In a comment to an earlier post Roberto Galoppini pointed to a blog entry he wrote about EU-funded projects and Online Dissemination. Let’s take that as a starting point and see where SAIL are at the moment, and where we’re heading.
But first, a quick discussion on the word “dissemination”.
In the EU-FP7-context dissemination is defined as “the means through which research results are presented to the public“. However, I have noticed that I sometimes use dissemination in a wider meaning, as when I named this blog post “Online Dissemination”. I tend to include also the overall awareness and visibility of the project in the term dissemination – in order to reach out with the results wide you need to make sure that there’s an awareness even before any results are published.
Back to some comments based on Roberto’s post:
The main website
SAIL has a web site at www.sail-project.eu. The site was set up early in the project, before I joined, but I’ll make a few comments based on Roberto’s post:
Are you sure you need to start a new one? Even if SAIL to some extent builds on the work of an earlier project the decision was to start a new. SAIL is a new project, with a new scope and also new partners in the consortium. I have noticed some other projects that are more a direct continuation of an earlier project, and in those cases it would be valuable to continue to build on the previous site.
New domain name. Well, the choice was sail-project.eu – any thoughts? I do believe it is a good move to include the project name in the domain, and using the top-domain of .eu is also a natural choice. Personally I am a bit reluctant to use domains with eg dashes (“-”) included though.
What is your website for? This breaks down into at least two, interlinked, sub-questions; who is the target audience and what type of content will you have on the web site?
For the first question – the main audience is people outside the project. This is of course a very wide, and not very useful, definition. I will not define it more at the moment though – there is a lot to say and discuss around the target audience and we will probably bring this up in a future post.
For the second question – the main website will focus on fairly formal content from the project, such as deliverables, results as well as an overview of the project. I know that formal content is not always perceived as the most informative content in all cases, which brings us to the next area:
The blog – Sailor’s Inn
We need a blog. No, you probably don’t. I’d say we do.
As I stated above, the main web site of SAIL will be the formal channel related to the project. The blog is positioned to be a more informal channel. The posts will carry the voice of individuals in the project – thus the usage of a disclaimer at the end of each post. We aim to provide insights to the project work and to bring up related topics and trends that affects the work within SAIL.
A blog is also a great format for interaction – not only do you have the comments functionality, but the format and the informal character also makes it easier to write posts that directly comments on external events (like Roberto’s blog post).
During the timeframe of the SAIL project we hope that a majority of the project participants have taken the opportunity to raise their voices here at Sailor’s Inn.
As Roberto also says “Your blog is [...] a tool to accomplish your research activities, [to] extend your outreach“.
Check back often, and also take the opportunity to subscribe to the blog. It will be interesting to see how this space evolves.
Other social media
Besides the main web site and the blog, which both are found at the sail-project.eu domain, there is a number of social media sites that can be good tools for online dissemination. We will for sure explore them as we go along.
To me these sites falls into two main categories; conversation-centric and media-centric sites:
Conversation-centric sites includes eg LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. For all of these you can have a SAIL-branded approach, where you create a group, account or page specifically related to SAIL. It is also possible for each individual to use their current approach to engage in conversations related to SAIL, either by promoting specific events in their own activity stream or by engaging in discussion in other groups or pages.
(You might notice that SAIL already have a Twitter account (@SAILproject) – we created it a while ago but haven’t started to use it yet.)
Media-centric sites includes eg Youtube and Slideshare. Those of you who have read the previous posts here at Sailor’s Inn might have noticed that SAIL are already using Slideshare to share presentations.
As SAIL produces output we will use such sites whenever possible. They provide good tools for embedding the media elsewhere (like on this blog), and also provides another entry point for searches.
We should also not forget the numerous other blogs, forums and sites where related topics are covered. Social media also includes other types of sites, and it’s easy to get lost. For sure SAIL will explore these waters, but we will try to focus on a few and also make sure to track the engagement.