Dear amazing readers!
As I look back on the last few years, I am immensely proud of what has been accomplished here at The Geek Anthropologist. It went from a simple messy blog I wrote without much of a sense of direction to a community-run blog with over 5000 followers!
Ever since we made the transition from TGA being strictly my own to being a community project, we have seen some great changes: while we had about 20 000 views in 2013, we had over 46 000 thousand in 2014! We also published over three times more pieces, several of which were written by guest bloggers.
We have recently held a reader survey and giveaway to obtain feedback from our readers about TGA. We wanted to know what we were doing right and what we needed to improve. After seeing the results of the survey and closely examining statistical data from 2014, the editorial team behind TGA brainstormed about our aspirations and goals for 2015.
Here are some of the changes we are proposing for 2015!
TGA is Getting Beautified!
We changed the layout of the site last May when we officially turned TGA into a community venture. But shortly after, we found a few things were bothering us with the current layout. According to our reader survey, 53% of participants think our blog looks great and is well-organized. That means about 45% of participants think it could be organized more clearly and 2% think it’s just ok or a little boring. So we are going ahead and changing our layout again to make it easier for you to navigate through our content.
Reaching Out: Publishing in Various Languages!
Understandably, as our blog is written in English, we received most of our views in 2014 from English-speaking countries. Over 25 000 views were from readers in the United States of America. This represents more than half the views we received! Views from Canada followed at a little over 4 000 views. Predictably, a majority of participants in our survey (73%) wish to read TGA in English.
I am grateful to all our readers in the USA for their kind support to our work. But you see, my goal is to conquer the world! Ok, let’s be serious: I am a French-Canadian anthropologist and I want TGA to break away from USA-centrism. I want our blog to publish pieces by anthropologists from around the world, and to reflect the different forms that anthropology takes in countries other than the USA. I myself will do my part to make this a reality: I will write about Canadian anthropology and I will publish in french. This is something I have been considering for a several years and 2015 is the time to get it done.
Some of our readers agree: 11% of participants in our survey would like to read TGA in French and 10% would prefer Spanish. Other languages mentioned by participants include German, Swedish and… Klingon. So I guess our blog is reaching further than we thought (beyond Earth space!).
While I can’t promise our Klingon readers we can honor their wishes, we will try to publish posts in different languages this year. What we will be able to publish will depend on the material guest bloggers send our way, so if you know a geeky anthropologist, tell that person to contact us and contribute to our blog!
Podcasts or Video Series
A clear majority of participants in our survey are interested in TGA podcasts or videos. So we’ll go ahead and brew something for our wonderful community. We’ve been thinking about creating a TGA video series for a while now, and 2015 will be it!
In the meantime, have a look at editor Nicholas Mizer’s series Spot Check about gaming!
Increased Activity on Social Media
We are bringing the TGA Pinterest account back to life! Several of our readers headed over to Pinterest while reading our blog in 2013 and 2014, but sadly we let our boards wither away in the last several months. Editors Marie-Pierre Renaud and Emma Louise Backe will now once again keep them alive and well. We welcome our readers to follow our Pinterest boards and to contact us if they wish to pin with us!
In addition, we are planning to host hangouts or Q&A sessions on Reddit or other social media. Anything to reach out to our community and give them a hand!
Our goals for 2015 in a nutshell
- Making TGA all pretty and easier to navigate;
- Reaching a more international audience and better representing anthropology from around the world;
- Engaging more actively in dialogue with our community and creating various types of contents.
Like Yoda says, ”Do or do not. There is no try”. We will implement theses changes. You can let us know if we succeed or fail!
I am taking this opportunity to invite anthropologists and other social scientists interested in publishing on TGA to reach out to us and consult our Contribute page. If you are looking to gain experience in blogging, research, graphic design and social media management, please check out our Join Our Team! page for more information.