It is with much excitement — and as much fanfare as can be mustered in cyberspace — that the staff and board of the Jewish Outreach Institute proudly present our first post to the JOI Blog! (Not sure what a blog is? Click here for definitions.) Why a blog? Read on…
JOI’s website is very highly trafficked, and also well positioned on many Google searches. For that we’re grateful. Much credit goes to our founding director Dr. Egon Mayer, who had the foresight to create a JOI website way back in 1995 — practically prehistoric times by Internet standards!
Since then our website has undergone expansion and several redesigns, but has always been challenged by the relatively static nature of web pages. The new JOI Blog addresses that challenge in two important ways: it allows us to easily add content in the form of daily (or near-daily) posts, and it allows you the visitor to add your own thoughts and comments which we hope will add greater interactivity.
How will we know if the JOI Blog is successful? Evaluation is an important part of our work and therefore we’ve set some initial goals:
- “Pageviews” is an obvious measurement. Are more people visiting our site now than at the same time last year?
- Will the blog enable JOI staff to add frequent, fresh content to the site? We hope to post an average of four times a week. (This is an admittedly ambitious goal considering our staff is already overcommitted, overworked, probably overtired and possibly undernourished.)
- Does the content we add through the JOI Blog have meaning and value for our website visitors? If so, we anticipate regular comments left in response to our posts.
- Are visitors subscribing to receive email updates? Do they remain subscribed?
Though less measurable, additional goals include creating an online rapport between JOI staff and the individuals we serve, including intermarried family members and Jewish outreach professionals, as well as providing our visitors with a greater understanding of who JOI is and what we do.
We hope the JOI Blog will serve as a welcoming presence for newcomers to the Jewish community and look forward to hearing your feedback, on the blog itself or by email to info@JOI.org. Thanks, and…here we go!
Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky