Water News: the blog that evolved


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Water News: the blog that evolved

  1. 1. Water News The blog that evolved
  2. 2. Water News • A “news monitoring and dissemination service” • Each day the E-Services Librarian looks for relevant newspaper articles, journal articles and conference proceedings • Posts title, short summary of article and link to full article
  3. 3. In the beginning… • Amina Itani, Annette Carter and Rae Davie came up with the idea in 2004 • Used free, external service Blogger (https://www.blogger.com/start) • 8 subject-specific blogs: – H20 News Monitor Service – Sustainability News – Library News – Engineering & Infrastructure – Water & Wastewater Research – Business & Economics – Environment & Sustainability – Desalination
  4. 4. Problems • Concern that external blogs may pose risk to organisation • Usage statistics very low – Each blog was averaging 2 views and 1 visit a day – Lots of usage was external (reinforcing concern that blogs were a risk)
  5. 5. Usage statistics were low Usage statistics were low (except for spike in May (except for spike in May due to Library Week due to Library Week promotions) promotions)
  6. 6. Migration • BlogCFC, developed by Raymond Camden, (http://blogcfc.riaforge.org) chosen to replace Blogger • Advantages – Could be brought ‘in house’ and run on internal servers – Written in ColdFusion (policy stated solution had to be written in ColdFusion or asp) – Open Source – Free
  7. 7. Modifying BlogCFC • Made it look ‘prettier’ • Improved the way statistics collected – Counted when people ‘clicked through’ to article rather than when clicked on title of article – Collected date of visit/view so could monitor usage by month • Added extra fields and tables to underlying Microsoft Access database • Removed RSS functionality, also del.icio.us and Digg IT (not supported inside firewall)
  8. 8. Water News Launch • September 2007 • One blog, with categories, rather than 8 separate blogs • Number of categories increased to 10 based on suggestions made by staff • Didn’t have separate Library News category – Instead promoted new databases and e-books in relevant subject-specific category
  9. 9. Screenshot of Screenshot of Water News Water News
  10. 10. Screenshot of Screenshot of Water News Admin Water News Admin
  11. 11. Adding a new Adding a new entry… entry…
  12. 12. Usage statistics… Usage statistics…
  13. 13. However usage However usage statistics remained low statistics remained low – lower in fact because – lower in fact because no longer any external no longer any external usage usage
  14. 14. Subscription Functionality • Water News subscription functionality wasn’t great but not priority either – Sent out e-mail every time a new post made – 6 or so posts a day resulted in subscribers being ‘spammed’ • By March 2009 Water News had 6 subscribers, made fixing subscription functionality a priority • Modified so that subscribers received one e-mail a day with all that day’s posts: The ‘Water News Daily Digest’ was born!
  15. 15. Water News Daily Water News Daily Digest as received by Digest as received by subscribers… subscribers…
  16. 16. After modifying subscription After modifying subscription functionality, Water News functionality, Water News became overnight success became overnight success
  17. 17. Users even started Users even started making comments making comments on Water News… on Water News…
  18. 18. Message • Don’t give up on a good thing • Small change in functionality can make big difference to your would-be audience