Today I will blog about my blog. I feel quite uncomfortable about it, and am very afraid that I will completely disappear up my own bum.
On 24th September 2012 meta4RN.com was launched with two posts. One said “Hello World!“, the other post “About” set the agenda and explained the rationale for the blog. Now, exactly 12 months later, let’s see what’s happened.
Serendipitously, the 11,000th hit on meta4RN.com happened on the day of its first birthday. Actually, it wasn’t coincidence at all – it was more the desperate attention-seeking of somebody sad enough to write a blog about his blog. I could see that the milestone was getting close and started
promoting pimping various pages of meta4RN.com on Twitter from about 5:00am.
Early-waking insomnia has me conveniently awake in prime-time evening social media time for Europeans. Many of the social media connections I have made are in the UK – one of them, Anne Cooper also starting blogging in 2012. Although Annie started blogging just a couple of months before me, she taught me a valuable lesson on Twitter: Pimp Your Blog! (see Tip 7 here: anniecoops.com). Annie acknowledges Wendy Lee (aka @TheRealBaglady) as the source for this idea. I think we should also give credit to those who wrote the bible and the people who translated it into English… the biblical proverb, “don’t hide your light under a bushel” is very similar in meaning to the proverb, “pimp your blog!”
Twitter accounts for nearly a quarter of all hits on meta4RN.com. To the best of my ability I’ve tried to mimic the Twitter style of @mamamia – they take the “pimp your blog” idea to the next level with around-the-clock, mostly-not-repetitive, nearly-always-poignant-funny-and/or-interesting Tweets promoting mamamia.com.au content. When I’m pimping my blog I use scheduled tweets and a bit of imagination to try to channel the mamamia style of Twitter wit and wisdom.
With Twitter well in the lead, here is the Top 10 of referral sources to meta4RN.com:
- Search Engines
- Nurse Uncut
- Philip Darbyshire
- PANDA (Post and Antenatal Depression Awareness Association)
- impactednurse (by the inspiring Ian Miller)
- Croakey (the Crikey health blog, by the very supportive Melissa Sweet)
The blog has attracted over 100 comments, and I am very grateful for the support of all those who have referred/linked to the meta4RN site. Overall there are about 90 websites and oodles of Digital Citizens that have directed traffic in this direction – my sincere thanks to you all.
There have been meta4RN.com views from 85 countries, however many of these countries have visited less than a handful of times.
Searching for Meaning
WordPress (the platform used for meta4RN.com) gives access to some of the search engine data. Predictably, Google was the search engine used for 95% of the queries that found meta4RN.com pages. The most common search terms related to the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) – scanning through the very long list of search terms that led people to meta4RN.com it looks like nearly a third of all searchers wanted info about the EPDS. This is reflected in the stats for pages with the most hits too: setting aside the “generic” Home, Archive and About pages, the Top 10 of page views goes like this:
- Using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (November 2012)
- Emotional Aftershocks (August 2013, re hospital violence)
- #ICNAust2013: Looking Back at a Nursing Conference through a Social Media Lens (May 2013)
- Perinatal Jargon Busting (April 2013 – interestingly, this had the most hits in a day – 22/07/13, the day Prince George was born – when this quote from the post was shared on social media: “Babies are born. Women give birth. Pizzas are delivered.”)
- Nurturing the Nurturers (January 2013)
- Social Media for Nurses: my ten step, slightly-ranty, version (january 2013)
- #acmhn2012: Looking Back at a Mental Health Nursing Conference through a Social Media Lens (October 2012)
- Precovery: a proactive version of recovery (March 2013 – subsequently this post was adapted for publication as per this citation: McNamara, Paul and McCauley, Kay. (2013).‘Precovery’: A proactive version of recovery in perinatal mental health. Australian Nursing Journal: , Vol. 21, No. 1, Jul 2013: 38.)
- Follow Friday and other Twitterisms (July 2013)
- #bePNDaware: Looking Back at Postnatal Depression Awareness Week through a Social Media Lens (November 2013)
In this section, let’s have a look at things that have not gone so well.
Quantity: The original idea was for a post a week – that has not been achieved. There have been 33 posts in the first 12 months (this one will be the 34th). I’m planning to change the original goal to at least two posts per month – that’s more realistic for me: somebody with a fulltime job, a social life, and a bad habit of being verbose and over-inclusive when writing blog posts. Like now, for instance.
Quality: I can’t believe how awful I am at proof-reading my own work. Every time I publish a post I have to go back and edit out the typos and nonsensical sentences that are included. Weirdly, I seem to be much better at noticing the mistakes after they’ve been out out in the public domain… it’s as if I’m an Apple iO7 designer or something. [look Mum - contemporary humour!]
Dud Posts: Less than 50 visits have been made to these three posts – a poor reward for effort, but also an indication that sometimes I waffle-on about stuff that not many people care about.
- What has social media been saying about clinical supervision this week? (January 2013)
- Should May 15th be International Mental Health Nurse Day? (May 2013)
- Hello World! (September 2012)
Appearance: I really dislike the random hyphenation of this blog. It is truly awful and ugly sometimes. Also, the overall look if meta4RN.com is a bit daggy. I might give it a bit of a refresh in coming weeks/months – stay tuned.
This is a meta post – like a conversation about conversations (see number 5 here: meta4rn.com/about). The purpose of this post is not to show the answers, but to show my working-out… you know, just like my Year 5 maths teacher always said, “Getting the right answer can be dumb luck – I want to see how you arrived at the answer! Show how you worked it out!” Hopefully somebody can pick-up some ideas from seeing the working-out of a nurse who blogs.
I didn’t know what “blog” meant until about 12 months ago (slow, i know). It is word play from the original “Web Log”, which was contracted to “WebLog”, which was playfully converted to “We Blog”, which then left the thing that “we” do as a “blog”. Cute.
I am pleased to have an avenue of conversation about professional matters that is not constrained by the traditions and discipline of academic journals. I think the language we can use on blogs is much more accessible, and the freedom of sharing ideas for consideration is liberating. Practice-based-evidence instead of evidence-based-practice. It’s still peer reviewed, but is not hidden behind a paywall. Professional blogs are not in competition with journals, and will never attain their level of academic credibility. However, hopefully these sort of blogs can go some way towards bridging that long-lamented theory-practice gap. I hope so.
When introducing meta4RN.com this time last year, I acknowledged Ian Miller of impactednurse.com and all those who participate in Health Care and Social Media in Australia and New Zealand (#hcsmanz on Twitter). I want to reinforce my thanks for their support and inspiration now. Ian is especially impressive in leading the way for digital citizen health professionals.
There have been dozens of other who have been very supportive of meta4RN.com over the last twelve months. I will not attempt to list them all, but will just single-out two:
Melissa Sweet of @croakeyblog on Twitter and croakey online plays a significant role in sharing health-related information in the social media environment. I have been especially grateful for Melissa’s feedback and support for some of the meta4RN.com blog posts. Very rewarding and gratefully received.
My partner Stella is incredibly tolerant of the time I have spent on something that does nothing to pay our mortgage or enhance our social life together. I am especially grateful to Stella for affording me the luxury of experimenting in this space: thank you darling.
Thanks very much for reading meta4RN.com – as always, your comments are welcome.
Paul McNamara, 24th September 2013