Creating a research portal

At the moment, as well as starting this blog, I’m also building a new website for my running research.

Essentially it will be a portal for all my sociology of running related work, but also a place where people can come and participate in surveys or join interview panels.

It’s taken a surprising amount of thought to decide to set this up as a site separate to this one. In truth, this may not be my final decision, as in many ways I’d love to keep all my work under one roof.

So at the moment I plan to create a separate site to keep its role and audience as focused as possible. I’ve spent 15 years running businesses that have tried to have broad appeal, and I know that can mean too much compromise on content and a lack of clear identity.

I’ve also noticed a wide stylistic gulf between personal academic websites and those aimed at a broader public. Personal academic sites tend to be content (and text) heavy, pretty low in aesthetic value, and to assume a degree of prior subject knowledge. This is great if your audience is made up of other specialists in your field who want to engage at depth. But for a wider audience it can seem forbidding… or just boring.

So the portal will be designed for a wide public of runners and people involved in the organisation or business of running. It will be colourful and engaging, with plenty of easily interpreted infographics and simple statistics. I’ll save the more personal, esoteric or quirky stuff for this blog!

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