The editors at The grateful to The Hearing Review and to Karl Strom, its editor, for inviting us to offer a monthly sampling of our blog to readers of his outstanding publication.
Begun in April 2011, Hearinghealthmatters.org (HHM) is designed, as its name suggests, for anyone—hearing care provider or hearing care consumer alike—who shares our deep conviction that, in fact, Hearing Health Matters. Every week, each of our nine editors publishes a new post on his or her section of Hearing Health Matters. We hope that readers of HR like what they see here and will sign up for a free weekly subscription by clicking the subscribe button at Hearinghealthmatters.org.
The editors of The Blogs and HR are convinced that, by collaborating, we will better serve all our readers. Our two publications offer entirely different content and take very different approaches from each other. Thus, we expect that hearing care professionals will not choose one or the other to read, but will want to read both.
As author of the first article from The Blogs to appear in the Review, I would like to close on a personal note. I’ve known Karl Strom since he became HR’s first editor in 1993 and I was editor of another trade journal. For 18 years, Karl and I were direct competitors, each determined to put out a better publication than the other. Yet, during that time, I can honestly say—and Karl would back me up—we were also good friends with a mutual admiration for each other’s work.
However, even better than being Karl’s friend and rival is to be his friend and collaborator. So, it is a great pleasure and honor for all of us at The Blogs to team up with him in a way that will be beneficial to both publications and all our readers.
– David H. Kirkwood, Hearinghealthmatters.org
Why I Blog
David H. Kirkwood is a founding partner and associate editor of hearinghealthmatters.org. He has been reporting on hearing health care since 1990.
After editing and writing for newspapers and magazines for the past 35 years or so, what appealed to me most about blogging was the complete change of pace that it offered.
Don’t get me wrong. I still believe that print publications have unique virtues. And, while they face enormous challenges, I am convinced that traditional publications—at least the best of them—have a good future.
However, having the opportunity to blog—and to do so in association with such an esteemed group of friends and colleagues—has proven to be a great pleasure. Why so? Let me count the ways.
1. Timeliness. What a treat it is to be able to publish an article as soon as it is written and edited. All I do is push a few buttons on my Mac, and it’s out there for anyone in the world with access to the Internet. Contrast that with print. There, articles that were fresh and timely when they left my desk would often grow old and out-of-date during the weeks it took them to be printed and mailed out to readers.
2. Geographic reach. The cost of delivering a print publication quickly becomes prohibitive when would-be readers are located thousands of miles from the printing plant. It’s especially impractical to send journals to a reader who lives someplace where the potential audience is small. But that’s no problem with a blog. We can reach anyone anywhere. And, in fact, Hearing Health Matters is doing that. Although we published our first issue just last spring, I can see through the magic of Google Analytics that people from all 50 US states, all 10 Canadian provinces, and 85 other countries have visited us in the past month
3. Audience diversity. For basically the same reasons, our blog is available everywhere; we are also accessible to every person who shares our premise that “Hearing Health Matters.” Our readers don’t need to be in any particular profession or affinity group or be on any mailing list to get a free subscription. Thanks to word of mouth and to the power of search engines, people looking online for information about hearing are being steered our way. Since I went into this project with the goal of reaching both hearing care professionals and the consumers they serve, I am especially gratified to find that we’re reaching a broader audience than would be possible through print.
4. Space. Any print editor has known the anguish of having to slash an excellent article to fit into a limited space. We’ve also experienced the dread of having 40 pages to fill and only 30 pages of available content. On a blog, articles can be as long or short as they should be.
5. Freedom. Most of my past experience has been with publications that tried to cover their beat comprehensively. In one case it was a town, in the other an industry/profession. However, with blogs, at least certainly with this one, we are not trying to cover everything related to hearing health. Rather, we are providing a selection of excellent articles, the great majority of them available nowhere else. Written by knowledgeable authors, they are designed to be of interest and value to people who care about hearing.
6. Interaction. Yet another virtue of online publications is how easy it is for the reader to contact the writer—and vice versa. Since our audience is online when they read our blog, they can respond to us directly and immediately, without needing to pick up a phone or a pen to send us their feedback. What’s more, the price is right!
21. Fun! Take all the reasons I’ve given for blogging, add them up, and you get the final reason why I’m glad to be involved with this venture. I hope that all of you enjoy reading it and will recommend it to anyone you know who agrees with us that Hearing Health Matters.
Correspondence can be addressed to HR or David Kirkwood at .