Building an online prescence

When the internet took off around the beginning of 1996, there were just 100,000 websites and around 25 million people online. Today there are just under 1 billion websites (see internetlivestats) and around 3 billion users. Along the way the internet has redefined the way the planet interacts, learns and does business. It has enabled new enterprises, cultural uprisings and an unimaginable number of personal connections.

On a more personal level here is a link to our first website we built back in 1996 as the Landcare Research team working on Participatory research and Adaptive Management (Yahoo was around, but Google was yet to be created). The direct beginnings of this site developed from the NRM-changelinks site that I subsequently developed back in 1998 (as part of my PhD studies through Massey University). Over the 2005/2006 period the NRM-changelinks name (and URL) was discontinued, and was superceded by the Learning for Sustainability name (and URL). And, now – 10 years on – at the beginning of 2016, this new wordpress-based format has been developed, particularly to provide users with a responsive site that can cater equally for mobile phone access as computer-based.

Collaborating and building your on-line presence

These sites linked below provide an introduction to the benefits (and implications) of using the Internet, and associated web 2.0 tools and technologies (also known as social media, social software, new or emerging technologies) on their online (and consequently on-the-ground) identity.

5 Methods to Develop Your Online Presence (for Researchers)
This post from Ben Mudrak suggests making better use of online sites and networks like LinkedIn and ResearchGate to improve your online visibility and highlight the information about your research that you want others to see.

Visibility: Build your online presence: Scholarly publishing
This Simon Fraser University page outlines why you should develop a web presence. It offers tips on promoting your work online, using personal websites, blogging and using social media.

Why Content, Social Media & Great Websites Are Now Considered “The Basics”
This 2013 post by Kelsey Jones still sums up the importance – and pitfalls – of using websites and social media to build your online presence. Covers the importance of content and social media, as well as the pitfalls of bad design and inactivity.

Why academics (and students) should take blogging / social media seriously
This post by Duncan Green provides some thoughts on why academics (and students) should take blogging / social media seriously. His comments mainly relate to the media he uses regularly such as blogs and twitter.

How to write a blogpost from your journal article
In this post Patrick Dunleavy points out that now you have invested months to writing a paper and sending it to journals, dealing with comments, doing rewrites and hacking through the publishing processit makes good sense to spend the extra couple of hours needed now to pull out from your journal article the key bits needed for a good blogpost. He then goes on to provide a guide to help you get started.

Why you should consider Twitter as a scientist
This 2015 post from Peter Kohl (@NautBio) suggests a number of ways in which Twitter can help with your work. It provides a way to follow interesting people, lets you keep up with new papers, builds networks, and is a research tool in its own right!

Scientists Can Find Outreach Success With Social Media
Another blog on using twitter by Sarah Zielinski (@SarahZielinski) who reminds us that before diving into the world of social media, scientists should decide what they want to achieve. She interviews a number of people to provide a good overview of  how you might begin to use the medium, and the sort of results that you could envisage.

How to make a website
A beginner-friendly guide from to building a website. Its quite detailed, yet very easy to follow – even if you’re not very technical. It aims to help you choose a website building platform, choose your website address (www.), and then set up and customize your website.

Integrating Technology into Evaluation
A collection of technology-oriented blogs on the AEA365 site. These cover topics including: DIY Video Production; Padlet -A Free Virtual Bulletin Board and Brainstorming Tool; Adding interactivity to on-line reports; Using tablets for data collection; Google tools for multi-site evaluation ….. and many more.

Top Picks for Where to Find the Best Free Images for eLearning
This January 2016 Sh!ft e-learning post by  Karla Gutierrez provides a list, of places to find good free stock photos on the Internet.



An independent systems scientist, action research practitioner and evaluator, with 30 years of experience in sustainable development and natural resource management. He is particularly interested in the development of planning, monitoring and evaluation tools that are outcome focused, and contribute towards efforts that foster social learning, sustainable development and adaptive management.