Mw2008 Blog Workshop Case Study Ellis


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Slides for the institutional blogging workshop we did at Museums and the Web 2008

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Mw2008 Blog Workshop Case Study Ellis

  1. 1. Case Study 2: The “Electronic Museum” blog <ul><li>Originally came up with a “bigger” idea: a space for museum technologists to share ideas and techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Did about 2 years development in my own time </li></ul><ul><li>“ Launched” during MWeb 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Realised very quickly that actually I needed a team of 5 to do what I wanted to do </li></ul><ul><li>Site stagnated very quickly and was much too complex, technically </li></ul><ul><li>In truth, I liked the domain and so wanted to persist! </li></ul>
  2. 2. but... <ul><li>I learnt two important lessons: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Be simple </li></ul><ul><li>2. Be simple. </li></ul>
  3. 3. the next iteration <ul><li>I decided to simplify(!) and turn the site into a blog </li></ul><ul><li>Having played with the “big three” blogging engines (Blogger, TypePad, Wordpress), I finally settled on WP </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone is different but in my experience: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogger: too basic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TypePad: too techy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wordpress: just right  </li></ul></ul><ul><li>I sometimes use Windows Live Writer, too </li></ul><ul><li>Like Brian, I use hosted version too but have recently re-pointed my domain for $10 a year </li></ul>
  4. 4. getting started <ul><li>I’m a serial domain/ideas/launching person </li></ul><ul><li>So much of what I’ve done before has just sat there </li></ul><ul><li>This won’t be news, but getting traffic is hard...! </li></ul><ul><li>...although blogging helps enormously... </li></ul><ul><li>...and WordPress gives you intelligence about traffic, sources, trackbacks etc </li></ul><ul><li>once you start linking to people, they notice and link back. Before you know it, you’ve got traffic! </li></ul>
  5. 5. “ launch” <ul><li>I used last years MWeb conference as a focus for my first few posts </li></ul><ul><li>This gave me a natural starting point </li></ul><ul><li>I linked to Brian and he linked to me </li></ul><ul><li>On the first day (18 th April 2007), I got 11 views  </li></ul><ul><li>19 th April 2007: 24 views! </li></ul>
  6. 6. remit <ul><li>Less strategic direction than UKWebFocus. My “remit” or mission statement is, simply: “ a bunch of thoughts on museums and the web” </li></ul><ul><li>Over time, I honed this and now blog about “museums, the social web, innovation” </li></ul><ul><li>I follow tech trends and innovation. The tendency is for my posts to be about cultural institutions, but not exclusively </li></ul><ul><li>I always look for my writing to be light , opinionated , and hopefully fun too </li></ul>
  7. 7. community <ul><li>I allow comments from “previously approved authors” </li></ul><ul><li>I’ve had more comment spam than page views... </li></ul><ul><li>...but Akismet is very good at filtering these </li></ul><ul><li>RSS obviously drives traffic </li></ul><ul><li> do blogrolls, Twitter, Facebook, commenting on other blogs </li></ul>
  8. 8. measuring <ul><li>Because my blog is hosted, I don’t have GA installed </li></ul><ul><li>...which makes me sad... </li></ul><ul><li>...but in reality I get what I need from the WP stats: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>page views </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>referrer (vital!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>search engine terms </li></ul></ul><ul><li>I don’t spend time on Technorati or worrying too much about traffic... </li></ul><ul><li>...but it’s lovely when you see a spike </li></ul><ul><li>to date around 20,000 page views </li></ul>
  9. 10. I learnt this... <ul><li>Writing is a skill that needs practice </li></ul><ul><li>..but it’s enormously fun, and satisfying </li></ul><ul><li>You quickly develop your own style and TOV </li></ul><ul><li>I like reading blogs with opinion... </li></ul><ul><li> I try to be opinionated. (which fits me well!) </li></ul><ul><li>Choose your own tools – it really makes a difference </li></ul><ul><li>Use FeedBurner. I don’t, and regret it  </li></ul><ul><li>If you use a default theme, fiddle with it </li></ul>
  10. 11. thanks <ul><li>any questions...? </li></ul>