Blog evolution

@PalaeolimOver the next few months the “Palaeolimnology et al.” blog will be changing. The first noticeable change will be the title of the blog to “Ecology of the past”. The idea behind changing the name is to have a title that it easily informs the reader about the broad area of our interests.

The changes have been precipitated by three key factors:

  1. A re-definition of the “Palaeoenvironmental Change Research Group” at The Open University (OU), in part as a response to my impending departure,
  2. My desire to have a blog people within the Paleo and Landscape Ecology Group at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) can feel comfortable contributing to, and
  3. The fact this blog has been running for over 3 years and it is probably time for a refresh.

Changes to the static pages and blog content will happen over the next few weeks.

As part of the refresh I am thinking about what the purpose of the blog is. The original aims were around providing an external identity for my research group at the OU and communicating something of the science and research activity we were undertaking. When set up I was unsure if there would be any appetite amongst my research group for providing blog posts, or from the wider world in reading them. Now in 2014 I think that the answer for both has been yes; the blog has now had over 100 posts from 11 authors, and in 2013 the site was visited nearly 8,000 times from 99 countries!

So the question then is how to evolve the blog to build on this base? Looking at the successful posts on the blogs the main views have gone to those posts that give some detailed insight into what we do. For example the post by Lottie Miller on nitrogen isotopes in lake sediments has been the most read blog post for the last two years! Therefore I would like to move the blog towards including more posts providing details of content, and away from simple reporting of activity.

To add further content I plan to include posts and pages that provide:

  • Details of the papers and articles that we are reading,
  • PhD abstracts from members of the group,
  • Links to data archiving portals related to our research, and
  • Content from our soon to be launched YouTube channel also titled “Ecology of the past”.

If you have any thoughts on how the site could be developed and improved please do comment. I hope that the changes over the coming months will not be too disruptive.

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