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PSC Project Presentation

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by

Adib Masumian

on 30 April 2014

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Transcript of PSC Project Presentation

PSC Project Presentation
Medium Language Blog
Adib Masumian
My project consisted of a series of blog entries on the phenomenon of language

I published these entries on a site called Medium.com
Think of Medium as a crowdsourced blog publishing platform. Everyone can come together and write about
anything
.

My blog topics included...
Language and Translation
The "Pure Language" Myth
The Fluid Nature of Words
When Languages Love Concepts
Foreign Languages as Secret Codes
...and more.
I discovered Medium right around the time that I registered for this class

The staff feature popular posts on the front page. I noticed that many of these posts have to do with entrepreneurship, so I wanted to see if it was possible to get a piece about a relatively niche topic like language featured on the front page

I also just wanted to see how much exposure my pieces would get based on the topic and how I chose to distribute the pieces on social media
Post Distribution
To measure the effectiveness of some social networks over others when it came to distributing Medium pieces, I used all of the following tools in my study
Facebook
Of my nine Medium posts, I shared two of them on Facebook. Admittedly, I felt these were my two best-written pieces, and—considering my large Facebook network (>1,700 friends)—I figured sharing them on that site would give them the greatest possible traction
Medium Collections
The collection is a phenomenon unique to Medium, which strives to aggregate related topics under a common theme. For instance, Language & Linguistics has its own collection of blog posts

Anyone can create a collection, which then becomes public, and anyone can submit their work to those collections. However, there is no guarantee that the collection owner will approve a person's work, and even if they do, the process could take several weeks

I submitted seven of my nine pieces to the Language & Linguistics collection, but as far as I can tell, none of them were ever approved
Email
I also emailed one of my pieces to a few friends and family members to see what effect that would have
LinkedIn
I admit that Twitter probably would have been a better option—since I think the hashtags enhance the network's viral potential—but I don't have a Twitter account, whereas I
do
have a considerable audience on LinkedIn

I shared one of my pieces through that network
Nowhere
I chose not to distribute five of my pieces on
any
social networks. In doing this, I wanted to see how much exposure my pieces could get "on their own merits," without the assistance of social networks
So, what were my findings?
They were pretty consistent, actually

Take one of my shorter pieces, for instance (please read; may have to copy and paste into address bar):

https://medium.com/p/8ce6726790e4
I deliberately kept this piece pretty short, included rich content like video clips, and shared it on Facebook to see how much traction it would get

It ended up being my second most popular piece with 27 views. Only 16 of them (59%) were full reads, though

By contrast, the pieces with next to no social media distribution received—you got it—next to no exposure
These findings pretty much confirmed what I had anticipated going into this project:

You can't just write about
anything
on Medium and necessarily expect it to get wide exposure
In retrospect...
What could I have done differently to increase virality?
Like I said earlier, giving Twitter a try wouldn't have hurt. Even without an audience of followers, sometimes all you need to secure exposure are the right hashtags in your tweet
I also could have expanded the scope of my project so that, rather being limited to one topic (language), it could have encompassed a wider variety of potentially more viral subject matter
This table illustrates the extent to which all of my stories were interacted with
Full transcript