Water News

The blog that evolved
Water News
• A “news monitoring and dissemination
  service”
• Each day the E-Services Librarian looks
  for relevant news...
In the beginning…
• Amina Itani, Annette Carter and Rae Davie came up with
  the idea in 2004
• Used free, external servic...
Problems
• Concern that external blogs may pose risk
  to organisation
• Usage statistics very low
  – Each blog was avera...
Usage statistics were low
 Usage statistics were low
(except for spike in May
 (except for spike in May
due to Library Wee...
Migration
• BlogCFC, developed by Raymond Camden,
  (http://blogcfc.riaforge.org) chosen to replace
  Blogger
• Advantages...
Modifying BlogCFC
• Made it look ‘prettier’
• Improved the way statistics collected
  – Counted when people ‘clicked throu...
Water News Launch
• September 2007
• One blog, with categories, rather than 8
  separate blogs
• Number of categories incr...
Screenshot of
Screenshot of
Water News
Water News
Screenshot of
Screenshot of
Water News Admin
Water News Admin
Adding a new
Adding a new
entry…
entry…
Usage statistics…
Usage statistics…
However usage
However usage
statistics remained low
statistics remained low
– lower in fact because
– lower in fact becaus...
Subscription Functionality
• Water News subscription functionality wasn’t
  great but not priority either
  – Sent out e-m...
Water News Daily
Water News Daily
Digest as received by
Digest as received by
subscribers…
subscribers…
After modifying subscription
 After modifying subscription
functionality, Water News
 functionality, Water News
became ove...
Users even started
Users even started
making comments
making comments
on Water News…
on Water News…
Message
• Don’t give up on a good thing
• Small change in functionality can make
  big difference to your would-be audience
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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

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