New IOL Editor in Chief at the Helm
I guess it's time I introduce myself. My name is Kevin Geraghty. I am the new Editor-in-Chief of INFORMS Online, and I'm very excited by the opportunities and direction that INFORMS leadership intends to take our site. One of the more notable recent changes we are adopting for the INFORMS brand is the incorporation of the term ‘Analytics’. The INFORMS Analytics Section has been launched along with a rather exciting Innovation in Analytics Award competition that you really should read up on. Since my background is in Digital Marketing, a lot of what I want to achieve over my two-year tenure is to let the world know just how cool Operations Research/Analytics is. But getting the word out cannot be a haphazard undertaking. It requires an organized marketing approach to give voice to the true enthusiasm of our members. One of my first areas of attention is to improve our approach to SEO (Search Engine Optimization.) SEO refers to a tool bag of technical adjustments to a website, content creation, and reputation enhancement that allows search engines to understand what our site is about and why the content on our site speaks with authority and relevance. We need to explain to the Search Engine bots, in a language the bots understand that a searcher who has typed in a keyword such as ‘Operations Research’ or ‘Analytics’ will be happier if www.informs.org is prominently featured on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). While there are many other ‘for pay’ marketing tactics, such as paid search or display, those are really not necessary for a site such as www.informs.org. We already have a site with strong, highly relevant content and boatloads of authority.
One area where the membership could really help us is in developing back links. If you find an article or page on www.informs.org that you like, you should place a link from your site to ours. The search engines will take that link as a vote of confidence and rank us more highly for relevant keywords. This is particularly the case for sites with .edu or .mil as their top-level domain.
The other area I am particularly interested in exploring is social media. For those of us with experience in applying Operations Research to Analytic problems in the real world, we know how good this stuff is. For those of you who are just starting out in your career, not only do you know the power of your practice area, but I bet you are a bit more sophisticated with the use of Social Media than us old-timers. The buzz that is possible from social environments creates awareness and understanding of our profession. So when you read an article you like, Tweet about us, push the Like button, reference us on Quora, Digg or in some way let the world know what you think about us. Not only will you be furthering the interests of your chosen profession, but you will also be helping to transform it. That transformation is already underway in many areas. The extraordinary availability of data on the sematic web feeds our ever increasing need for understanding. Operations Research is the perfect tool to leverage that data. Increased communication capability has transformed management planning from a monthly exercise to an instantaneous response to an increasingly dynamic environment. Communicating your thoughts about the shared content and capability represented by INFORMS OnLine, and its contributors amplifies our impact on the world. Early in the information age, transformative power was concentrated in the hands of the people building the infrastructure. Increasingly, the infrastructure, such as the Internet or the mobile environment, is stable and reliable, and transformative power now moves to people with the skill set to leverage computing power and data to create insight and understanding. That sounds like INFORMS people to me.
I look forward to working with many of you to create a site that becomes a platform for transformation. And I look forward to seeing you at the annual conference in Charlotte. If you have a chance and are inclined to do so, please stop by the IOL Reception, Sunday evening at 6 pm in Trade Room, Westin Hotel for refreshments.