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Transcript of Academic Blogging
Use short descriptive titles
Let search engines know about your site: use Google Analytics, Google Site Maps and submit your site to Bing (http://www.bing.com/toolbox/submit-site-url) Make Your Posts Sharable Frame your post as a numbered list - e.g. "Top Ten Literary Heroines", "7 Ways to Conduct an Ethnography", "Renaissance Top Trumps"
Include at least one image per post
Include a "call to action" - some sort of request to follow up - whenever possible.
Make sure YOU share your own post where appropriate - Twitter, Facebook, email, etc. Why? Isn't that a bit tacky? It depends on your audience... but even a highly motivated intellectual audience finds lists, rankings, playful approaches appealing.
Lists, top tens, etc. are fantastic for sharing - they start conversations.
A catchy headline is only that - your post can remain as rigerous and credible as ever, the headline is just a way to capture attention and ensure it's read. What's the point? Everyone loves a picture!
Reading online, on iPads, phones etc, is a different process. Images help break up the text, remind you where you've read to, make the text memorable, etc.
Images help your post look good when others link to it: you HAVE to have an image on the page for users to bookmark you on Pinterest; a picture WILL make your post more interesting when shared on Facebook, Google+, etc. Does that work? Why does that matter? SOMETIMES it does... Successful calls to action engage the audience by:
Setting up clear expectations (what will happen if someone does engage/comments/take part?)
Keeping the size of the task small and specific ("Please do comment below and let me know which 19th Century historian has influenced you most and why...")
Targetting the call to the appropriate audience and their interest and expertise.
Rewarding participation (e.g. replies to say "thank you" or continue the discussion, sharing of best answers, etc.)
Directly encouraging key people to engage (e.g. a targeted email or tweet to a friend, colleague or connection saying, for example: "I'd love to hear what your thoughts are on my post on archeology field trip tips". It lets your followers, colleagues, students or similar know that there is a new post there to share
It encourages others to share in similar ways
It sets a suggested wording for others to use - you get to set the tone, focus, and catchy wording for others to engage with.
It creates an item that can be reshared - through forwarding, retweeting, resharing, bookmarking, etc. Further Reading... LSE Impact Blog: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/