Website news: Follow-up on the reader survey of what I should work on next …

Thank you, everyone, who took the time to go and look over my to-do list and vote for what interested you the most.  The good news is that you all and I are interested in the same things!  Yay! There was not one thing on my list that did not get any votes. Big Smile

The bad news is that you all pretty much voted for everything, so as a way of sifting through my list … that didn’t work so well.Sad

Here are the results:

Survey tableThe winner, although not necessarily by a landslide, was the PCL Symposium panel with Bruce Reznik, Peter Gleick, Jacob Katz, and Tim Quinn, which is a fine choice.  I will move that one to the top of the queue.   Groundwater, the BDCP, and the Delta Emergency Preparedness were the others, so I will move those up, too.  Yes, I will get to the State Water Board groundwater workshops as well as the Senate Natural Resources & Water Committee oversight hearing, and of course, as much BDCP as I can find.  There’s more BDCP meetings coming up soon.

Survey monkey doesn’t give me email addresses when you fill out the survey, so I can’t answer back personally, but I did want to respond to this comment:  “You often repeat articles–one by themselves and once in a digest. This is overwork! If the story is in the digest, it doesn’t need its own page. Confusing. Not needed, but I suppose you have a good reason for it.”

I am not exactly sure what they mean, but I can interpret this two ways.  One thing that I do is I do cycle content between the various groupings, mostly into Science News, because I am not sure if people who read Science News also read News Worth Noting, and so if there is a particular report or announcement that I think is of interest to the science community, I do tend to repeat it there.  I probably do this other places too from time to time.

However, maybe the reader means in the Daily Digest.  A few weeks ago, I got the idea to add in the other things that I posted that day, in essence, making the Daily Digest the ‘key’ to the website for the day.  I am toying with the idea of sending the entire Daily Digest out as an email, maybe in place of the email that is currently going out to the daily email subscribers – the entire Daily Digest, in your email box, only – you could click right there on the links and go directly to the items, bypassing my website completely.  (Of course, I would still send you breaking news alerts).  I am weighing what this would mean … for one, I would lose the statistics of what items on the Daily Digest are the most popular, but then on the other hand, the statistics from the Daily Digest are not the drivers for content on this blog as much as they were on my previous website, so maybe I could do without those statistics.  Then again, I would lose you all clicking in to visit the website unless you chose to click on the links for the ‘other notebook content’, so my overall website visits would likely go down – a big downside for a statistics junkie like myself.  (Which means I won’t be implementing this until I am fully funded, as I like posting big numbers!)  I’m still pondering this … feel free to weigh in.

Philosophically, I see the Daily Digest as filling in the gaps for the things I can’t cover.  And actually, if there’s an event that I know the reporters are covering, I tend not to cover that but instead include it in the Daily Digest.  My value, as I see it, is in covering that which the mainstream press doesn’t cover, so by combining aggregated content and original content, hopefully I can provide you with the most complete picture of what’s going on.

Like the Winchester House, Maven’s Notebook is a continual work in progress. I am never satisfied and I’m always looking for ways to refine and improve.  Since I can build and develop my own websites, I do – although I have to give a shout-out to my husband who figures out how to do the things I can’t and rescues me and the website when I’ve made a wrong turn. I can move from idea to implementation in days, hours, or even quicker than that. You may have noticed the refined menus on the top which hopefully give you some new useful options for navigating the website.  Other things I am tinkering with in my free time include working towards standardizing all the features with templates and ‘shirt tails’ on the bottom that explain what they are, filling up the sidebar with useful links, working on a Frequently Asked Questions, and writing a page for groundwater which will, in part, be a collecting point for all the recent work that’s been posted on groundwater.

Thank you for all of your kind comments – I do so very much appreciate them, every single one.  I am not kidding when I say that it is because all of you stop by here every day that I show up every morning, because if no one did, I’d have been out of here a long time ago, yet another website relegated to the proverbial scrap heap of the internet.

As you can probably tell, this website is more than just my job, it’s my passion.  After all, a blogger blogs to be read, and I feel so very honored to be read by you.

As always, I am happy to hear your suggestions and comments.  Please feel free to email me at any time.

With warmest regards,

Chris “Maven” Austin

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