Gaining Wider Exposure for the SVR

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Gaining Wider Exposure for the SVR

Postby Publius Nonius Severus on Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:21 pm

Salvete iterum O Sodales!

In my month or so of membership in the societas, I have been pondering ways of gaining wider exposure of the SVR. I think this is an important aim in order to further establish the SVR as an invaluable resource for the celebration and study of the classical world. This is also an essential means of attracting new members. To steadily grow is a key barometer as to the overall health of the society. Since the foundation of the society, we have grown at the rate of approximately two new members per month. I think this a good pace, and I would like to see it continue or increase.

I know this topic has been broached before and some excellent ideas were presented. I would like to propose a few as well.

Linking Wikipedia Articles to SVR Member Submissions

One of the quickest and easiest ways to gain more exposure for the society is to increase the number of other sites that link to our site. A great way of doing that would be linking articles and essays that our members have contributed and linking them to other relevant resources on the internet, namely, Wikipedia.

There are already some examples of this. If you were to go to Wikipedia and search for “societasviaromana” you would get the results in the below link:

Wikipedia SVR Search Results

In these results we find links that contributors to Wikipedia have made to articles in the SVR on various topics as appropriate to the entry in Wikipedia. Seeing these links were a great morale boost for me! It showed that the wide body of knowledge that our members have is being put to good use, but we could do much more!

As an example, let’s look at this Wikipedia entry on the Battle of the Muthul.

Battle of the Muthul

In this Wikipedia article, the major contributor of the contents of the article linked to our own Piscinus’ excellent article on the Battle of Muthul. From reading the Wikipedia article and Piscinus’ article, is clear that the contributor used a Piscinus’ article as a major source for the Wikipedia entry. This is a fine credit to Piscinus and the societas.

The existence of that link greatly increases the possibility that someone interested in the Jugurthine War and/or the Battle of Muthul will encounter the link to Piscinus’ article and in turn our web site.

Although this is a limited examples, if you look at the dozens of articles that our members have contributed, the cover a wide breadth of area of the classical world. If all of the relevant Wikipedia entries were linked to our members’ articles and essays, again, each time someone looked up the appropriate topic in Wikipedia, there is a good chance that they will follow the link to our member’s article and our site.
Almost any search in Google will return an entry for Wikipedia within the first page of results (if not within the top three). This seems to be especially true for topics in the classical world. By having as many “legitimate” links from Wikipedia to our website as possible we will greatly increase the SVR’s exposure. What’s more, the way Google orders the results of its searches is by page rank. Page rank in Google is determined by number of links that a page has linked to it. So, just by having a large number of links from Wikipedia to the SVR increases the likelihood that even if someone does not follow a link directly from Wikipedia to the SVR that a page from the SVR site relevant to the search will be returned with the more prominent search results.

The more people that visit the SVR’s website and forums means increased exposure and notoriety for the SVR. The greater the notoriety, the bigger and stronger our member base becomes.

So, my proposal is this (if the Comitia agrees): Find an article or essay in one of our collegia, find an article in Wikipedia that is related to it, put a link in the “External Links” section of Wikipedia to the Member’s article or Essay making sure to credit it to the member for copyright purposes. I want to in no way encroach on the copyright our members have over their own submissions and I believe what I have proposed strictly maintains the integrity of the copyright.

I am even willing to do all of the linking myself if the Comitia thinks this idea has merit.


Sending Promotional Materials to University Classical Departments

My second (and final idea for today at least) is to develop some “online” and printed promotional materials specifically developed for university classical departments. I know the idea of flyers or pamphlets or other such materials has been proposed before to be handed out to SCA events, Ren Fairs, Historical Re-enactments events, etc. and I agree whole-heartedly and and want to pursue this as well!

My proposal today is slightly different in that by targeting classical departments: faculty, staff, and students that also share a passion for the classical world, we again aim to increase our exposure and attract potential new members. By developing a pamphlet, flyers for bulletin boards, and even resurrecting the SVR newsletter and sending it to the university audience could be of great benefit to the society.

Bene…I know…this takes time and costs money. Even purely “online” materials require significant contribution. Theses material do not have to be extravagant, they just have to be professional. I have some personal connections that can defray some of the costs for printed materials and I have the software and hardware to publish both the online and printed materials. If the Comitia approves, I am also willing to undertake this project and financial burden as well.

So, what say you, oh illustrious sodales! I am very interested in hearing your opinions!

Valete!

-Severus
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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:31 pm

Salve Severe,

I think these are fantastic proposals, particularly the first which can be implemented very easily and quickly. We should ask all contributors to add a link to their articles from Wikipedia as a matter of course for future work, and ask them to create these links for past work as time allows.

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