Blog

A blog about ... blogs!

By: Dr Lynda Kelly, Category: Museullaneous, Date: 11 Feb 2011

Blogging has been around for over fifteen years. It has fallen in and out of favour, but I now think it has found its place. 

Blogging: “Never have so many said so little to so few”. So went the saying when people first started to blog (in around 1994, according to Wikipedia). In over fifteen years blogging has exploded as noted by Wikipedia: “By 2004, the role of blogs became increasingly mainstream, as political consultants, news services, and candidates began using them as tools for outreach and opinion forming.”

With the rise of social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, questions have arisen around the effectiveness and role of blogs. At the Museum we use blogs to publish more substantial content and Facebook/Twitter to promote these. When we launched our site in June 2009 we started with four blogs, which have since expanded to 16 across a range of subject areas. In this week's post I thought I’d highlight a few.

Rare and Curious is a gem of a blog. Our Archives and Records staff often operate below the radar but both their website and Rare and Curious are full of interesting information and some stunning images from our extensive collections. Fish Bits highlights the week in the fish section and is a clever and easy way to keep up-to-date with goings on in the Fish section. We are starting to re-invigorate Science Bytes to include a broader range of stories which is also complemented by an e-newsletter. Cut the Carbon is written by Parrys Raines, a student who had attended one of our Kids’ Colleges and offered to blog for us (and we love her for it). The Life at Lizard blog featured in last week’s post and Anne has updated their experience during Cyclone Yasi for those that are interested. Now, I have a wonderful intern, Marloes, who has been bravely posting to the Audience Research and Visitor Voices blogs (and rather well I think) and it is a great way for interns to gain writing experience and for us to add content.

According to our Google stats visits to our blogs account for around 1% of all traffic (although this was still over 87,000 visits to our blogs over the past year). Two of the most popular posts during that time were the controversy over last year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year image and a post about Twitter in the classroom. These highlight both the diversity of our blogs and the interests of our readers.

Blogging is a great way to talk to audiences in a different way, while repurposing content. So, nothing more to say but blog on!