27 Replies Latest reply on Jan 22, 2019 12:18 PM by jc2048

    Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?

    jc2048

      Something I've realised recently is that content I put in my own blog here doesn't get seen by search engines. Content that goes in one of the groups, like Test & Tools, or one of the communities, like the Project14 competition entry ones, does. Presumably element14 have their reasons for that, though it seems a bit counter-productive to me.

       

      One option I've got is to move to posting in the various groups/communities, but which ones?

       

      Most of what I'm doing would seem to fall in the area of analogue circuit design, but with a lot of investigation and experimentation rather than complete projects. There's also a fair amount of simulation-related stuff and a small amount of FPGA (though I didn't get very far with it). Where would I put all that?

       

      The manufacturer specific areas aren't really appropriate for most of it, though they do work for anything that's an addition to an SBC.

       

      There is an FPGA group with a bit of activity, so that would do for those (if I can get started on them again).

       

      There is an Open Source Hardware group, but that doesn't really seem like the right place for anything that doesn't end up as a full, working project.

       

      There are a couple of places for audio design with few members and next to no activity, but that's too narrow a focus for most of what I'm doing.

       

      Anyway, the question is: where on the site would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?

        • Re: Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?
          Jan Cumps

          I use:

          Test and Tools

          Test Instrumentation

          Embedded

          Sensors

          Power & Energy

          Transportation Automotive Electronics

          Industrial Automation

           

          Only if I have something that doesn't fit in these, I consider posting on my own blog.

          7 of 7 people found this helpful
          • Re: Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?
            shabaz

            Hi Jon,

             

            You're right, there doesn't seem to be a close fit for analog sub-systems/experimentation.

            The few times I've written a purely analog project, it's gone into places like Open Source Hardware, or once even Internet of Things, since it was a current source but ultimately for testing sensors for IoT purposes.

            I feel yours could still be best placed in Open Source Hardware despite it not being a complete project.

            There is STEM Academy, that might be suitable? Or a sub-space there, for (say) Analog Experiments perhaps? Maybe a totally new space could be created.

            But Open Source Hardware has many members, so maybe more immediate visibility for those already members of that group, although it has no direct access from the Learn/Discuss/Build menus I think.

            6 of 6 people found this helpful
              • Re: Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?
                jc2048

                I had the same feeling about Open Source Hardware - it feels like a possible category even if it isn't quite right. It kind of sounds like a design space (rather than somewhere where you might just talk about products or components). But what I'm doing doesn't need a licence, either to allow the reader to use the material or to protect me from the consequences of its use, so it seems a bit strange to me to be posting there and I'm not sure what the members of that space would make of me diving in there with my investigations and experiments.

                 

                I don't feel a natural affinity with the STEM stuff. What they are doing is quite precisely calibrated for their audience, with it building step by step, and that's not where I'm at at all. What I'm doing isn't well enough structured to be any kind of course material and the changes in level are far too abrupt, even sometimes within the same blog, particularly for anyone just starting out. I simply offer the things I do as something that might be of interest to people reading.

                 

                So that probably means either placing it wherever it seems to best fit (Jan's approach) or creating a new group. One thing that counts against a new group is that there are a lot of old groups for all manner of things (there's even a group for Scotland!), often with only a couple of members, that have fallen by the wayside, so I might end up as a 'group' of one. [I'm not too clear, but it sounds like I might have to run the group if I create it, too, and I'm not sure I want the bother of that.] I'll think about it further, but I may resign myself to Jan's approach and possibly use the Open Hardware one for some of it.

                 

                Thanks for your thoughts. Although everyone who answered had something interesting to say, I'll give you the points for the 'correct' answer.

                  • Re: Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?
                    Jan Cumps

                    jc2048  wrote:

                     

                    ...

                    I don't feel a natural affinity with the STEM stuff. What they are doing is quite precisely calibrated for their audience, with it building step by step, and that's not where I'm at at all. What I'm doing isn't well enough structured to be any kind of course material and the changes in level are far too abrupt, even sometimes within the same blog, particularly for anyone just starting out. I simply offer the things I do as something that might be of interest to people reading.

                    ...

                    I had the same thing with IoT. I didn't like the term, still don't like it but I got over it . It's commonly used now and much broader than the marketing term it was in the beginning.

                    I have the same position on STEM. For me (warning: personal opinion), it covers anything technical / enineeringish with an educational edge to it. We old people just need to shed the buzzword-anxiety .

                    STEM Academy may be a fine group to post your blogs in.

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • Re: Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?
                  jw0752

                  I put almost all my posts in my own blog and since they are for the most part pretty trivial I am glad when even a handful of my friends here read them. The only way that google has a chance of finding any of them is if I preface my search with "element14".

                  Perhaps there is a way for Google to take a more in depth accounting of the element14 content as posts like those of Jan and Jon are certainly pertinent and valuable to anyone looking for information on the subjects that they blog about and there is no way the searcher would have the foresight to put element14 in their search parameters.

                   

                  John

                  8 of 8 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?
                    genebren

                    Jon,

                     

                    Very interesting find there.  I did a little testing on my side to see the 'visibility' of some of my posts from various locations within the element14 domain.  I could not get any of my personal blogs to come up in web searches, but I could find some of my more public blogs (like in project14 areas).  There can be many reasons as to why there appears to be a difference in searchabilty  of these areas.  On thing that I noticed, with the project14 posts, is that element14 is using some of the contest content in their own efforts to promote their site, like tweets on some of the projects, which likely is helping the search.  SEO (search engine optimization), works by understanding how the big search engines mine content, and then taking advantage of those techniques to increase your web visibility.  I looked into a lot of this years ago when I was blogging on another site and getting some revenue based on views and such.  Here are couple of things that I found, that did increase my views:

                     

                    1) cross site linking - If other sites, link back to your content, there is a greatly likelihood that you will climb higher in search results.  I assume that the linking increases the credibility of the content.

                    2) keywords - Having relevant keywords also seems to help in improving your search results.

                    3) volume of similar content, i.e. multiple articles with similar keywords or similar titles.  I noticed a sharp rise in views when I wrote a series of articles (part1, part2....).  Whether this was a search engine optimization or just readers that were following the series is unknown.

                     

                    Whether the personal blogs are protected, or if the more public blogs are benefiting by element14 own marketing/advertising efforts, is unknown.  Hopefully others on the community with better understanding of the current search engine rules and optimizations will chime in here and provide other ideas.

                     

                    Gene

                    5 of 5 people found this helpful
                      • Re: Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?
                        jc2048

                        Thanks, that's useful - I don't know much about the techniques they use for ranking. My impression was that the material hadn't been crawled at all rather than ranking badly in the results, but I could be wrong. I picked complete sentences towards the end of some of the blogs I'd done in groups or communities (so I wouldn't get mis-hits from the start being partially quoted elsewhere) and did a literal search with quotes around them. On Bing I got the top ranking for each of them.

                         

                        If I do the same for items from my blog then there aren't any exact hits and the search engine moves to trying for likely matches to some of the words [but with none of the results coming from my material].

                      • Re: Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?
                        neilk

                        Changing the direction of the question slightly:

                         

                        I don't write many blogs here,  but when I do, I post them under my personal blog, so they are all in one place. If I think that the blog has a relevance within a specific area - Arduino being my most popular area - then I put a message there to make the community aware, otherwise the blog will only be seen by people who are following me. I hope some of my blogs have a wider interest!

                         

                        I hope that doesn't sound too self-centered!!

                         

                        I think it would be a good idea if you could post a blog in  more than 1 one place - personal blog and wherever else it seems most relevant.

                         

                        Neil

                        2 of 2 people found this helpful
                          • Re: Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?
                            jc2048

                            I like to group mine like that too and if it wasn't for the issue with external search engines I'd probably continue like that.

                             

                            I agree that it should be 'Your blog AND..' rather than the current 'Your blog OR...' choice. It's obviously possible to do it with the content-management system because the staff do it occasionally. It's also been suggested at least once before (I did at some point, though there was no response from element14 to it).

                            2 of 2 people found this helpful
                              • Re: Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?
                                tariq.ahmad

                                Hey jc2048 ,

                                 

                                The problem may be that there are different ownership permissions to account for.   I know with certain things such as element14 presents a video supplier will post a blog as supplemental content in their personal blog but I am unable to modify (such as adding a header to link to the episode doc) unless the blog post is moved to the element14 presents space.  

                                 

                                It's something that I can bring this up as a suggestion to the dev team but not sure how that would work with ownership (permissions) being separate in the different blog spaces.  I know that with certain areas such as the Arduino and Project14 I will use the share functionality so they can show up in both content streams.   It's by far a perfect system but there are permissions in place that work differently for spaces owned by community members than spaces that are maintained internally.   Conversely,  if some permissions were granted universally for spaces maintained internally, such as Arduino or Project14, it would make these spaces more difficult to maintain in a way that would cohesive. 

                                3 of 3 people found this helpful
                                  • Re: Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?
                                    jc2048

                                    Aren't permissions already being handled? If I choose to place a blog in another area when I create it, then I can only do that for areas I have permission to access and place a blog in. I also have permission to blog in my own blog. So that covers all the bases, doesn't it? From the developers' POV that should be easier than with you as a staff member where you might be doing something that breaks things in some way that you might not be aware of and so has to be tested for in quite a complicated way.

                                     

                                    I'd quite like to hear a response from a staff member as to which groups/communities they think I should be posting to for analogue circuit experimentation and design and for simulation topics if I don't use my own blog area (not necessarily you if it falls outside your remit and you feel it's more appropriate for someone else to deal with).

                                      • Re: Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?
                                        tariq.ahmad

                                        Hi jc2048 ,

                                         

                                        Outside of your own blog I couldn't tell you as I don't know if there is an active part of the community that would be a better place to put analogue circuit experimentation and design and for simulation topics but perhaps there is to be one.

                                         

                                        I've added this as an idea as feature improvement of Jive so that we can start a discussion to see if anything can be done to add functionality to Jive that would allow you to simultaneously publish a blog in two spaces.  This should at least get the conversation started.  I've also linked the ticket to this post in case there are any ideas I'm missing so this conversation could at least be used as a reference.

                                         

                                        As far as a space were you could put analog and simulation projects other than your own blog, I don't know any offhand. cstanton would be a good point of contact as he manages the overall community and he might have ideas,  or maybe rscasny , e14phil , or jlucas from the content team. I can't think of an active space where that would be ideal and there may be hesitancy to create one if there is a similar space that exists but doesn't get much activity.    Actually,  looking back I like shabaz 's suggestion of using Open Hardware or STEM Academy.   I think those would be your best bets as they are active and could be a good home for this content.

                                        3 of 3 people found this helpful
                                          • Re: Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?
                                            neilk

                                            Hi tariq.ahmad Thanks for picking up the point about publishing a blog in 2 places.

                                             

                                            Neil

                                              • Re: Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?
                                                Dudley Nelson

                                                I was surprised by the fact that personal blogs aren't being indexed. A quick check on the webmaster tools shows that your blog is indeed not being indexed by google.

                                                 

                                                SEO optimization is a moving target, we are regularly making tweaks to the functionality to allow for the site to be properly indexed. One may think that it's just a case of throwing the entire site at google and letting them do their thing, but it's more complex than that, and we often have to choose which pages we don't index in order to push the pages we do index up higher. It's a long and slow iterative process, and it's a process that is difficult to test out due to the amount of time it takes to see the changes you make reflected onto google.

                                                 

                                                Personal blogs *should* be indexed - but they aren't right now because of these difficulties. We've made a change today that will be made live on our next release - but when that release occurs it'll be at least a week or so before there will be any tangible effect.

                                                5 of 5 people found this helpful
                                              • Re: Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?
                                                jc2048

                                                Thank's for the reply. We can see if any of the people you've referenced want to say anything.

                                                 

                                                I really think you all should be having a conversation internally about the Groups/Communities and how they get used. Although my content isn't anything special - I'm not the world's greatest engineer and my interests are a bit dated and somewhat off-beat - I would like it to have some visibility to the outside world and it should be a concern to you that perfectly ordinary stuff about circuit design doesn't really fit anywhere other than a personal blog area. I'd be happy to use the Groups/Communities to that end if I knew where to place material (particularly if it could be presented either in the way that follows from what Neil and I have suggested or the way that would result from what Shabaz is proposing), but so far people are just suggesting shoe-horning it into spaces that don't seem to me to be really suitable. Open Source Hardware should be for complete designs that are licenced and it's unfair to the people already using the space in that way to 'dump' unsuitable content there. STEM is even more difficult because it's not where a degree-level engineer coming to the site would even think to look for such content and, the other side of the coin, it disrupts the educational side by introducing material that isn't well structured and appropriate to that end.

                                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                                  • Re: Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?
                                                    Christopher Stanton

                                                    Humans are like cats, they like boxes.

                                                     

                                                    Once you start going down the rabbit hole of 'which box does this fit into?' you end up going down a long, drawn out conversation most of the time, and arguments can happen.

                                                     

                                                    You also end up with some boxes that are left dormant, go a bit moldy or get tired, unless someone regularly tends do the boxes.

                                                     

                                                    The same happens for groups and places in Communities.

                                                     

                                                    Feedback and Support has a selection/option to be able to request a new group / sub-community, members used to be able to create groups themselves (but this turned into a spam-bot fest). If there's sufficient interest in a group being created, I can go ahead and do that, and if a member wants to maintain it, then that's likely fine too.

                                                     

                                                    Blogs not being indexed sucks, but what we can do is if we're made aware of cool blog posts community members have been working on, we can raise their profile by advertising the content on social media via our social media team (Meet the element14 Community Team ) - there's so much good content on this site we often miss stuff.

                                                     

                                                    Hopefully the steps taken by the dev' team are going to help index content better, but there's stuff we as staff can do too.

                                        • Re: Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?
                                          shabaz

                                          Hi Jon and Tariq and everyone,

                                           

                                          I've been thinking about this a bit more, had had these comments and questions..

                                          I was wondering, what is the purpose of the individual user blog space? I've not created any personal blogs yet, so I don't know if there are any differences in capabilities. I believe that the main benefit is that it provides people with an easy way to access all of the blogs written by an author, but wanted to check if there are any other benefits.

                                          If that's the only benefit, then there could be an alternative - when people click on "xyz's blog', perhaps the resultant list of blogs could default to all blogs written by that author, in any space, and have a button or check-box on that page to only view those in the personal blog space. That way, we can use the personal blog for a particular use, e.g. public resumes and personal individual experiences with engineering, and so on, but is still backward-compatible with what we have today.

                                          Here's what the idea could look like, the circled area is unchecked, so the view would also display things that are not in the personal blog, such as the WEBENCH Designer for FPGA blog post, which is actually in the Texas Instruments space. Today if you try to view  Jon Clift's Blog  I can't see the WEBENCH blog post he created, since it is not a personal blog, but I'm guessing 99% of the time any viewer who tries to click on the personal blog, would want to see all blogs that Jon created, regardless of the space.

                                          Is this a good idea or a bad idea.. not sure.. currently if I want to see a person's blogs, I'll click on their name to see all their activity, and then filter on the blog posts, which is a long-winded way and doesn't provide the same nice style view as the personal blogs, but does mean I get to see all of their blogs listed.

                                           

                                          I think it could be a good idea, because it will encourage people to place the content in the best space that suits the content (or in the case of Jon it could help highlight that there isn't a space fully suited, in which case it could either go in an approximately close space, or a discussion could be had to create a new space), and still have the option of the personal blog space.

                                           

                                          As a side story, in the past I've had to try to figure out how to organize diverse content on a single site for different users (lets say sales, engineering, legal, etc)., and a lot of content was historically in a 'Miscellaneous' tab on the website, because people didn't know where it should reside. The content in that tab was huge, and made it hard to find stuff. To help resolve that a little, we deliberately deleted the Misc tab name, and forced all of its content to fit in other spaces. It did work, several years on, no-one has suggested to re-create a Misc tab. I'm not suggesting the personal blog is a Misc tab, but instead it can take on a more important role, i.e. it becomes a link for people to see all blog content by an author by default (by leaving the check-box unchecked), or for seeing all content that doesn't fit any other space for good reason, e.g. as in Jon's case, or say blogs on personal experiences in engineering).

                                          What do you reckon? Good or bad?

                                          4 of 4 people found this helpful
                                            • Re: Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?
                                              jc2048

                                              A Miscellaneous group would be wonderful. I'd vote for that! Complete with subgroups for Curiosities, Ephemera, Small Doodles, Total Monsters to Debug, How Did They Ever Design it Like That?, and the all-important Magic Smoke one.

                                               

                                              The reason I nearly always post to my own blog is that when I first came here the existing categories didn't make much sense to me and it was much simpler just to put everything in the personal blog, but I did also like that it was all grouped together and presented nicely (my own personal 'channel' on a small scale, as it were). Since I joined, that presentation has been degraded somewhat.

                                               

                                              If it wasn't for the 'fact' (not proven, just my impression, though element14 do, so far, appear very quiet on the subject[see Dudley's comment above]) that it doesn't seem to have search engine visibility, I'd have happily continued and we wouldn't now be having this discussion.

                                               

                                              I think your solution achieves much the same thing as choosing multiple places to have virtual links to the content, but places control in the hands of the viewer rather than the creator. I don't think I'd have too much of an issue with that if it were easier to implement.

                                              3 of 3 people found this helpful
                                                • Re: Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?
                                                  shabaz
                                                  ..doesn't seem to have search engine visibility

                                                   

                                                  Sorry, yes, my comments didn't address that point, I forgot about that. I hope we find out more about that.

                                                   

                                                  Anyway, the reason why in my old work we liked the idea of strongly encouraging a user to decide on a location other than Misc, is that during blog creation, is the best time to add all the metadata, since the author knows best what the blog post is about, so they should be encouraged to add tags, choose a suitable space - we considered that to be metadata too (and, unrelated, also a selection concerning who the author felt the content was targetted for, and even a hidden priority number tag which was more for managers, and could allow them to push up some stuff to appear first., but all this was because it was an internal business site, not a community site - so not suggesting any of this is relevant at all), not only to allow the automated search tools to perform their job better, but to allow the users doing the searches to have more powerful radio-buttons/checkboxes for influencing or refining searches, since there is almost zero processing overhead having a radio-button to select a space.

                                                  As Micheal says, this discussion has revealed that an Analog or similar space would be handy.. then maybe I would have put some of my content there too, instead of Open Source Hardware.

                                                  2 of 2 people found this helpful
                                              • Re: Where would you expect the different kinds of blogging content I produce to be found?
                                                michaelkellett

                                                I'd have expected to see most of your stuff in the Analogue group (or Analog) but there isn't one.

                                                Open Source hardware sounds like a good second best.

                                                 

                                                Or maybe we should set up the Analog(ue) group ?

                                                 

                                                I share the reservations expressed by others re. STEM - its far too broad in actual meaning (covers everything on E14) and certainly has schoolkid connotations of a bad kind in the UK.

                                                 

                                                MK

                                                3 of 3 people found this helpful