Assignment 2: Reach

For this assignment, you'll choose your own content -- a topic of interest, issue you'd like to write about, or creative text/image/video.  You should host this content on your Blogger blog, as it has the tools to monitor the "reach" of each technology you use.  I would suggest moderately rich content -- a recipe with detailed instructions and a photo; a reminiscence about some well-known place, a piece about one of your favorite bands or musicians, or a short story or essay with a distinct audience in mind. There's no length limit, but I think 1500 words would be about right.

You'll need to make a time log for this assignment -- you can get one here -- and make a note as to when your blog posting goes "live" and is published on the open web.  Let it sit there for at least 30 minutes or so.  Then, in whatever order you like, do at least three of the following things at intervals of one hour.
• Tweet about your post --- make the Tweet as inviting as possible.
• Post on Facebook about your post.
• Post on an online forum you know whose users have some common interest that suggests  to you that they would be likely to want to read your post.
• Write a collective e-mail to three or more friends inviting them to read your post.
• Write a comment on another current online article related to your topic and embed a link to your post.
At the end of each hour, go to your Blogger "Stats" page. First, use the "Now" tool to see if you can detect an increase in page views that you can attribute to the action you chose. Once you've completed your three actions, use the "Day" tool to trace the overall results. If any of your actions produces actions by others (your Tweet was favorited or re-tweeted, your Facebook post was liked or commented on, etc.), make a note of that along with the approximate time this happened. Look for any patterns: did the people who visited your content do so right away after learning of it? Was there a cumulative effect after several different actions? And did the views of your page cluster or peak around a certain time (morning, noon, late afternoon, night)?  Finally, use the other Stats tools to look at the "Traffic Sources" -- do you see any of the domains/sites you used among them? (Note: redirects from Twitter will almost always have a "short-url" address, including such things as "" ".tinyurl" "" "" and so forth). You can also use the "Audience" tab to see what operating systems and browsers people have used, or whether or not they viewed your content from mobile devices.

As a follow-up, on the next day, use the "Day" and "Week" tools to compare the results of this exercise with a typical day and week prior to your activity.

Write up the results of your experiment: describe what you feel was the effect, if any, of each of your actions in increasing the "reach" of your content.  If you had content in the future that you wanted to publicize, which actions would you take if you wanted to quickly get as many new views of your pages as possible?

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