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Applied Worldwide at the Pacific Sociological Association

We had the pleasure of sharing some of our work with fellow sociologists at the meeting of the Pacific Sociological Association in 2021. While we are not including any specific writing ideas in this edition of our Writer’s Update, hopefully, these notes can provide everyone with some guidance on the form of writing we are looking for at Applied Worldwide.

Executive Summary: For this presentation we would like to give you a descriptive version of the who, what, when, where, why, and how of Applied Worldwide. We don’t have time to share everything about our organization today, but everyone can stay up-to-date on all of our projects by subscribing to our newsletter, which you can find on our website

Who: Applied Worldwide is a digital content production company with a mission of enhancing a vision of sociology focused on application, around the world.

We [Applied Worldwide founders] have experiences as students or instructors in sociology at various types of educational institutions—including community college, liberal arts university, and a PhD granting research program—as well as lots of experiences with professional organizations including PSA. When reflecting on our experiences, we made some observations.

  • Regardless of the institution, students often find great interest in sociology, but struggle to pinpoint a career trajectory from first sociology class to first sociology job.
  • Parents matter! For many students, selling sociology to their parents is important.
  • Graduate students, particularly those at the PhD level, struggle to find the support or resources necessary to prepare for non-academic careers.

We started Applied Worldwide because we believe the solution starts with the internet! Hence, digital content production.

What: At Applied Worldwide, we currently publish two primary types of written content; SEO writing and Blog Writing. As well as associated social media posts and graphics.

SEO Articles: SEO stands for search engine optimization. So, SEO writing is about writing in a way that is optimized for search engines. When you Google something, the top results you receive have a high search engine ranking, meaning that the articles, images, or videos have been optimized for search engines! That ranking depends on different factors ranging from web design to keyword competition. Fortunately for our writers, we handle the behind-the-scenes of SEO, but here are a couple of tips!

  • Good SEO writing has a similar process to a literature review. It should include some background research to find what internet content is missing or inadequate, and strategize a way to fill the void.
  • Good SEO writing ages well! It takes time for articles to gain in search rankings and once they receive a high ranking, they tend to remain highly visible for a long period of time.

Blog Writing: Blog writing is a little different. For instance, these pieces of writing may be a bit shorter in length. They may include some of the current events or pop culture references that we may leave out of SEO writing. For us the blogs we publish are often implicitly sociological, like social commentary. Blogs are less designed to be found on google and more designed to be found on social media. But here are just a couple tips about blog writing.

  • Blog writing needs to be clear and concise! About 500 words is what we recommend for blog writing. So these need to be quick hitters that will be of current interest.
  • Blogs with an element of storytelling are personable, intriguing, tend to do well on social media.

When: We began operations at Applied Worldwide in October 2019 with 36 articles that we [co founders] had written, mostly about our graduate school experiences or papers that we had written in graduate school. So we have been in operation for 18 months, now; and today those 36 articles have turned into 500+ webpages. All of them directly or indirectly related to applied sociology.

Where: On our website we currently represent the work of 70 writers and sociologists from 9 countries. (Let’s extend a huge thank you to all our guest contributors!)

  • Audience: Our audience primarily consists of students both undergraduate and graduate and early career professionals. But i’d like to take a minute to break down where these folks come from.
  • US: 50% of our audience.
  • Nigeria, UK, India and Canada: Each of these countries represents 5-10% of our audience. We have writers and projects in each of these countries. I want to speak just a moment about our presence in Nigeria.
  • Turkey, Mexico, Indonesia, Pakistan: Each of these countries represents between 1-2% of our audience. Again, we have published writing from each of these locations, and we are looking to grow.
  • Netherlands, Germany, Argentina, Philippines, Australia, Brazil, France: These are locations where we have small audiences, but would like to publish writing and grow.

Why: As previously stated our formal mission is to enhance a vision of sociology focused on application. Informally, though, we might say the goal is to popularize sociology and its application.

How: For the how section we would like to describe some current projects that exemplify how we aim to meet our mission of enhancing a vision of applied sociology:

  1. First up is our Profiles in Applied and Clinical Sociology publication series. We began this project as a pledge to promote sociological practice with the goal of promoting the market value of sociological skills and services. We had the opportunity to collaborate with the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology to get this project off the ground. In doing so, we were able to collect, publish, and promote profiles of 16 applied and clinical sociologists from North America and the UK. After receiving feedback from our audience, we decided to continue this project in 2021 with a goal to expand and diversify our directory of profiles. Through partnerships with the British Sociological Association’s Applied Sociology Group, the Candaian Sociological Association’s Applied Sociology Research Cluster, the ASA section on Sociological Practice and Public Sociology, and AACS, we now have 27 profiles published (and counting) representing sociologists from the US, UK, Canada, and India.

Some examples of profiles in the series include using sociology in advertising and brand strategy, using sociology to improve services for people who use drugs, and using sociology to improve technology and health outcomes for people with disabilities.

We plan to continue publishing weekly profiles of the work of applied sociologists from across the globe as we expand our representation and reach even more.

  1. Another project we’d like to share with you all comes from our SEO articles. Sociology is such abroad discipline that covers so many topics and the breadth of our discipline sometimes works against us by making it hard for those who haven’t studied sociology to understand what it really is. And without really understanding what sociology is, it becomes hard to understand the value of it. With this in mind, we have been building up a collection of articles on the various Subfields in Sociology. The goal of the collection is to clarify what sociology is while highlighting the many industries, ideas, and interactions to which we can apply it. Currently, we have a collection of 9 SEO articles covering subfields like cultural sociology, medical sociology, sociology of gender, mathematical sociology, digital ethnography, and more!

These articles cover an introduction of the subfield and then focus on the application of ideas from those subfields to various industries and markets.

  1. The last project we want to share with you all is our annual international student essay competition. Our competition provides an opportunity for sociology students to write creatively about their passion for the discipline by answering the question, “Why is sociology important?” Last year we awarded a total of 16 undergraduate essayists who submitted to the competition including students from the US, UK, India, and Nigeria. This is a great opportunity for students to have a chance to represent their departments, gain experience in non-academic writing, and see their work published online. The winning essays from 2020 represented ideas relating to social justice, social change, and social empathy with one student writing about restorative justice, and another writing about the importance of sociological thought for solving social problems and enacting social change.

Our deadline for this year’s competition is April 1st, so please share with any students you know who might be interested!

Wrapping Up:

These are just some of the many projects we have going on at Applied Worldwide right now. And across the various projects we are running, we have opportunities for sociologists at ALL levels of their education and careers to be involved from writing and producing blog series to having their applied sociological work featured in a profile.

To keep up with the projects here at Applied Worldwide, and the work of our wonderful contributors, subscribe to our free monthly newsletter here!