This week, Hearing Health & Technology Matters (HHTM) celebrates its 10th anniversary.
In celebration of this milestone, HHTM’s first editor-in-chief, David H. Kirkwood, reflects on the organization’s humble beginnings and watching it grow over the past decade.
As HHTM nears its 10th anniversary, I would like to congratulate you, as its CEO/owner, and all the blog editors and other contributors, past and present, for taking this unique online publication to new heights of quality, readership, and influence.
As one of the founders, I am gratified to see that our vision of a publication that would be of value to people in every sector of the hearing care community—practitioners, researchers, manufacturers, educators, and consumers—has been fully realized.
I am especially impressed that HHTM is now attracting 1.5 million visits a year and growing. Our first issue, dated April 23, 2011, drew 90 visits; in May 2011, our first full month, we had 1189. By the time I retired, four years later, average monthly readership exceeded 30,000. However, that pales in comparison with your current audience.
I imagine each of us who launched HHTM in April 2011 had our own motivations. In my case, after 37 years of being employed by one publishing company or another, I greatly enjoyed being an owner and taking on the responsibilities and rewards that entailed.
It was especially exciting to be part of creating an entirely new and different entity. Before this, I had always been hired to maintain and improve long-established print publications.
HHTM also allowed me to draw on the knowledge I had gained and the hundreds of friends I had made during 20 years as editor-in-chief of a hearing industry trade journal. Fortunately, two of these friends—co-founders Holly Hosford Dunn and Wayne Staab—were willing to handle the business end of the blog, in addition to writing their particular sections. That let me focus on my two sections, Hearing News Watch and Hearing Views, as well as copy editing my colleagues’ posts.
Although I retired in June 2015, after four years as an editor and two years as editor-in-chief, I still enjoy reading HHTM. I am impressed by how many of the founding editors—Holly Hosford Dunn, who was our first editor-in-chief; Marshall Chasin, Bob Traynor, and Alan Desmond—are still regular contributors. So too are Gael Hannan and Jane Madell, who both joined us in our first year, and Brian Taylor and Frank Musiek, who also came on board while I was editor-in-chief. And, of course, your own contributions, including recruiting additional talent and expanding HHTM’s activities, have been extraordinary.
So, congratulations to everyone at HHTM. I wish you continued success during your next 10 years.
About David Kirkwood
During 42 years as a journalist, David H. Kirkwood was editor and publisher of several publications, including community newspapers in the New York City suburbs. From 1990 to 2015, he covered the hearing care field, first as editor-in-chief of a monthly trade publication and then as a founding editor of HHTM. In 2006, he received a President’s Award from the American Academy of Audiology. In retirement, he and his wife, Annie, look forward to resuming their world travels when the Covid-19 situation eases.