Introduction to Blogs for Academics

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Information about Introduction to Blogs for Academics

Published on March 8, 2014

Author: mattcornock



Accompanies a workshop delivered at the University of York. Workshop includes a full text guide and individual guidance through a practical session.

Matt Cornock University of York Introducing blogs

What is a blog? Type of website Specific audience Way of disseminating content Formed of ‘posts’ Clearly defined purpose Way of provoking discussion

What types of blog are there? Personal Local Global Professional Educate Entertain

Why blog? • • • • • Establishing your online presence Discussion with niche interests Self-promotion Process of re-thinking an issue Ownership and individual voice

Blog aims • • • • Must be interesting and/or useful Not a journal article Must be digestible Engage and encourage discussion

Features of a blog Title / logo Navigation / pages Post title Previous posts Post content Twitter / social media Tags Commenting

Features of a blog • Clear title / branding • Tag line • Posts – – – – Title Date Author Tags • About page • Contact / contributor details • • • • Recent posts block Twitter block Commenting Blog roll

Task • Plan your blog [Task A] • Sign up to Wordpress [Task B] • Create your blog site [Tasks C and D] – Think carefully about your web address (Handout provided)

Writing style Considerations • Write for a specific audience • Titles are crucial • First lines of the first paragraph are crucial • Structure the post with headings • Beginning, middle, end • Reflection, not description Writing for an audience Official vs unofficial capacity International vs local Prior knowledge and academic level Acronyms, abbreviations, technical terms Academic reference vs casual references/linking

Search engine friendliness Good practice • Precise use of keywords • Well-structured with headings • Getting to the point in the first few lines • Selected linking out Bad practice • Keyword stuffing • Headlines that are long • Sub-headlines that are abstract • Paying for links to your site

Blog post workflow Write Post Preview Draft Publish

Tags and categories Tags Categories • Search-friendly • Collect together similar posts • Summarises post content • Search-friendly • Collect together similar posts • Summarises blog content Essential for search Good for larger sites

Task • • • • • Plan your first posts [Task E] Write your About page [Task F] Remove the ‘Hello World’ post *Task I+ Write your first blog post(s) [Task H] Tweet about it! (Handout provided)

Beyond text • Include images that represent your topic – Creative Commons – Public Domain – NOT Google Images • Infographics and charts – –

Matt Cornock University of York Measuring impact

Twitter • • • • Retweets Mentions Favorites + stats

Blogs • Hits • Commenting • Linking • Allow time

Tweets and citations ‘Highly tweeted articles were 11 times more likely to be highly cited than less-tweeted articles’ Eysenbach, G. (2011) ‘Can Tweets Predict Citations?’, Journal of Medical Internet Research, 13(4).

High impact blogs • Make authors aware of your work • Guest post

Tools • • • • ubmit-url?continue=/addurl •

General promotion • Email signatures • Department profiles • Cross-linking between services

References • • • • • • • • • • • • Ashton, M. (2011) The benefits of academic blogging, Dr Matthew Ashton’s Politics blog. (Accessed on 10 July 2012). Evans, J. and Day, A. (2014) Twitter for Researchers [Prezi]. (Accessed on 11 February 2014). Golash-Boza, T. (2011) So, You Want to Start an Academic Blog? Four Tips to Know Before You Start, Get A Life, PhD. (Accessed on 10 July 2012). Heathfield, S. M. (N.D.) Blogging and Social Media Policy Sample, Human Resources, (Accessed on 16 February 2012). Johnson, K. A. (2011) ‘The effect of Twitter posts on students' perceptions of instructor credibility’, Learning, Media and Technology, 36(1), 21-38. Might, M. (N.D.) 6 blog tips for busy academics. (Accessed 18 February 2014). Mollet, A., Moran, D. and Dunleavy, P. (2011) Using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities: a guide for academics and researchers. LSE Public Policy Group. (Accessed on 11 February 2014). Patel, N. (2011) Neil Patel’s Guide to Blogging, Quicksprout. (Accessed on 16 February 2012). Patel, S. (2011) 10 Ways Researchers Can Use Twitter. Networked Researcher. (Accessed on 11 February 2014). Potter, N. (2013) Blogging in academia [Prezi]. (accessed on 18 February 2014). Potter, N. (2013) Twitter for Researchers [SlideShare]. (Accessed on 11 February 2014). Rowse, D. (2005) Ten Tips for writing a blog post, Problogger. (Accessed on 16 February 2012).

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