me" video was fun (or was it "yes but, no but"?) There's always a lot of intelligence in her posts.

I saw a tweet that Adam Goucher might think about entering - cool!

Peter H-L always has an interesting take on topics - I liked his suggestion about a group entry - but not sure the prize budget would stretch to that!

Markus Gärtner - he's already going but it could be fun to see an entry from him - although his blog output would probably be more than anyone else ;-) But always worth reading!

This isn't an exhaustive list of interesting test bloggers - just the ones not in my current inattentional blindness blind-spot!

And From Leftfield
The search has been promoted as looking for: "Not for the faint hearted", "with an opinion", "not being afraid if everyone doesn't like what you've got to say": Well prompted by the national origins of the eurostar team I'd say that calls for a "Father Jack" blog! Oooh, tempting...

Or maybe we should follow Peter's train of thought with a team entry - who wants to be Dougal, Ted and Mrs Doyle????

(In case folks are getting confused - these are Father Ted references.)

There's actually been many an absurd observation in "FT" that you could draw a testing angle on - "near, far away..."

Final Thoughts & Question
Interesting competition and a clever way to get people involved. Some folks might wonder about the opportunity cost involved in generating posts on another site - but just think of it as it being another sounding board for all those posts you have in prep! I know, it can be an effort though...

I do have a question about the voting though - I wonder how that will be done - and do hope it's not a simplistic poll. I mean if I get my friends and family (that are not testers) to vote for me does that really show my blogging as being more interesting to testers?

I'd be inetersted in seeing other factors in the voting: the most-read blog post, most read blogger, most comments, most retweets, etc, etc,  Just thinking...

I'm tempted to enter - but have other things to sort out first. So, for me, the jury's out just now.

If I enter and somehow reach the conference I promise not to come to the gala in the persona of Father Jack! Maybe ;-)


  1. Simon,

    Cheers for the vote of confidence. A Father Jack at the gala - nice. That would be awesome.

    My heads racing now with analogies to Father Ted. I'm thinking about the episode with the milk float......or the one where they get stuck in the department store....too many. Far too many.

    Shame you're not entering though, would have been good to have some of your insight through the Eurostar blog.

    Good luck to the peeps who enter :)


  2. Rob,

    There's loads of scope for analogy with Father Ted & Testing!

    For the blogging: I never say never.... So don't count out Father Jack yet... :)

  3. Thanks for the mention Simon.

    Father Ted would be awesome and I don't mind being Mrs Doyle, well I would get to have some tea and cake right?

    Again bizarely I'm thinking Father Ted does 'It's a knockout' - (do you remember 'It's a knockout'? The proper one - oh those glorious childhood Friday evenings!)

    Aswell as Father Ted I'd also like to see a TriggerHappy blog..a bit outrageous...well you never know right? I'll let you be the man with the big phone?

    Dom Joly meets Father Ted...

    I think blog collaborations would be good, and we could send 1 person based on the metrics ;o) or debate the criteria..some test meaning in the end....

    I got loads of ideas....

    Oh and gawwwwn! ahhh Gawwwwn!


  4. Peter,

    Yeah, it's a knockout was a favourite of mine - jeux sans frontieres (?) - can still hear Stuart Hall's laughing.

    Dom Jolly. I'm getting an analogy overload now - but yeah, I could do the guy with the phone:

    Scene: Library
    {Telephone rings}
    Bloke-With-Phone (BWP) answers loadly: Hallo!
    {BWP listens to phone}
    BWP continues loadly: I'm in the library!
    {BWP listens to phone}
    BWP: I'm looking for scripted test cases!
    {BWP listens to phone}
    BWP: They've told me that some have been archived here!
    {BWP listens to phone}
    BWP: The project wants them run, so I've got to dig them out!
    {BWP listens to phone}
    BWP: The product has a passing similarity to the 2001 product version! Someone thinks they should be run - I'm digging them out to give to the new guy!
    {BWP listens to phone}
    BWP: They're scripted! What explanation is needed - they're self-contained!
    {BWP listens to phone}
    BWP: Yeah, I know. Gotta go now some exploratory testers are giving me funny looks!
    {BWP listens to phone}
    BWP: Philosophy, social studies, anthropology, mathematics sections. {whispers} Weirdos....
    {BWP listens to phone}
    BWP: Ok, bye!

    Blog collab could be interesting... Hmmm. If we went on the FT-line then just need a Dougal and Ted.

    Thanks for the comments & ideas!

  5. Lanette Creamer had a great idea related to this. She thought that Eurostar ought to choose who does the best job of blogging *about* the conference while they are there, and let that person come the next year for free or something. That way, we all benefit from getting to read about the conference and sessions!

  6. Hi Lisa,
    Yes, interesting idea - it's got legs!

    There's probably two variants - the best blogger of the previous conference is invited to attend the next, and at the same time have a channel for new entrants - so good/interesting bloggers have a way in without the "entry requirement" of blogging at/about the previous conference.

    I'd like to see more conferences engage / give opportunities like this - it's a form of cheap publicity for them - so it's win-win...

    Thanks for the comments!