Content Strategy

Is The Conversation Now Worth Talking About?

Traffic to The Conversation — that written-by-academics-for-everyone-else site that’s always been a port of last resort for expert opinion content — is way up since the beginning of the pandemic, says Columbia Journalism Review.

“Way up” = 81 million page views in April for all The Conversation sites plus republication by other sites — double that of April 2019.…

You’re a Bad Navigator

Research-driven organizations, as a rule, are (unlike the rest of the world) obsessed with what’s on their websites.

So why do their websites all look the same? And why is the content so dull?

It’s because these organizations aren’t obsessed with their websites as vehicles of differentiation — but as extensions of their organizations and organizational mindsets.…

How Much Time Do They Have?

How do you decide what specific tactics — tweeting? op-eds? a roundtable? smoke signals? — to use in communicating your research idea to non-specialists?

Most research communication efforts throw up their collective hands and say: let’s do everything. Or let’s do what we always do.…

The Coming Agitation

The Agitator, a must-read newsletter on fundraising trends and strategy for non-profits, last week posted a series on audience building amidst the ever-shifting sands of Google and Facebook. (In two words: treacherous.) Some takeaways:

  • More than half of all Google searches now end in no clicks (because Google is dominating many searches with its own information boxes — and because people on mobile don’t click as much);
  • Organic reach on Facebook has dried up — clickthroughs are now all ad-driven, and those ads are getting and will get more and more expensive.

Who Owns Halloween?

Not commercially — I know that’s Instagram and your local pet costume pop-up store. I mean scientifically. Who can scientifically explain why the hell we love Halloween so much?

Mathias Clasen, for a start. Five years ago, Clasen (an assistant professor of literature and media at Aarhus University) wrote this wonderful synthetic essay for the British Psychological Society, curating what research says about the anthropological and evolutionary psychological roots of Halloween.…