Our Year in Blogging!

Written by Jessica Juckes, International Training Programme Assistant

Wishing a happy new year to all ITP fellows and followers!

Well, last year we happily announced 2017 as our busiest year so far for the ITP blog, but… that was before 2018 came along, with EVEN MORE posts, views, visitors and interaction! 2018 has seen a huge spike in blogging and engagement and we are so pleased with the statistics, so we are sharing them below.

Proud to share that 2018 has seen 215 posts – a 54.7% increase on posts from 2017!

We made a decision back in September 2017 to start posting regularly from Monday to Friday, and mostly we have kept up with this (difficult though it can sometimes be!) On average over the year, we’ve managed 4 posts per week (bearing in mind that we’ve had some holiday breaks) – not too bad!

We’ve also worked on increasing the quality of the posts we create. With this, we have been suggesting posts of 400 to 700 words, which is why the number of words we’ve typed up this year is a big increase: 108,328 words were posted on the blog, just over double the number from 2017.

The 2018 fellows really made a BIG effort this summer and wrote some very lengthy, informative, entertaining and reflective posts for us all. We really hope the network enjoyed the blogs they wrote during this year’s summer programme and we hope to keep this up for 2019. Thanks so much to you guys!

The ITP blog was viewed 34,497 times in 2018, a 34.3% increase on 2017. And we had 12,615 visitors, a 67.9% increase on 2017.

Last year we were telling you that December 2017 was the busiest month for views ever on the blog (with 3,400 views)… Well now it’s just one of the top 5! In the top position is now July 2018 (4,200 views), followed by January 2018 (3,700), August 2018 (3,700) and October 2018 (3,400).

The top spot of most popular day ever on the blog is now proudly held by January 22 2018 – this was the day that we opened up applications for Egyptian candidates for the 2018 summer programme!
Best views ever

The top ten most popular posts over 2018 included information on post-fellowship opportunities (ITP+ Aswan and Senior Fellow applications), but also posts written by your ITP colleagues, including OmarJoseph Nasser-Khoury (ITP 2013, Palestine), Namrata Sarmah (ITP 2018, India) and Yohana Frias, (ITP 2018, Philippines). You also loved hearing from UK Partner Campbell Price and Programme Partner Anna Garnett, when they arrived in Aswan! And, as ever, ITP 2007 fellow Nasir’s post on the Republican Palace Museum in Khartoum remained in the top ten, despite being written in 2010 – there’s some museum visibility for you!

You gave us 246 likes on the blog in 2018, a more than 400% increase on 2017’s 47.
The number of comments also increased – we received 145 comments this year, after 78 in 2017 – an 85.9% increase.

Facebook has overtaken search engines in 2018 as the most popular referrer to the blog. This means ITPers are definitely engaging with the blog posts when we put them in the ITP Facebook group..! We were also pleased to see that Twitter has jumped up from 176 referrals last year to 435 this year. We’ve been trying to use Twitter more frequently and more dynamically, and we’re glad to see that our use of Twitter is leading people to the blog.

You’ve clicked on LOADS of the links we’ve provided you to give more information. 2,414 link clicks in total, to be precise. That’s a 62% percentage increase on last year’s 1,488 clicks. This is you accessing reports, toolkits, applications forms and newsletters from the ITP, as well as hyperlinks to websites of ITP UK partner museums, for example. 152 of you took a look at the biographies of our 2018 fellows before they arrived, to see who was joining the network!

We’ve got a couple of new faces in our top five most active commenters on the blog…
Njeri Gachihi (ITP 2010, Kenya/Senior Fellow 2016)
Saeed Bayashoot (ITP 2016, Yemen)
Joyee Roy (ITP 2011, India)
Eileen Musundi (ITP 2008, Kenya/Senior Fellow 2013)
Saadu Rashid (ITP 2012, Kenya)

Here are the top twenty countries from which people viewed the blog in 2018:

Also a big thank you to everyone in the network who contributed a blog post this year outside the summer programme and legacy projects. It’s a big list this year:

Raneen Kiresh (ITP 2017, Palestine)
Andrea Terron Gomez (ITP 2017, Senior Fellow 2018, Guatemala)
Saeed Bayashoot (ITP 2016, Yemen)
Nevine Nizar Zakaria (ITP 2012, Egypt)
Heba Khairy (ITP 2017, Egypt)
Ishaq Mohammed Bello (ITP 2012, Nigeria)
Cynthia Iruobe (ITP 2010, Nigeria)
Rika Nortje (ITP 2006, South Africa)
Dikko Idris (ITP 2011, Nigeria) – with two posts!
Namrata Sarmah (ITP 2018, India)
Vaidehi Savnal (ITP 2016, India)
Alaa Bakeer (ITP 2014, Egypt)
Bo Haikun (ITP 2008, China)
Rema Zeynalova (ITP 2018, Azerbaijan)
Solomy Nabukalu Nansubuga (ITP 2018, Uganda)
Ala Talebian (ITP 2017, Iran)
Rashidah Salim (ITP 2016, Malaysia)
Wendland Chole Kizili (ITP 2013, Kenya)
Wesam Mohamed (ITP 2015, Egypt) – with two posts!
Lena Lambrinou (ITP 2017, Greece)
Suruchika Chawla (ITP 2018, India)

(And of course UK Partners Elaine Addington (Glasgow Museums), Ronan Brindley (Manchester Art Gallery) and Campbell Price (Manchester Museum), and Programme Partner Anna Garnett (Petrie Museum, as well as BM colleagues John Williams, Duygu Camurcuoglu, Stuart Frost and Jane Batty!)

Is your ITP year/country missing from the list of contributors? If so, the ITP network would love to hear from you in 2019!

We hope you have enjoyed the ITP blog in 2018, both as a resource and a networking platform, and we look forward to the opportunities for dialogue and collaboration that it will bring us throughout this new year.

Soon I’ll be analysing and writing up our Facebook and Twitter statistics too – watch this space!