Adaptistration Turns 12

Today marks Adaptistration’s twelve-year anniversary and in order to celebrate, I started to compile a special timeline that covers the highlights over the last dozen years, moreover, we’ll be able to continue using it to chronicle new milestones which will allow it to serve as a living history!

Adaptistration People 115As of now, it covers all of the high water marks from the very first post through the end of 2006 and I’ve been writing unique snippets for each entry so rest assured you’ll find plenty of original material there; we’ll be adding to it throughout the coming months until we catch up with the present. Feel free to send along anything you think has been a highlight over the time you’ve been reading and I’ll be sure to include it. In the meantime, let’s continue our long running tradition and look at some of last year’s key events.


  1. The ratio of new readers is on the rise with a 13 percent increase.
  2. Thanks to a reduction in the number of labor dispute related articles, the overall number of page visits dropped a hair (0.8 percent) and although this is the first time in the blog’s history to see a reduction in overall readers (however slight) I couldn’t think of a better reason for it!
  3. Chrome continues to grow as the dominant desktop browser of choice by expanding its ratio to a full 40 percent of all desktop visits. Safari is still in the #2 position and its overall ratio of 216 percent remained steady.
  4. Mobile device visits continued to increase and now account for a hair less than 40 percent of all traffic.
  5. Visitors using an iPad dropped by five percent while iPhone users remained steady and Android devices ate up the ratios lost by iOS tablets.
  6. The average number of pages per visit increased 10 percent and for new visitors, it jumped up at nearly twice that rate.
  7. Gen X’ers are back with a vengeance. Readers in both the 35-44 and 45-54 demographics saw increases in overall readership by five and four percent, respectively while Millennials held steady as the dominant demographic with 22 percent of overall readership.
  8. The ratio between male and female readers held steady with a 2/3 to 1/3 split.
  9. Facebook continues to be the social network of choice among readers for sharing content, although Twitter made some sharp gains at the very end of the year.
  10. The number of weekly email subscribers grew by 11 percent, its single largest year gain since 2009.

Top 10 Articles

  1. 2015 Orchestra Compensation Reports (they all came in within the top 10 threshold so they’ve been combined here, but in order of popularity, they went Music Director, CEO, then Concertmaster)
  2. 2013 Compensation Reports: Music Directors (yep, that’s a report from the 2013 installment)
  3. Orchestra Financial Reports
  4. Understanding The Difference Between A Strike And A Lockout
  5. How To Ruin Your Career in 10,000 Words Or Less or Why The Orchestra Field Needs To Take HR Seriously
  6. 16px Font Size and 48px Wide Buttons Are The New Black
  7. Five Articles People Should Stop Writing
  8. Heading Toward A Dark Place In Hartford
  9. Building Concert Halls, Part 1: What makes a great concert hall? (An article from 2010. Interesting…)
  10. Listen To Star Wars: The Force Awakens Director JJ Abrams Talk About The Importance Of Orchestral Music

As always, the blog is only worth the value you assign and all of these efforts are for naught without engaged and passionate readers so thank you for not only visiting, but finding the content and ideas valuable enough to share with colleagues and friends.

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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