It’s Lucky Number Seven For Adaptistration!

Adaptistration turn seven years old today and I can say with all confidence that culture blogging, readership, and reader interactivity has never been better! Moreover, year seven has a number of changes in store related to what Adaptistration delivers and how readers interact…

Here’s a closer look at what transpired over the past year.

2010 Highlights, Facts, and Figures

  • Adaptistration’s Twitter account adds approximately two new followers every day.
  • October, 2010 set an all time high traffic record (think Alex Ross level of traffic)!
  • Adaptistration Premium completed a major update that improved user interface and added more content than ever before.
  • The first ever comic strip series about orchestra life, Who’s Minding The Score?, was launched and grows by leaps and bounds each month!
  • Adaptistration content was referenced more often and by a greater variety of traditional media outlets than ever before.
  • Compared to 2009, the number of new readers has increased by 46 percent, average time on site per reader has increased 10 percent, and pages per visit has increased 26 percent.
  • Weekly email summary subscribers topped 750 and we switched to a new email marketing platform at Vertical Response.
  • The first ever series of live blogging posts from the American Orchestras Summit.

Most popular articles/series for 2010 (listed in order by overall traffic)

  1. The orchestra website reviews reached an all time high and generated more than 20,000 page views.
  2. The orchestra compensation reports generated 148 percent more traffic than previous years.
  3. Take A Friend To The Orchestra (TAFTO) 2010. In addition to the regular annual event, 2010 produced the new TAFTO resource microsite.
  4. An Ugly War of Words: examining the online feud between Greg Sandow and Heather Mac Donald.
  5. The Sound Of Fury: the now infamous recorded rant from conductor Anshel Brusilow.
  6. A Bad Situation Ends Badly In Detroit: recapping of the Sarah Chang ordeal in Detroit.
  7. To Strike Or Not To Strike: an overview of stakeholdership within the arena of the National Labor Relations Act.
  8. Increase Your Subscriber base by 50% In One Day: examining Groupon and its potential impact on orchestra marketing strategy.
  9. It’s Time For A Nonprofit LLC: imagining the benefits of increased flexibility within the context of tax status.
  10. The Best Orchestras To Work For: examining the value of workplace satisfaction within the orchestra field.
  11. Changes In The Model…Do We Need Revolution Or Evolution?: cutting away all the fat attached to the business model debate.
  12. Orchestra Financial Reports: a new resource for 2010 that provides direct links to dozens of orchestra’s financial transparency documents at
  13. AFM Calls Out The League: examining an article by Christopher Durham, American Federation of Musicians (AFM) Symphonic Services Division (SSD) Director and Assistant to the President
    that finds faults with the League of American Orchestras.
  14. A Taste of Honolulu’s Grand Plan: examining the initial details of Honolulu Symphony’s bankruptcy reorganization plan.
  15. “Faulty Reasoning”: taking issue with Terry Teachout’s position on regional orchestras.
  16. People Are Attracted To Winners: applying the Fragile Powerhouse concept to the Detroit Symphony situation.
  17. The Big Five, er, Seven, er, Six: examining the impact of Cleveland Orchestra’s 2010 settlement on the top tier of US orchestras.
  18. About Drew McManus: this is the first time my about page made it into the Top 20 but I guess that’s a sign of so many new readers.
  19. An Updated Look At Top-Tier Musician Compensation: having fun with charts and graphs to illustrate the shifts in top tier musician compensation.
  20. Should Orchestra Musicians Leave The AFM?: an honest and unfiltered examination of the benefits of unionism within professional orchestras.
  21. Extra Strength Crazy In Honolulu: the title says it all…

Clearly, Adaptistration is the most popular and number one online resource for all things related to the orchestra business and through annual events such as the Website Reviews, Compensation Reports, and Take A Friend To The Orchestra initiative, it continues to have a substantially positive impact on the entire field.

Without doubt, blogging remains a wonderfully fulfilling endeavor but it is all pointless without readers so thanks to everyone who reads, comments, forwards to a friend, posts on Facebook, Tweets (and reTweets), shows a little love through buying me a coffee (look in the left sidebar), and stays in touch with email messages!

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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