Here at the SoPD, we are always seeking feedback from readers to provide better content and more relevant information.
Today’s post is a request for feedback – an exercise in self improvement.
If I have any philosphy in life it is wabi-sabi (侘寂).
In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi sabi is a world view centered on appreciating the beauty of impermanence, imperfection, and incompleteness.
Autumn – very wabi sabi. Source: Shelburnemuseum
That said, I see no problem with trying to improve things. And following that line of thought, today’s post is a request for help to make the SoPD less imperfect and less incomplete.
It is very easy in science to get very exciting about the details and fail to see the big picture (a ‘not seeing the forest for the trees’ scenario). Most researchers fall down the rabbit hole of their area of interest and become obsessed with the minutiae. This situation on a science blog, however, can make one blind to what the reader may actually be looking for. Similarly, I have certain ideas about how this blog is developing and where it could be going which may not be the best way to serve the Parkinson’s community.
So in this post, we will review where things on the SoPD currently stand, before then inviting your feedback.
The state of the blog:
The State of the Union address. Source: Tngop
The SoPD blog has been running since the 9th Sept, 2015. There are currently 389 posts dealing with all manner of Parkinson’s research-related content. You can find all of these posts and key words for each on the site map page.
Each posts is usually focused around a particular topic, recent research publication, or clinical trial. The goal is to try to provide an easy to understand background before delving into what new discovery or result has been announced. And at the end of each post, I attempt to sum up what it all means for the Parkinson’s community.
I try to do two posts per week, and a review post at the end of each month. I say ‘try’ because family and the day job take priority, and there is often little time (or energy) come midnight for much writing. If I could find an extra 2 hours in each day, I would love to increase the number of posts (seriously, I genuinely love the process of producing the content), but for now two per week is what is managable.
Very recently (read: this weekend) I have noticed a change in readership trend. I stopped monitoring website stats a long time ago, but a chance glance suggested something was not quite right in stats land:
The graph above shows the number of visitors (per month) to the website over 2017, 2018, & 2019. You can see that after plateauing in 2018, there has been a little dip in 2019. As I said above, I don’t put much stock in the stats, but this new reduction has me wondering if the format is a bit old and stale, or if readers are seeking something different.
I have previously asked readers about format:
- “Are the posts too long?” I asked – no, good length
- “Do you prefer links to material or content on the page?” I asked – content on the page
And I am looking to shake things up a bit in the new year, but some external input would be greatly appreciated.
Which leads me to the obvious question:
What improvements can we make?
As stated above, I am seeking feedback – either in the comments section below or by contacting me directly by email – regarding what features or changes you would like to see on the SoPD blog.
- What could I improve or do better that is currently on the blog?
- What new features would you like to see? What would be useful?
- Are there alternative ways of bringing the same information to you that would be better/easier for you to consume? (There is a SoPD Twitter account which provides daily updates)
A couple of caveats:
- I don’t do guest posts (have explored this in the past, but for conflict of interest reasons I avoid it)
- I don’t do advertising (seriously, some time ago I would write a cautionary post about the dogdy cell transplant clinics and the #&%$£* google ads (posted by WordPress) would be for those same dodgy cell transplant clinics! So now the SoPD is an ad-free site)
- Time is a limiting factor (I am impermenant and appreciate the little time I have)
Any and all thoughts on how to make the SoPD less imperfect and less incomplete would be greatly appreciated. No idea is too crazy if it helps to improve the service being provided.
I look forward to hearing from you. Back to the normal stale, old format in the next post.
The banner for today’s post was sourced from OnthecontraryKelly