It was about three months ago (middle of November 2013) when we had a discussion with Nikos Manouselis about various AK-related stuff and I was delighted to hear that he was thinking of starting our corporate blog – not only that, but he would leave everything to me to design and implement. It seems that Nikos has been following my blog (http://vprot.blogspot.gr) for the last months, he liked it and he would like to see something similar for AK.
In about 10 days we had everything up and running, with the precious technical help of my colleague Stauros Gkinis: the latest version of WordPress was installed in one of the AK-owned servers and an FTP was setup for installing themes and plugins. Since we opted for a self-hosted blog, we had to skip my favorite Blogspot or even the promising and easier to use Tumblr. It took me some days to set up and customize the WordPress installation by selecting a green theme (related to the scope of the blog), install plugins for sharing posts through social media, set up an analytics account for the blog etc. On November 27th, 2013 the blog was online and public! Of course a number of revisions were performed until now, based on the actual use of the blog, and more are expected to take place eventually. I like to experiment with new interfaces and plugins and as an admin of the blog, I have the opportunity to do so every now and then.
The content of the blog consists of posts about AK-related events, reports from project meetings and trips, interviews with friends of AK as well as interviews with the AK team members (who are asked to expose themselves in the “Know Agro-Know” series!). I should not leave out the really interesting posts with personal views, usually on topics that the AK team is working on, like open and linked data, green topics etc. The blog is a virtual open space which any AK team member can use for expressing his/her opinion, write about things related to the AK work and share his experiences from trips, participation in events etc. Last but not least, it serves AK internal processes, like the “Value of the Month” series, which has just started.
I was recently informed that the blog had to be placed in a more powerful server due to increased traffic which caused issues to the proper functionality of the other services hosted in the same server; that was good news! Indeed, in less than three months from its launch, the blog has 50 blog posts from 9 different authors and 37 comments. It has received more than 1,500 visits and 3,400 pageviews from about 500 unique visitors coming from 36 different countries. The best part: More than 67% of the visitors are returning ones, meaning that they like what they see and they come back to check new posts!
I am proud of what the blog has achieved so far (and it seems that I am not the only one 😉 ) and I am sure that it will get better and better day by day with the precious help of its collaborators; the more it will be used, the better it will be.