'09 bests '08 for traffic thanks to all of you

As the old adage says, the numbers don’t lie.

The third installment of the Ivy League Fencing Blog has grown from a mere idea to a premier media outlet (even if it is a little different than the norm) for collegiate fencing. Three years ago, the idea of “blogging” an event such as this one was met with skepticism on many levels because it was a fairly new thought process. Simply getting this product out to those in the public that wanted to consume it proved to be a challenge.

But we did it anyway.

It was our hail mary pass with :02 left in the fourth quarter… odds heavily against it being successful.

But we did it anyway.

And that first year had its fair share of growing pains. We didn’t really know what we were getting into, didn’t fully understand how to make it all work, and couldn’t gauge whether it was what we thought it was.

But we did it anyway.

Three years later, it is safe to say that it has exceeded every expectation. Even my lofty ones.

In our first year, a 3,426 unique visitors came to the site over the two days of competition, even though the layout was a bit vanilla and the reporting was extremely bare bones. Admittedly, I had (and still have) never fenced, nor been to a tournament before walking into Penn’s Hutchinson Gym in 2007. I did know of the sport and have always had a curiosity about it. Perhaps it was due to the Olympics… but probably more so because a former soccer teammate from my youth participated in it. Years later he would become a NCAA Champion and Ivy League legend — Columbia’s Jed Dupree (true story). Six degrees of separation, indeed.

After that go around, I became a sponge. I started asking supervisors and coaches about terminology and about what they would like to see from a coverage perspective. I even began to take some calculated risks by pushing the envelope with fans (having open dialogue with people that came to the site and trying to figure out new and intriguing ways to cover such a unique sport in itself), just to see if we could propel this blog from a fun concept to a full-fledged media entity. In year two, it became interactive.

And the returns were impressive. Since the 2008 blog went live, it has been viewed 14,111 times. However, after doing a short recap from the event a year ago, there was a total of 7,228 visitors to the site (nearly double the amount of traffic) over the two days of competition. It enjoyed a best “day” of 1,462 hits.

And I knew that something was there. Whether it was developing a brand, getting better coverage or simply having a better public relations strategy, the blog was reaching more people.

So when 2009 rolled around, the formula was in place. The design was tweaked to mirror other Ivy blogs which created a more professional look, and some fun things to pass the time while the scores were not being reported were also added (to the praise of many and the chagrin of one).

And it has seemingly worked once again as the 2009 blog has already 11,645 hits since opening on Feb. 4th. That is nearly a 3,500 spike in hits from 2008 to ’09. And I have you to thank.

So thank you for making this blog a success. The bar will be set even higher next year. So tell your friends!

Best,

Alex Searle, Ivy League

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About The Ivy League

Founded in 1954, the Ivy League includes Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Princeton and Yale Universities, Dartmouth College and the University of Pennsylvania, and provides the country’s widest intercollegiate athletic opportunities for both men and women, with over 8,000 athletes competing each year. The Ivy League annually finishes among the top conferences in the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics competitive rankings, and Ivy student-athletes annually compile the country’s best records in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Academic Performance Ratings.
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