Friday, 17 October 2008

Happy Birthday Blog

It's a year ago today that I sat and wrote my first post on this blog. I was in a hotel in London, about to go to a couple of meetings, and then a week later, the Educause Annual Conference. Everytime I was out of the office for any length of time, someone would ask me what I actually did when I wasn't there (and often what I did when I was there!) So, this blog started as a way of keeping people in the department in touch with what I was doing, and as an experiment to see if I could keep it up, and whether it was useful. I did what any self respecting IT Director should do, and asked someone to set it up for me. No, they said, set it up for yourself. So I did, and I'm quite proud that this is all my own work!

I decided that if writing it got to be a bore, or if I couldn't think of anything to say, or no-one read it, I would stop. Well, I'm still here, a year and 232 posts later. I haven't found it a bore to write, I can usually think of something to say ( well, about 4 times a week I can), and I know from google analytics that people are reading it. What I don't know is how useful or interesting it is! When I sit down to write it, the audience in my head is still my department, with maybe a secondary audience which is the rest of the University. What I have been fascinated by is how many people from outside the University read it - not just once, but keep coming back.

Readership has gradually risen, especially as it's been linked to from more places, and there are always interesting peaks. Sometimes I know why, for example when I put the Christmas Party pictures up, and some have me scratching my head as to what I've written that's suddenly so interesting. The last time was when someone linked to one of my posts from a local forum because I'd used a picture of a Sheffield building they obviously couldn't find anywhere else.

You can get some interesting stats from the analytics software. The most viewed post (other than the home page) is one of the first ones I wrote, about Abraham Lincoln - there's a lot of people interested in him as the most commonly used term to find this blog in Google is "leadership traits of Abraham Lincoln". The second most common term which finds this blog is "egg catapult'! Firefox is the broswer most people use, 22% of visitors use Macs and the average time people spend on the site is about 3 minutes.

So, I shall carry on until I run out of things to say, hoping that someone, somewhere is reading it and finding it vaguely interesting or useful, or better still, both!


Anonymous said...

I read it about once a week and usually find something out that I didn't know - definitely keep going!

Anonymous said...

Not always relevant to what I do, but good to have a director's perspective on things

Anonymous said...

Its great for sharing knowledge picked up from conferences and also new iniatives within the University. The only downside I see, is whether its an appropriate communication mechanism for formal information e.g restructuring of the University.