Planet13 - 9:52 pm on May 27, 2011 (gmt 0)
But yes, it is not always that you have so many readers who have their own websites.
On the other hand, that gives you an opportunity to reach out and find other bloggers to connect with. Which can lead to other business relationships (aside from the giveaways).
And really, we all SHOULD be connecting with others out there.
Also, you could end up antagonizing at least a few of them by announcing a winner.
In the book, Corporate Creativity; How Innovation and Improvement Actually Happen, by Professors Alan Robinson and Sam Stearn, they point out that the companies that give their employees the biggest bonuses for suggesting new ideas, get the least benefit from those suggestions.
They also show that the companies that give their employees NO monetary reward - or just a token amount of like $5 - get the BEST ideas that generate the most income. Mostly all they got was a mention of their name on a "Great Ideas Hall of Fame" wall somewhere in the building.
Their conclusion is that people will often give great ideas for simply getting recognition in return.
So maybe you can't give all the webmasters / bloggers a monetary award, but maybe you don't have to?