All posts by Dave Allen

About Dave Allen

I manage the social media and online presence for Birmingham City University's Faculty of Performance, Media and English, and provide one-to-one social media consultancy for the Faculty's staff.

What contributes to your Google search ranking?

Because search engine optimisation (SEO) is made up of so many factors, it’s often hard to get a straight answer from some of those who purport to be ‘experts’, over how to ‘do’ SEO effectively.

Things change quite rapidly with search, however, here’s a very useful infographic that gives a great, basic overview of what contributes to your website’s Google search ranking:

via The Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors.

Are News Publishers Getting Too Bloggy?

I recently took part in a Google Hangout Q&A with Julian March, NBC’s ‘Senior Vice President of Editorial and Innovation’.

Despite a rather ridiculous job title (by his own admission), he gave some useful insights into how traditional broadcasters are trying to react to the popularity of trendy, social media-geared blogs, such as BuzzFeed, Vice or The Huffington Post.

You can skip to the most important bits of the Q&A, i.e. the two questions I volunteered, using the bookmarked videos below.

What are your thoughts on how some ‘serious’ news organisations have adopted a more ‘bloggy’ BuzzFeed-style approach?

How much is content and headlines dictated by SEO at NBC?

The Q&A took place during a session of my part-time MA in Online Journalism at Birmingham City University (where I also work).

LinkedIn Logo

6 tips on getting the most out of LinkedIn

With over 300 million members globally, many modern professionals tend have a LinkedIn profile. But how can you make the most of it?

It may have its quirks and flaws – such as the slightly ludicrous over-formality in places and the huge quantities of email SPAM it generates, but it remains a useful tool for any professional. Continue reading 6 tips on getting the most out of LinkedIn


Writing about Arts Funding

If you’ve followed my little blog over the past year or two you’ll have noticed a few things:

  1. Despite blogging about blogging, I don’t do that much blogging.
  2. I occasionally post content partly intended for my MA in Online Journalism.
  3. I like lists.

So, as you may have guessed from this rather tortured introduction, this is one of those blog posts that goes over what I’ve been working on for my current module’s assignment – ‘MA Online Journalism: MED7017 – Multimedia Journalism Assignment 2: Specialist Portfolio’ to be precise.

So, if that’s not for you, go away. I will not take it personally. Honest. Continue reading Writing about Arts Funding

Twitter reach

Data journalism, snow fall and BuzzFeed

As some of you may or may not know/care, I’m currently studying a part-time MA in Online Journalism, alongside my job as a Digital Marketing Manager at Birmingham City University.

As such, some posts on this blog are more geared more towards specific MA assignments, rather than you, the dear audience.

So, in case you hadn’t guessed by the featured image of dry Tweet Reach graphs (YES, GRAPHS!), this is one of those posts. If this type of blog post isn’t your cup of tea, please feel free to leave now, I shall not be offended. Honest.

If on the other hand, you’re one of the few that are, I’ll be using this post to round-up my tentative proddings into the worlds of data journalism, data visualisation and ‘snowfall’ in this rather exhaustive blog post.

Good luck, it has lots of maps, tweets and an unhealthy amount of iframe-age. Continue reading Data journalism, snow fall and BuzzFeed

Building an interactive, long-form infographic

As part of my MA in Online Journalism, I recently popped down to London  for News UK’sBuild the News’, or as it was originally titled ‘Hack the News’.
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Some of the welfare team members; Kat, Lewis and Lorcan (left to right)

Funnily enough, as the organisers News UK (the UK arm of Rupert Murdoch’s News International) are somewhat touchy about the word ‘hack‘ at the moment, someone wisely made the decision to substitute the word with the slightly more benign ‘build’.

Still, wording aside, the weekend event, set within a quintessentially trendy converted industrial unit in Shoreditch, was  an opportunity for teams of journalists, developers and students to build experimental tools for gathering, telling and publishing the news in new ways. Continue reading Building an interactive, long-form infographic


How do you make your own ‘Snow Fall’ effect?

When the New York Times published ‘Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek‘ in  2012 it gained plaudits everywhere for its clever integration of multimedia elements and long-form journalism.

Visit rates were huge, and bounce-rates low, as the video and embedded interactive elements for the Pulitzer winning pice by John Branch.

Alongside instantly coining its own rather pretentious verb (“we need to snow fall this”), the article  took a team of developers six weeks to produce.

But the success of it inevitably meant other journalists, publications and content creators, both big and small, naturally wanted to create their own versions – and ideally without the 6 weeks of hand-built development work by a team of high-end web developers. Continue reading How do you make your own ‘Snow Fall’ effect?