For many decades a group of people faithfully renewed annual memberships in the Association of Adventist Forums to support quarterly publication of the Spectrum journal. All who received Spectrum had either paid for it themselves or someone else had gifted them a subscription. We therefore generally knew who was in our community of readers, thinkers, believers and searchers because they provided the financial means for what we do.
Then we created a second platform for this community—the website. While this enabled us to connect with thousands of new people around the globe, we no longer know the majority of people by name in this enlarged community. Anyone can read what is on the website and participate in the conversations without paying a fee of any kind.
However, by looking at the Google analytics data, we know there are more of you than ever visiting the website. Between January 1 to April 28 of this year, 203,700 users were on the website, a 32.82% increase over the same period last year. Visitors are also stopping by more often because we have 417,761 sessions for this four-month period this year versus 365,490 sessions during the same period in 2013. That’s a 14.30% increase, and the average length of each visit is now 3:48 minutes.
The statistics also indicate our internet audience is mostly male (54.15%) and young, The majority of the website visitors are under 41 years old: 17.5% are 17-24 years old; 33.5% are 25-34 years old; 15.5% are 35-41 years old. Sixty-five percent of the traffic originates in the United States, and English-speaking countries of Australia, Canada, and Great Britain represent the next most popular origins of website visitors.
There are only few weeks until the end of our fiscal year and the close of our Global Community Campaign during which we hope to raise $250,000 to support the production of the journal and the website. This goal is double the amount we received last year, and we are roughly $40,000 shy of this ambitious goal.
Could this newer community of people who primarily visit our website offer some financial support as the journal subscribers have always done? What if anyone who visits the website at least once a year contributed a dollar? What if people who post five online comments would make a $5 gift? What if everyone who wanted to help us figuratively chop the wood and carry the water involved in planning, producing and distributing the website content would donate something?
It’s always felt like receiving a big smile or pat on the back to open a membership form and check from a Spectrum subscriber. We had a name and address and sometimes an encouraging note from a member of the community. We knew who was with us.
What if a few more members of this younger, more global group within the Spectrum community would make a commitment to this community with a token gift so we could know who you are out there? What if some of you made the sun shine on the many volunteers and minimally paid team members who consistently do the work of Spectrumwith a financial gesture of thanks? Your kind act of grace and generosity would mean more than you could ever imagine.
The lyrics from the “Cheers” theme song include the great refrain “Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name….and they’re always glad you came.” We are indeed so very glad you join us, and it would be great to know your name. Cheers!
If you would like to give to Spectrum, please click here.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/5986