23 Things for Research – Thing 20: Blog, tweet or post a link

Mobile Assistant

Thing 20 asks us to post a link to something that we have produced in order for us to track its popularity. I am linking to a post I wrote for my library’s blog. The post is about the Bodleian Libraries new service ‘Library Assistant’, a library induction for mobile devices funded by JISC.

I think that Library Assistant is an excellent service and very useful, not only for people new to Oxford University, but for those who have been around for a while and don’t necessarily know everything there is to know about the libraries.

I actually published the blog post in August 2013 so I can already see the statistics relating to it. I am pleased to see that my post ranks 18th out of 50 posts. Not bad considering it is only five months old. It has been viewed 73 times, not quite so good as the top post on tracking citations which has been viewed 7,299 times but that’s exceptional. If I look at the statistics for this post in more detail they are not hugely comprehensible. I can see that the most views were on October 11th 2013 but that’s not very helpful information on its own.

The library does keep an eye on  the statistics for its blog. We can see how popular the post on tracking citations has been so we will soon be updating it to make sure it is current and continues to be used as a useful resource. We can also see which subject areas are most popular and those which people are not so keen on reading. The post on the library’s archives proved popular, as did reference management software. Knowing this information allows us to better consider what we post on the blog and whether it will be useful, or likely to be read.

The library also uses bitly to record how often links we post are clicked. I think this is proving slightly less useful. Not less useful necessarily but depressing, perhaps, that no one has looked at the link you posted on something you thought was really interesting and relevant. Also, at the moment, we only use it for links we post to the library’s Twitter account. Facebook URL links tend to be entered in full. We might find that if we used bitly to shorten URLs for Facebook that the statistics might change.

What I do find useful is Facebook’s organisation pages, which the library uses for its profile. The statistics they provide are comprehensive covering page likes, engagement (i.e. how many clicked on links, how many liked or commented on a post), ‘people’, which reveals the percentage of male and female followers, their age range and where they are from. The one thing I get a little confused by is how many people a post has ‘reached’. I am not sure whether this is tracking somebody logging into Facebook and seeing the post in their news feed, or whether it is someone clicking on the post to view it in more detail. I suspect the former but can’t be sure.

Again, these statistics prove useful so we can see what our library users are interested in so we know what they will want to see in the future.

Since I took on responsibility for improving the library’s social media presence, I have intended to look at the statistics and investigate whether there has been any change at the end of the user, e.g. more followers, more likes and comments, etc. However, I have not had time to do this yet. My general feeling from keeping an eye on the statistics is that things are improving. More people like the Facebook page, people retweet us on Twitter, people are definitely reading our blog. These are all good things.

 

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