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Considering audience and other blog features

July 18, 2010

CCby CarbonNYC on Flickr

Soon, I’m about to get assessed on this blog for the digital design paper I’m doing. One of the areas we’ve been asked to consider in our blog is our audience. I think this is a tricky one. When I’m writing for a newspaper I know the demographic  I’m writing for, but with a blog it seems like the audience is much more scattered and random. There is no binding geographic location. This photo summed it up for me -whether the fish or the people are the audience is a matter for debate.

Readers have to have a reason to find or read my blog – that’s through the common interest of water issues, or a particular topic I’m discussing. I haven’t yet promoted my blog through my facebook page because I’m not actively targeting friends and family and I prefer to use that more as a social site. Though, it seems the boundaries between work and personal life have more overlap these days – such as figuring out who you accept as Facebook ‘friends’, and whether you’d show your personal photos to them (or not put them up).

I’m aiming to increase my audience -those with the common interest -through providing links, where possible. I’ve  put photos on Flickr, provided an RSS feed and used tags and categories so it is found on searches easier. Looking at my stats it seems that commenting on other blogs and then, in turn, being featured on other blogs increases my traffic most of all.

I’ve kept my site structure and theme basic deliberately. I’ve chosen a fairly clean ‘theme’ so it is easy to read and find things on the right hand side. The writing for me is the most important but I’ve also used photos as much as possible to liven it up and create focal points around what I’m discussing.

To recap; my focus of this blog is discussing water issues in New Zealand but particularly looking at the journey my water takes from its beginnings in the Thomson mountains, down the Oreti River, through the water treatment plant, to my taps and then where it ends up. Earlier posts have discussed my plans for my blog (see water plan drawing). But in coming months, I expect to visit the waste water treatment plant and continue interviewing people, experts involved with the Oreti River and those in the community who are closely involved with the Oreti River and water issues. I aim to write up these interviews in blogposts but will also be doing audio and video podcasts. The podcasts will be put on a post and also linked on a page for easy access, along with all my audio podcasts.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 18, 2010 11:44 pm

    Great blog, you have been busy!
    Someone once said to me that one day water will be worth more than gold or minerals. Here in NZ we take it for granted, we have great water and lots of it, but for how long?
    Keep up the great work! Water is something we must all take an active interest in.

  2. July 20, 2010 6:35 pm

    Hi Juliet
    Sue is right of course, only it’s not ‘one day’, we are well down the track where rivers are ‘too precious to mine’ but of course, that’s what is happening. It would be really something to see the public respond to the exploitation of our rivers with the same vigour that they showed over mining the national parks but there isn’t the same fervour, sadly, for rivers. Certainly not for swamps, bogs and mires, though there is some awareness, finally, of the value of wetlands, though in my opinion, unforgivably large numbers of those have been destroyed already.
    The most neglected ‘waterways’ imho, are those that ‘flow’ through the ground as ground water. No one seems to take much notice of the bacterial load these are now carrying, aside from Mr Hutchison of Lumsden 🙂
    Have you heard of Haikai Tane and Terraquaculture?
    We’ve a Columbian student of his coming down to give a talk on Haikai’s ideas sometime. I’ll let you know when that is.

    • July 20, 2010 9:57 pm

      Hi Robert,
      Thanks for your comments. Yes, the awareness does seem really slow in coming and may come too late. Although I do have hope when I think of streams like the Kaikorai in Dunedin that used to be awash with chemicals and waste from industry. In the last 20 years it has been cleaned up and transformed a lot. No I haven’t heard of Haikai Tane or Terraquaculture. Sounds interesting.

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