Year One for Horn Matters!

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Today Horn Matters reaches a major milestone. One year ago, John and I launched this site.

Here are some statistics from that date to today:

  • About 106,000 unique visitors
  • About 35,000 are returning visitors
  • Over 400,000 page views
  • Average time on site = 4 minutes, 40 seconds
  • Average pages read = 4.69
  • 34% of visitors are new

Whew, those are some big numbers for a little site about the French horn!

Meeting of the wives

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A few days ago John invited my wife and I over for dinner and we got talking about about our first year. Without a doubt, we discovered, both of our wives were involved in our decision to combine forces.

Both said – yes, of course, this is a GREAT idea! … and poof … here we are, one year later. Or at least that is how it feels.

John and I have a history that goes back to Eastman [check out the photo in this article to see how we looked back then]. It continued much later through our roles with IHS Online. With this background it seemed to be written in the stars that our collaboration here would go so smoothly.

Favorites

If I were to pick some of my personal favorites from the past year I would start with the series on the Siegfried calls. That series was fun to write.

I also loved doing the Star Trek comic. I probably spent way too much time on it, like I do with all the Photoshop things I goof around with but it is a fun hobby.

I do want to express a huge thanks to all our fans and followers. Your readership is what keeps us chugging along.

John here to conclude this joint, celebratory article. This is how we looked last weekend! We do not see each other often in real life and it was great to meet and reflect on the year.

That first few weeks of Horn Matters a year ago were extremely busy, I think especially so for Bruce as he had to define and tweak a new format in a new platform and the site was huge! But at the same time it was great to start something new and see the overall level of the content in the site improve and take shape.

Over weeks we realized that while we had some dedicated fans right away it took a little while to get the word out. The two “horn lists” frown on links to websites and worst of all the site did not show up in Google worth a darn. This was especially disappointing as both of our prior sites that were combined to make Horn Matters had pretty high page rank and came up very well in search engines.

This led to this article from me not long after. There seem to still be a lot of people out there that have not found Horn Matters yet but now, a year later, the site shows up well in Google, and another source of readers we had not even initially had in our plans brings in actually the biggest chunk of our daily traffic: Facebook. We are both glad to be able to impact the horn community and are glad as well that we know there are new readers finding the site every day.

If I were to pick a couple of my personal favorite articles from the last year the Orchestra 101 series is one I would recommend to readers  [the first article is here] and also my coverage from IHS Brisbane which starts here. I have always wished that there were coverage like this from an IHS event and while it took some time to write up it was enjoyable to be able to put it out there.

Besides thanking our wives as well–they really were the ones who said “do it” to us in terms of starting Horn Matters–I would also like to thank another person who will be a little surprised to be thanked: Jeff Snedeker. While Bruce and I had known each other for years and had been online for a number of years, it was Jeff as IHS publications editor that actually first brought us together to work online on the IHS website (Bruce had started it; I was brought in to assist as editor/manager). It was in that time that we developed a comfortable working relationship that really is the foundation of Horn Matters. In many ways we are quite different I am sure but when it comes to horn we are both really enjoying the opportunity to be creative and to move beyond blogs into the format of an online magazine on the horn.

Speaking of the format, I should mention that we have had some limited advertising this first year. A hearty word of thanks to our advertisers! We believe many more people see our advertisements than see those in any horn journal and we hope to see our advertising slots full in the near future.

And as to the future, we have lots of ideas and would love to also branch out into joint activities at workshops and such. Stay tuned.

To conclude we both send a huge thank you again to all our readers, it has been an exciting year for us.