By David H. Kirkwood
During the seven months or so since a group of us launched Hearinghealthmatters.org, one of the most gratifying aspects for me has been having the privilege of working together with such an outstanding group of colleagues. Collectively, our founding editors and those editors who have joined us since last April bring to this initiative a remarkable variety of experience and expertise in hearing health as well as a deep commitment to the blog and to its underlying credo: Hearing Health Matters.
This week, I am happy to tell you about another collaborative effort, one that will enable our blog to work with another respected publication that is also a staunch advocate for hearing health.
As some of you have probably heard, The Hearing Review (HR) will launch blogpage, its first-ever monthly column, in its November issue. Available both in Review’s print version and online, blogpage will bring HR’s readers selected posts from Hearinghealthmatters.org.
FROM COMPETING TO COOPERATING
There are a number of reasons why I believe that teaming up in this way will be good for our two publications and for our readers. I will get to them shortly.
But there is also a personal reason why Karl Strom, the editor of HR, and I are especially happy to be working together.
For close to 20 years, Karl and I were archrivals, since each of us edited one of the two leading monthly trade journals in the hearing industry. Throughout that time, the two of us did everything in our power to beat out the other’s publication and leave it in our dust. I can’t say that ever really happened, but it wasn’t for lack of trying!
Despite our fierce competition, Karl and I were friends from the time we first met in 1993, the year HR was launched. He’s a heck of a nice guy, as those of you who know him can attest. But our friendship was based on much more than that—and more than on our shared passion for baseball.
Central to our relationship was the mutual respect we felt for each other’s work as editors. Take it from me, as amiable a gentleman as he seems, Karl Strom is one tough competitor! And battling to stay ahead of or keep pace with him and his staff was a stimulating challenge.
However, what’s even more enjoyable than being Karl’s friend and rival is to be his friend and collaborator. Therefore, I am grateful for the opportunity that my colleagues and I at Hearinghealthmatters.org and Karl and his team at HR now have to serve our respective audiences through this new cooperative initiative.
BUT ENOUGH ABOUT ME
Let me assure you, HR and our blog did not decide to work together just because Karl and I are friends. We are doing so because our publications believe that it will be beneficial for our readers.
As HR explained in introducing its new column, each issue of blogpage will feature posts from Hearinghealthmatters.org. Karl Strom noted, “I think their monthly input in HR will be a terrific and timely addition to the magazine and our e-media outlets.”
For our part, Hearinghealthmatters.org looks forward to contributing a sampling of our content to Review and to bringing our blog to the attention of HR subscribers who are not yet familiar with us.
As part of our joint initiative, we have placed a link to HR on our home page. So, with a single click, visitors to our site can see what’s on Review’s home page and read its journal online. If you’re not familiar with HR, I recommend that you give them a click and see what you’ve been missing.
A COMPLEMENTARY RELATIONSHIP
Another reason why this collaboration makes sense is that we are two distinctly different types of publications reaching disparate audiences. Review is aimed primarily at hearing professionals, and it goes to the great majority of that population in the U.S.
While our readership and HR’s overlap to a degree, they are by no means the same. For one thing, though many hearing healthcare providers read Hearinghealthmatters.org, we also address and attract many hearing healthcare consumers.
Moreover, because we reach our audience online only and not by mail, Hearinghealthmatters.org is as accessible to people overseas as it is to Americans. That’s why more than a quarter of our visitors are from outside the United States—from 88 different countries at last count.
Finally, and most importantly, is the matter of content. You will find almost none of the same stories on our blog as you’ll find in HR. That means that people who care about hearing will have good reason to read both our publications, not just one or the other.
In other words, Hearinghealthmatters.org and Hearing Review serve our readers in complementary ways. And that’s why it is so fitting that we have teamed up—and given two old rivals reason to bury the hatchet.