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Blogging for publicising research

For MSc Audio and Music Technology, April 2016
by

Ned Potter

on 27 April 2016

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Transcript of Blogging for publicising research

BLOGGING
to publicise research
Use the blog to draw together the rest of your social media. Twitter widgets, YouTube widgets etc.
Building a readership
Ask for comments, tweet the best of them. Comment on other posts - be part of a community.
Write posts which aren't just interesting but USEFUL
Embed
multimedia
Ned Potter
Final questions
or comments?
Thank you for coming!
Reasons to love blogging
Platforms
Embedding media
Tumblr
Analytics
SquareSpace
Wordpress
Blogger
Blogger is the Google blogging platform.
Easy to use

You already have an account

Integrates with other Google tools
Only completely free platform where no ads appear unless you specify that you want them
And look at the stats! If Google Analytics bores you, Visual.ly is your friend...
So very ugly!

Hard to customise properly (+ 20 page limit)

Functionality not always great
http://www.librarymarketingtoolkit.com/
For Example
Wordpress is an Open Source, independent Blog provider. There are two versions, wordpress.com and wordpress.org
Free to use - wordpress.com is a 'hosted' service like blogger, so incurs no running costs.
Nice to use, likely to endure
Very attractive designs, stays up to date

Wordpress.org option available for complete customisation
wordpress.com blogs
will
have ads on them if they reach a certain popularity threshold

wordpress.org blogs require hosting
http://yorkforum.org/
A new, all in one website building platform for which you pay an annual fee
The most usable, modern and stylish sites you can build without specialist knowledge

Very good value for money
Unlimited pages, extremely flexible, very well set up, responsive design, and you can change everything at the drop of a hat
It's not a dedicated blogging platform so doesn't have developer input like Wordpress

You have to pay

Long term future?
http://www.ned-potter.com
For Example
A shortform blogging platform which sits somewhere between Twitter and regular blogs
Incredibly popular - the coming platform

Huge built-in audience

Quick to spread ideas
It's where all the young people are! (40% of users are under 25 years old)

Highest activity level by a mile - check the stats at http://www.internetlivestats.com/ and compare Tumblr posts numbers with regular blog post numbers
Full of animated GIFs, memes, and other things hard to reconcile with 'academic' content

Interactivity depends on having a Tumblr account

http://wheninacademia.tumblr.com/
For Example
For Example
Does post frequency matter?
Does post length matter?
Does social media matter?
Does content matter?
Does style matter?
'Me Too' blogs rarely gain a large readership, but blogs which say something with
PERSONALITY
often succeed
Your theme, colour scheme, fonts, bio, blog name - they're details which may help keep readers but
it's the writing and the content which will attract them
Beware the old-style marketing paradigm...
Above all, the goal of analytics is to
find information you can USE
to change how you're blogging
http://www.google.com/analytics/
Pros:



Cons:
Free, relatively easy to set-up, full of very detailed information, allows you to set goals


Currently not compatible with Wordpress.com blogs; you need to edit your site's design to paste in the Analytics code
Shows you in detail how people find your site (and what they do when they get there)
Blogger's in-built analytics
What you might learn;
what you might do
Only 10% of your audience comes via social media

One post is historically more popular than all the others

The 'Bounce Rate' is increasing
Increase your social media presence; post at different times of day;

Analyse the post - is it the style, the content? Try and do more of the same

Make it more apparent that there's other useful articles on your site
If I've made the wrong platform choice, is it too late to change?
No! You can migrate blogs between Blogger, Wordpress.com, Wordpress.org and Squarespace, by using the Import / Export functions. So you keep all your posts (and even your custom URL if you have one) but switch to a new platform.
Step 1: Copy the Code the site gives you
Step 2: Paste it in - e.g. Blogger has an HTML mode
Step 3: Check it works on the site itself
How do you embed?
Look for the Embed button, sometimes represented by two triangular brackets:

<>
Slideshare
YouTube
The site provides the code - you don't need to change or edit it, just copy it your clipboard
Paste it in at the point you want the multimedia to appear, then swtich back to Compose mode
Any questions
or comments?
Blogs are mobile ready
loves blogs
More people will find your research if you and others blog about it
Ultimately blogging allows you to reach a larger and more diverse audience,
boost reputation
, and engage in a wider dialogue
What
matters?
What doesn't?
Tone
Titles
You
Engagement
Blogging is not like other academic outputs
Titles are the difference between people clicking and not clicking the link to your post
Give of yourself. Blogs which don't really
say
anything just become part of the white noise.
Are people taking actions?
That's more important than total number of views.
Blogs are dead
A perfect aesthetic
Subscribers
Long live blogging! It doesn't matter whether people reading your blog even know it's a blog.
As long as your blog doesn't look terrible, how nice the visual theme is has diminishing returns...
Subscribers are nice but no longer essential.
Do titles matter?
They make a huge difference.
Long tail:
Short tail:
Sound Systems
Amplifiers in pre-1970 rock music
Tell people you're there!
You can also embed your tweets this way, via
https://twitter.com/settings/widgets/new
Give visitors options
Make sharing easy
Accessibility and usability are essential
TypePad
TypePad is a paid-for blogging platform
Your fee gets you hosting, your own URL etc
My personal opinion: it just doesn't have enough advantages over the other options to be worth paying for
Wordpress in-built analytics
There is no more straight-forward way to get your ideas to an audience in an easy to find, easy to digest way
(Or rather, Google loves regularly updated websites. People ARE Googling you - greet them not just with a list of your achievements on LinkedIn, but with your VIEWS.)
Momentum seems to matter to blogs. The more you post the bigger audience you'll get.

That said, there are no rules with personal blogging, so it's up to you. And there's nothing worse than a post written because the author feels they HAVE to, rather than because they have something to say...
Again, it's up to you. But often blogposts are in a more bite-sized chunk than
traditional academic outputs
YES
. It's easy to blog in a vaccuum. Social media will likely be the primary way people find your writing. Link to your blog.
Content matters more than anything. The rest is just detail.
Blogs tend to work best when they invert the pyramid of traditional academic writing.

(But again, you can break this 'rule' if it suits you to do so.)
This is a GREAT title.
As a blogger it's often best to start off with short-tail titles. They're more specific, but fewer people are writing about them so you feature higher in the search engines. Once you get established, you can move to long-tail titles. They're more general so more people search for them, but you need the SEO to compete with everyone else writing about the same general topics.
(What do you know and use now which you didn't know six months ago? There'll be all sorts of people still at the '6 months ago you' stage who would benefit from a blogpost about what you've leanred.)
You can't just go online and shout about your blog. You build an audience by being part of a
community
.
URL on your business cards
In your email
signature
Linked from Twitter
Post your blogs to LinkedIn
Write guest posts for other blogs, and link back to yours at the end
If they've got as far as your blog, they may be interested in more. Allow them to search, subscribe, find you on Twitter etc.
Add options to easily allow readers to share your posts with their networks on Twitter, Facebook and so on. The last thing you want is for someone to be willing to spread the word about your writing but unable to do so!
To get a weekly infographic emailed to you about your blog stats, put in your Google Analytics details at https://create.visual.ly/graphic/google-analytics
Thanks for watching
http://www.ned-potter.com/blog
@ned_potter
(Which you're all already doing, nice one!)
Full transcript