My blog has progressed considerably since the start of the semester in many ways. In addition to keeping up a stream of content for many of my subjects, I’ve endeavored to remedy the main complaint given as feedback. Linking my rhetoric to more substantial research and theory allows me to to operate as a more effective media researcher. On top of this, I’ve made efforts to follow other blogs and interact with my peers, whilst ensuring that my own blog is organised and searchable.
My feedback for task one stated that while there was interesting ‘personal research conducted’, I could improve these posts beyond just storytelling and instead ‘explicitly link your research to academic literature’ so there’s more critical thinking taking place. So, this was my first priority to improve upon in later posts. The first of which, after the pitiful cinema turn out (love you guys), I made sure to not completely omit the autoethnographic style retelling and extracting, but ensure it was backed up with congruent research on the challenges faced by cinemas in this time and place.
‘..Thankfully, cinemas are able to avoid the second of Hägerstrand’s concerns with multiple screenings, spread across different days and times (matinee, baby friendly sessions) often for weeks if the content is popular enough. Furthermore, there’s a definite cultural understanding that you don’t have to be at the cinema at the allotted time; the box office in the foyer will be glad to sell you tickets even after the scheduled time has passed.This might be fortuitous if you wish to avoid the advertisements (such as the above), which is an aspect of many people’s movie going habits.‘
In this example, I’ve evoked the second of Hägerstrand’s constraints (coupling) and appropriated it to the cinema situation. I believe that this combination of retelling and further research (both academic and popular) elevates my writing substantially from what it was in earlier weeks. Additionally, I made a conscientious effort to display my further reading via simple hyperlinks but going beyond and embedding media rich sources like YouTube videos:
In each of my posts, I’ve made strides to generate reader engagement by a few measures. First, I send it to a couple close friends that give it a read (while formally commenting however), Tweet about it and other BCM240 related things, and most importantly I try and engage the reader in a dialogue in each of the four posts I’ve made since getting my feedback:
Week 5: ‘Do you have any too-annoying-for-cinemas habit? Leave a comment!’
Week 6: ‘If you have had any experience with someone asking you why you’re photographing them/asking you to delete it, tell me in the comments how you reacted!’
Week 8: ‘How did you conduct this task and what were your results? Let me know in the comments!’
Week 9: ‘What are your thoughts? Do you think that Australian adult gamers are treated with as much respect as film goers? Why/why not? Tell me in the comments!’
To further ensure my blog posts are as professional as manageable, I established a basic, clean Harvard-style referencing section in each blog post for consistency’s sake. The crisp aesthetic and spacing makes it easy to read and convey information while easily discerning who (in bold) authored the text.
Another important addition to accessibility, is my newly refined drop down menu which is not only sorted both alphabetically and numerically, but functions correctly and is no longer broken as it was earlier in the semester. Impressive, I know.
These attempts at reader engagement have meant that I’ve experienced a healthy amount of traffic and gained a few followers along the way. If I want to maintain interest, I need to both keep doing what I’m doing and think about what else I could do to draw people towards my blog.
On reflection, this got me thinking about the best ways to maximize audience and reach. I spent my time trying to spread myself out across multiple channels and didn’t get a rousing response from any in particular. As reinforced by WordStream, they suggest that finding your ‘Audience’s Nest’ is the best way to get a regular following on your blogs. If I were to specialize in a particular type of blog, perhaps the video game industry, then my self promotion would be much more effectively distributed in those circles instead of my current strategy of simply shouting in the wind on multiple avenues. For example, specific sub-reddits (e.g. /r/Gamingthoughts) would be an ideal place to post about a particular genre of video game that I have an interest in, as the majority of people there would be interested in what I have to say on that topic.
A study by ‘Social Bakers‘ suggests that just be directly asking readers to engage I could maximize exposure. Regarding Twitter in particular, your audience is much more likely to re-tweet something if you just upfront say ‘RT’ in the tweet, where an average of 73 re-tweet when asked as apposed to just 2 when this is omitted. I do somewhat doubt this would be as effective when combined with the advice of WordStream however, as if you’re catering to a niche then you mightn’t want it shared to unappreciative randoms. It isn’t enough for me to just follow other peoples blogs and expect of them the same. Directly giving other blogs exposure is mutually beneficial.
Ultimately, I think I’ve made great strides in both the presentation of my work and the quality of it during the second half of this semester. In addition to having improved upon the given feedback, ensuring my blog is a great resource of research and insight, I have improved upon the functionality of the website to ensure it’s an easily navigable experience.
What did you think of this review? Did you appreciate my efforts to engage with others? Was my writing contrived and lacking, or did it successfully bridge the gap between research and narrative? Let me know in the marking criteria!
Carr, C 2016, ‘Bad Mom’s’, pfft, more like BAD CLASSMATES’, blogpost, CarrOfTheOverflow, created 24 August 2016, viewed 4/10/16, <https://carroftheoverflow.wordpress.com/2016/08/24/bad-moms-pfft-more-like-bad-classmates/>
Carr, C 2016, ‘BCM240 Tweet examples’, Storify, created 4 October 2016, viewed 4/10/16, <https://storify.com/OfTheOverflow/bcm240-tweet-examples>
Marrs, M 2015, ‘How To Increase Blog Traffic: 5 Easy Steps to Stardom’, WordStream, created 10 July, 2015, viewed 4/10/16, <http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/01/27/increase-blog-traffic>
Staff Writer 2013, ‘Do Calls To Action Work on Twitter?’, SocialBakers, created 27 August, 2013, viewed 4/10/16, <https://www.socialbakers.com/blog/1883-do-calls-to-action-work-on-twitter>
Couret, J 2016, ‘Refuse to lose’, image, JohnCouret.com, created 22 February, 2016, viewed 4/10/16, <http://www.johncouret.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/img_0220.jpg>