Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Online presence: who finds you and why

One of the fascinations of compiling this blog is toddling over to see how people find it.  I'd like, of course, to think that it's morning-coffee-reading for charming teacher librarians.  Yup.  Except there's that problem of if you do get morning coffee, amid the busy life of  a school library.

The site gets on average about three dozen visits a day, and around fifty page views.  When I look at the referrals, the vast majority are people who've googled their way here.  Not TLs, but folks with questions.  And if they're coming here from Google, it means that this site is usually on the first page of Google's hits for the query being entered (eg. twilight fonts).  In case you didn't know, Google ranks pages by what you could call a usefulness logarithm - if people link to it or click to it, the more links/clicks the more useful the site is presumed to be, and the higher it travels up the Google rankings.

I've done nothing to advance or hinder this.  I write what I write, blog an entry for pretty much every weekday of school terms, and let it stand on the net as a source.  I've blogged about a variety of things, under the general umbrella of teacher librarianship, and I find them all over, in online and print sources I read, things I hear: the flypaper mind and scavenging soul of a teacher librarian/hunter-gatherer, collating rather than originating (pause while I ponder the amusement of this entry actually being original, rather than collation!).  But this entry isn't about my genius, or presumed genius, or possible genius, or anything like that.

I'm fascinated by the fact that a modest, unpublicised blog can create the presence it has in search engines.  A proportion has been fortuitous - I happened to be blogging about Twilight in various ways just as its popularity went stratospheric.  But the hits are far from being all Twilight-related.  For Melina Marchetta's new book, Finnikin of the Rock, the entry on this blog is on the first page if you google.  And that's just one example.  Day by day, entry by entry, this blog becomes a resource, a reference, and not necessarily in ways one has thought of, planned for or intended.  Brick by brick, you don't always see the potential castle.

The take-home point of this musing is to consider how this applies to our kids, and the presence/s they build online.  How easy or not their work may be to find.  How it presents them - good light?  bad light?  How quickly something can be so findable worldwide.  Although I haven't tried it, the question of how eradicable (or not) such a presence may be.  And points like that.  So if you've come here for the Twilight fonts, here's the link.  If you're a teacher librarian, there's a take-home point I hope you find useful/thought-provoking too.



Anonymous said... I am - a teacher librarian, morning coffee in hand, all quiet in the library (for now), reading your blog!

Ruth Buchanan said...

Thank you, Deirdre!!! Hope you enjoyed the coffee!