Change happens. Often change is neither good or bad, it’s just different.
Here comes some good change.
When I founded Technology Bloggers almost three years ago, the idea was meant to be a blog that was built by a community of people. We did have a good diverse mix of writers, however over time quality started to dip and many writers only wrote one post – which was not the aim. As you may have noticed, it is only really myself and Jonny who post now, as bringing new talent through takes such a long time.
One of the advantages I have now is that I understand blogging a lot better, and this has helped me to step back and look at the system we have to see if it is working. It isn’t. We are getting too many applications and it is becoming hard to keep up with them all. Also, many of the applications are not what we are looking for.
Today the whole writer landscape changes. We do away with the old system of contributors, authors, editors and admins and move to a new system of guest bloggers, authors and editors. The old Write For Us page has been updated to reflect the changes, and is now called Join Us. Head over there for details on each of the new roles and how to apply.
In brief, guest bloggers are those who write one-off, special posts for the blog. They are already well respected individuals in their field and will only be posting occasionally.
Authors post more frequently and are a more visible part of the community in the long-term. Editors are those who post very regularly and also have additional responsibilities.
Everyone who has recently applied to become a contributor will soon be sent an email informing them of our new structure and asking them to check out our new structure if they want to apply. All current authors and contributors will also be contacted to let them know what we are doing.
Our cluttered Our Writers page has gone, and it has been replaced with a new page to reflect the changes. Here you will be able to find out much more about who writes for us than you could before.
Jonny’s old profile (top) and his new profile (bottom) on our new Our Writers page.
I have more (exciting) changes planned for the very near future, however I would like to know your thoughts too.
Do you feel these new changes are fair and will take us in the direction we need to go? Do you have any more suggestions or comments on anything related to the blog?
Many blogs get abandoned within the first year, blogs that last more than a year are rare. Blogging is said to have died and been reborn so many times, with millions of blogs, big and small falling by the wayside. But we haven’t!
Amazing growth, a growing social influence, and ranked in the top 275 technology blogs on the internet by Technorati, Technology Bloggers has had an amazing two years; and there is loads more to come!
Always striving to improve, every day we are becoming a bigger name in the technology industry.
Lets have a look at what’s happened in the last year…
The blog has undoubtedly grown in popularity since last year. Here are some interesting visitor statistics which show the extent of our growth.
In year two (2012/2013) we had 65,000 unique visitors, 20k more than in year one (2011/2012)
Overall the number of visits were up 88% year on year
Year one saw 70,000 pageviews, whilst year 2 saw a staggering 64% increase to 115,000!
On average people spend 100 seconds (1 minute and 40 seconds) when visiting the blog
Our presence on social media has significantly grown in the last year. We now post every article (title, excerpt and link) to Twitter and Facebook, as well as interesting things we find across the net, and developments – like my recent visit to the Gadget Show Live – more to come on that soon.
Our Facebook page has gained 246 new likes, which is a 473% increase in the last year
We now have 275 followers on Twitter, which is 299% up on the year 2011/2012
Since last year we have joined Google+ and now have 33 followers
Want to join our followers? If you subscribe you can get updates from the feed. We will only ever post something additional if we think it will interest you.
As a blog we have achieved far more than traffic and a strong social presence, here are some of our other great achievements:
Almost 4,000 comments have been posted by around 500 different commenters
We have 175 feed subscribers 63 of whom subscribe via email
We are ranked in the top 300 technology blogs in the world by Technorati (we are currently ranked 261, which is in the top 0.6% of all technology blogs in their index)
We have a Google PageRank of 4 (although this doesn’t really mean very much)
The blog has attracted 71 different writers 24 of whom have written more than one post
Of our writers, 4 of them have 10 posts or more and 2 authors who have written more than 50 articles
Many of our writers are now claiming Google Authorship, strengthening the names behind the content on our blog
In the last two years, we have awarded 12 community awards in total. These awards have been given to 7 different people, with notable award winners including: Alan Tay winner of two awards; Peter Lee also winner of two awards; myself, (Christopher Roberts) winner of two awards; and Jonny Hankins who has won three awards.
Our current growth seems to be showing no signs of slowing down, everything is just accelerating at the moment – which can be hard to manage!
In the pipeline for next year there is already a series, a competition, and loads of ideas for new posts!
As always, thanks for playing your part in the community. Without you we couldn’t operate. Read, write or comment, everyone is important and everyone is part of the community.
Thank you everyone, here’s to another great year 🙂
Create folders and set filters to move emails into folders – this makes things more manageable and means emails are sorted into orderly folders, so you know where to find things
Keep your inbox empty – this tip I was a little confused by at first, but now I understand Ari’s reasoning, it makes a lot of sense. At the end of each day, make sure all your emails are either filed into their relevant folder, or in a ‘to do’ folder, so you know which messages require your attention
Don’t check your emails every 5 minutes – a valid point, as you can waste a lot of time checking your messages. The way I handle new emails is I have Outlook running in the background all the time, and every 10-15 minutes or so it auto-checks for new mail, it gives me a quick preview, and if it’s urgent, I see to it, if not, I leave it and visit Outlook later
Unsubscribe from junk – this is one of the tips on the top of my list too, if you are signed up to receive updates from companies/websites that you rarely if ever find useful, unsubscribe! Famously, the biggest lie on the internet is the word ‘unsubscribe’ as in many cases it doesn’t work, but companies like Wal-Mart and Shell are obliged to honour the request when you request to no longer receive their mail
Check your spam folder every so often, as things get caught by mistake – I have found this a real issue in the past, so have turned off the spam folder function in my email client, I just delete it as soon as it comes in, and if it persists, I set a filter (rule) to set it to be deleted upon being received
I likes Ari’s tips, which is why I thought I would share them (and my view of them) with you.
The one I was most curious about was point number 2 – keep your inbox empty. I like the idea, but is that really practical? My personal way of dealing with messages there is to keep them unread until I have dealt with them. This does sometimes lead to a massive backlog, which can be left not dealt with for months on end! Higher property emails are always dealt with.
Short But Sweet
Too many emails are a problem, there is no doubt in that. Wouldn’t you love it if all the emails you got were short, concise and to the point?
Too much time is wasted writing unnecessarily long emails, and reading them.
In 2013 I have made a pledge to myself to evaluate long emails before I send them, to see if I can reduce the size. I feel that doing this enables you to express yourself better, and your email is more likely to be read, and sooner – many of us put off reading those long emails until later.
If you want to go a step further, why not make sure that all of your messages are five lines or less? If all your emails were just five sentences, how easy would they be to deal with.
If you are interested in this, there is a handy link you can put in your email footer to let people know about the way you write your emails. Visit 5 sentences or less, which suggests:
“Treat all email responses like SMS text messages, using a set number of letters per response. Since it’s too hard to count letters, we count sentences instead.”
Why not give it a go?
On a final note, think about your signature. Keep it simple. Email signatures take up unnecessary space. If you have just emailed someone, they probably know your email address, so don’t bother including that. Logos make emails much bigger and some email systems block them anyway, so they are a waste of time.
Say who you are and give the person a link to where they can find out more.
So what is your view on emails? Do you use multiple email clients, or try to gather all your messages together into one? How do you deal with your messages, and is it an effective method? If so why, and if not why not?