It's been 10 years since we launched our blog. Since then we have published over 450 blogs written by 257 different authors. In total, the blogs have been read over 350,000+ times. With the blog coming back from its holiday and following a consultation and strategic review, we are now making some changes to it.
Most notably we’re changing the frequency of new blogs to once every two weeks. While the blog has been a weekly inbox staple for many of you, we’ve done some digging through the data to try and better understand our readership and to optimise the way we communicate. But before we jump into numbers here’s a bit of background on how the blog came about and evolved over the last decade.
A blog is born…
It is perhaps telling of its importance that the official formation of the network was announced on one of the first blogs published. The blog was designed as a centrepiece of a new website launched at the same time. Due to its less formal nature and the instant reach to key audiences, it gave the fledgling network the opportunity to publish new perspectives on statelessness. The Secretariat and our members had a unique opportunity to describe new tools and present a plan on addressing statelessness in Europe to a growing audience of people concerned about the issue. From there the blog quickly became an essential vehicle to drive the conversation on addressing an issue which was steadily gaining momentum across Europe.
The blog was built on a belief that everyone with experience of the issue can contribute. This means that the range of perspectives covered on the blog is truly extensive. From pieces on litigation, research, policy, to advocacy and campaigns all covering a wide range of issues like childhood statelessness, detention, asylum, minority rights and many other nexuses and intersectionalities. In the last 4 years this has widened further to cover first-hand experience of statelessness and activism based on our community engagement work. While primarily focused on Europe, the blog also provides updates on key developments from around the globe and gives a discussion space to a global coalition of actors working to end statelessness.
Fast forward to 2020, when we revamped our website, with the aim to widen the reach and the number of ways we deliver information to new audiences. In addition to improving the way the blog was published, we also relaunched new formats like interviews with key stakeholders and news items, providing a space for quick updates. We’ve also introduced editorials, conceived as think pieces written by ENS staff and aimed at setting a positive agenda for addressing statelessness in Europe.
In the last 5 years we have also added and expanded new tools like the StatelessnessINDEX and the Statelessness Case Law Database. Both include their own resource sections, as well as timely updates on policy, law and practice organised and targeted specifically at different stakeholders.
Time for a re-think
A decade on, it seemed like a good time for a review. So in addition to digging through email and web statistics, we asked our readers for feedback via a short survey to help us make improvements and to better understand the way you interact with ENS.
While the blog remains a space for ongoing commentary on statelessness, we are mindful that this shouldn’t crowd out other outputs. Most notably the survey data combined with other analytics shows that most of you actually prefer a bi-weekly schedule for the blog, in addition to other outputs. This won’t mean that we will slow down when it comes to keeping you informed. On the contrary, it will allow us to react more quickly to new developments and to use email to keep in touch with updates on our campaigns, tools and events. We will also retain the option to publish additional guest blogs on top of the new bi-weekly schedule if a new development requires this.
We are also making some changes to how the blog is sent out via social networks and looking at further optimising the website search through our extensive library of blogs, so that it is easier for you to find information. Language is another barrier we’ve been trying to tackle in our written outputs though increasing use of translation, and we will continue to make sure our main outputs - including blogs - are accessible to non-English speakers.
We are also adding more video content to our library and increasing our capacity to launch content co-created by community members and stateless changemakers. One thing we’ve learnt from the past is that different groups prefer to engage with us in different ways, so we are keen to continue testing and evaluating new approaches. We hope that this will also allow us to engage with new audiences and mobilise new supporters. Watch this space!
Finally and perhaps most importantly, the blog remains open to contributions from everyone. ENS is a network and an alliance of NGOs, national and international stakeholders, experts, activists and communities who have the in-depth knowledge necessary to end statelessness. If you have something to say to help us achieve our mission, then we want to hear from you.