Co-op Diary 2014



This diary is authored by Dr P. J. Matthews, to provide a public record of the process of maintaining and developing the Research Cooperative. For previous years, see Co-op Diary Archive .

20th September 2014

Deleted the DRIP popup box and "short-course" promotion. Recently, the number of people joining our network has dropped a little, and I suspect that the "short course" was actually driving people away. It is difficult to provide information in a short course-format that is actually useful to people visiting our network, since people visit us for many different reasons. It is better for the network to "speak for itself" rather than pushing un-useful information out to our visitors.

Nevertheless, it was a useful experiment. I might eventually think of a better way to use the DRIP system (see www.getdrip.com/ ).

1st July 2014

Updated the home page introduction text box, which now reads:

Use our Service forums to find or offer help for research communication (academic, scientific, technical, educational).

Already a member? Please help our network grow by inviting others to join . You can do this now, or next time you log in (after learning more about our network).

Combine multiple keywords in Advanced profile search to find members with specific interests and skills.

Become a Co-op blogger , and write about your own experiences regarding any aspect of research and science communication ( see blog list ).

This update was inspired by the observation (via Google Analytics) that invitations are most often sent our by returning visitors. It's natural (and good) that people who have some experience of the network are most likely to invite others to join.

23rd June 2014

Changed logo and introduction text on top page to the following (deleting a reference and link to mobile phone format, at http://researchcooperative/m ).

Perhaps I can run a competition here at the Research Co-op to develop a new logo version better than the existing versions. I could offer $100 or a "sponsor's link" on the top header as reward. In testing with online ads, I used different versions of the logo, and found that this one is most popular, among the three that I have tries so far:

54_pages.jpg Services and support for research-based communication in all languages and media.

Meet people with related interests. Publish science!

Thanks to Editage and Medlist International for practical support and advice.

6th June 2014

Made the main FAQ list much shorter, and transferred the full list to message inside the FAQ page. Next I should edit the short list, and then perhaps put the list to a vote with a poll. That would help to raise awareness among members about how to use the network.

See: http://researchcooperative.org/group/frequently-asked-questions-faq

29th May 2014

Deleted two inactive groups, as part of simplification before the migration to Ning 3.0 platform. Did not receive any response yet from Ning about my migration request (sent two weeks ago). Updated the home page introduction text box, which now reads:

Use our Service forums to find or offer help for research communication (academic, scientific, technical, educational).

If you are already a member (and have logged in), please help our network grow by inviting others to join .

Combine multiple keywords in Advanced profile search to find members with specific interests and skills.

Become a Co-op blogger , and write about your own experiences regarding any aspect of research and science communication ( see blog list ).

4th May 2014

Simplified the main menu further by changing "Offers & Requests" to "Services". This takes less space, is quicker to read, and is more meaningful (Offers & requests for what?)

3rd May 2014

Yesterday I posted a boradcast to all members (Research Cooperative Review, No. 26). Today I merged the About and Co-op and About menus (latter under the former), in order to reduce the number of choices that users must face in the main menu.

10th March 2014

1. Activated the short course on "Collaborative Research Communication" using the 21 day free-trial version of DRIP (n opt in/opt out email subscription service to explain the aims and benefits of the Research Cooperative. A short course on collaborative research communication).

2. Sent out a bunch of invitations to staff at Kerala University, India.

3. Revised the welcome message at the top of the home page. Now reads as follows:

Any member can be a Co-op blogger , and all members are invited to write about their own experiences in study, research, teaching, writing, language services, and publishing ( see blog list ).

Use our forums for Offers and Requests to offer or find help related to research communication (academic, scientific, technical, educational). See Groups and Latest Activity below. Use multiple keywords in the Advanced profile search to find members with specific interests and skills.

5th March 2014

Sent invitation to join our network to approx. 140 research and teaching staff at Bangladesh Agricultural University. Within 12 hours, 4 invitees joined, an effective positive response of approx. 3%. From previous experience, this is good, and there may be further increase over the next 24-48 hours. After three days, the invitation message will almost certainly be buried and no longer visible to new readers.

Contacted the Ning support desk to discuss operational problems.

4th March 2014

Enjoyed a Skype interview with Prodatta in Tokyo, discussing the aims of the Research Cooperative. Edited a draft essay by a potential story contributor in Nairobi, Kenya.

2nd March 2014

Reduced the number of submenu tabs under "Co-op" main tab in the top menu.

1st March 2014

Revised the Sign-up message and set the default amount for voluntary donations to $0.00. Potential new members may have been startled to see $4.00 previously as the default amount, and might not have bothered to scroll on the payment menu to fund the $0.00 option. Our aim is to gain new members, not to deter them!

Here is the revised message:

15th February 2014

Revised the FAQ note on " Managing your profile page ". This now explains how control what appears at the top of your page (the recent activities area), so that your profile details are not pushed to the bottom of the page.

Gave advice to one member on how to add additional personal information (e.g. example research papers) by adding attachments to a blogpost.

13th February 2014

Sent out Research Cooperative Review, No. 25 , as a broadcast to all members of the network.

29th January 2014

Deleted inactive "Research communication group" (no messages transmitted since more than one year ago). Deleted internal links to this group from other areas of the network. Kept a record of the content of this group for future reference (email).

23rd January 2014

Continued the consolidation of groups and rearrangement of menu tabs. Our attempt to streamline the site content began a few weeks ago with the arrival of Sam Bradford as our first active administrative assistant.

Installed the "Design Studio" system provided by Ning and switched our network to a two-column format in Ning's "Avant Garde" template style.

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