16 December 2011
Approaches to Measuring Success for Project Blogs
See Marie-Therese Gramstadt’s blog post about this http://kaptur.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/jiscmrd-launch-brian-kelly-tips/ It is a follow up to Brian Kelly’s session and the discussion on "Blogging Practices To Support Project Work"  at the JISCMRD Programme Launch.
On 09/12/2011 14:40, Brian wrote:
“During the session I touched on ways in which the effectiveness of a blog may be measured. Due to lack of time I was unable to cover this in any detail. However I have just published a post on UKOLN ISC blog which explores these issues in more depth: http://isc.ukoln.ac.uk/2011/12/09/blog-analytic-services-for-jisc-mrd-project-blogs/
In brief, there will be a need to understand how effective a project blog is. There are various approaches (surveys, voting tools for posts, measuring retweets of posts, etc.) However these may be time-consuming or way not work for particular audiences. One approach I have suggested is registering one's project blog with blog analytic services such as Technorati and EBuzzing (formerly Wikio). As with any services for measuring 'success' (e.g. the REF) these have limitations and, being academics, we could spend a long time arguing about metrics, ways in which systems can be gamed, etc. However if used with caution, such services may help to provide a better understanding of how one's blog is engaging with other's in the blogosphere (e.g. "Who is linking to me and how well-established are they?") In addition using such services in a systematic fashion (e.g. adopting use of the JISCMRD tag) could enable projects to quickly see patterns across the community (e.g. does a Technorati search for 'JISC'  indicate blogs which are effective in encouraging discussion and links and can one learn from the approaches which have been taken?)
It strikes me that the JISC MRD project might be an appropriate propgramme to begin explorations of such metrics in part because you'll be aware of the importance of data and ways in which data can be used (and mis-used). But in addition you may also have an interest in altmetrics  including ways in which social media tools, such as blogs, can help to identify the impact of research beyyond citations. Comments welcome, either here or on the blog. Note I know that metrics can be a controversial topic so I'd welcome constructive comments.
1 Blogging Practices To Support Project Work , http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/workshops/blogging-practices-jiscmrd -2011/
2 Technorati *blog* search for 'JISC', http://altmetrics.org/manifesto/
3 altmetrics manifesto, http://altmetrics.org/manifesto/
Brian Kelly, UKOLN, University of Bath, BATH, UK, BA 2 7AY Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Blog:http://ukwebfocus.wordpress.com/ Twitter: @briankelly and @ukwebfocus Phone: +44 1225 383943