It can be useful to use social media channels to share and disseminate your blog, and ensure that your posts reach a wide range of readers. This is known as amplification. You can share your blog posts through sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This can be a good way to engage people with your blog and generate discussion. You can share individual posts, and you can also add a link to your blog on your profile page.
— Lorna M. Campbell (@LornaMCampbell) April 20, 2018
Although using social media, particularly Twitter, can be a great way to amplify and disseminate your blog posts, it’s important to be aware that social media can be a hostile environment, particularly for women, people of colour and marginalised groups, who may experience targeted harassment. You should never feel obliged to engage with social media, particularly if you feel unsafe or attacked. Your online safety is of paramount importance.
blogs.ed.ac.uk allows you to choose whether to make their blog posts available to the general public, to EASE authenticated users only, or to keep them completely private. It’s entirely up to you.
All users should exercise caution when disseminating potentially sensitive or controversial topics. A blog post that may not be controversial in an academic context could resulting in unwanted attention or abuse if it circulates widely in the public domain.
Further advice and guidance is available as follows:
- Digital Safety and Citizenship, comprehensive guidance and resources from the University of Edinburgh to help keep you safe and secure while engaging online
- Managing Your Digital Footprint: Resources for Educators
- University of Edinburgh Social Media Guidelines
- Looking after your own, and others’, digital wellbeing, by Susan Halfpenny, for Jisc
- getsafeonline.org: Online Abuse
You can use Google Analytics to monitor traffic on your blog, to see how many people are viewing and sharing your posts and where they come from. Website and Communications run a training workshop that you can sign up for to learn how Google Analytics works.
However it’s important not to get too caught up with blog analytics and social media engagement. Remember that online attention can be fickle; engagement is no indication of quality and vice versa. A good rule of thumb is to write for yourself first and foremost.
Syndication allows you to share your content with other blogs and also to pull in content from other blogs to your blog using RSS and Atom feeds. blogs.ed.ac.uk has a simple syndication plugin called FeedWordPress which can help you do this. This video shows you how you can use FeedWordPress to pull syndicated content into your blog.
As we mentioned earlier, all the content that appears on the University’s OER Service blog is syndicated from other sites.
(Playfair Architectural Drawings, CC BY, University of Edinburgh, https://edin.ac/2s7t8O3)