Monday, December 31, 2007

JPROF's third anniversary


JPROF observes its third anniversary today. Three years ago, after a couple of months of preparation, I launched JPROF from my small study in the house we were renting from Emory and Henry College in Emory, Va. The site was a personal endeavor, designed to help me keep up with the field of journalism so that I could stay current for my students and so I would have material at hand to updatte the textbooks I had written. I had no ambitions for the site other than those. If the material that I put on JPROF could help other instructors and students of journalism, that would be great, but that was not my first priority.

That's the way it's worked out, however. JPROF ended last year with about 1,400 unique visitors a day (see below). This year the audience grew enormously, and I am not certain why. In November, JPROF averaged more than 8,000 visitors a day, and there were three days that month with the visitor count topped 10,000. That figure has dropped back for December to nearly 5,000 visitors a day. (You can check out the stats for JPROF if you are interested.) The image to the right shows the monthly totals, and you can get a larger view of it here. JPROF comes up near the top when a Google search of "teaching journalism" is done.

I sincerely appreciate the time that people spend with JPROF, and I hope there is material here that they find interesting and useful. I also enjoy hearing from folks and certainly don't mind when people point out errors of fact or grammar.

A couple of other items of note before we close out 2007:

I am in the process of changing JPROF from an HTML tables code to a cascading style sheets (CSS) code. I am testing the frontiers of my technical knowledge by doing this, but so far, there have been been few problems. I hope this will make the site more stable, and it will load faster for users. It will also simplfy the layout somewhat. The big differents users may notice is that more pages will have search functions. I hope that helps.

The publishers of Writing for the Mass Media has asked for a seventh edition of the book, and I will be working on that full bore this spring. The sixth edition was used as a text in about 240 colleges and universities, and I am greatly humbled by that fact. Thanks to all.

By far the biggest web thing that has happened to me this year is the phenomenal growth of the Tennessee Journalist, the news web site of the School of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee where I teach. I got TNJN.com rolling in October 2006 with a lot of help from some very good friends. I was blessed with a set of students who quickly took ownership of the site and are making it into something to be proud of. Their hard work and enthusiasm leaves me awestruck, and there were will many good things to come of that in 2008.

With that, I'll stop and bid you my usual New Year's greeting: Party on!


Read more about journalism and issues facing the profession at JPROF.com.

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