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HEART in 2014

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HEART in 2014

Post by Admin on Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:05 pm

As we look back on the first 8 months since the new HEART forum went on line we're very encouraged by the great response and support we've received from all of you. The reality is that you, our members are HEART... You give it life, you define it, and you keep it alive... Thank you all for being a part of this organic community dedicated to supporting fellow heart patients as they discover and celebrate what they ARE capable of versus an unhealthy focus on what they cannot or should not do.

As you know, in addition to launching the new forum last year we also organized HEART participation in the Cincinnati Heart Mini and the Syracuse Marathon, Half Marathon, and Team Relay, both of which were very well attended and enjoyed by all. The success of these events was due in great part to the efforts of several of our long time members... Thanks to Brian Nash, Mike Nall, and Tom Price for your work on these very fun weekend gatherings.      

The other big accomplishment in 2013 was the launch of our new web page... This new "front door" to our community was much needed but beyond our ability until Bill C. stepped in and ran with it. We think he's done a fantastic job of communicating the core of what HEART is to both new members and potential new affiliates and collaborators. Bill has been tweaking it and adding content regularly so if you haven't looked at it lately, check it out here: http://heartorg.zohosites.com/home.html  The video highlighting our mission with pictures of our past gatherings is particularly powerful IMO. Thanks Bill for all your PR efforts.  

Looking forward to 2014 we are again organizing heart patient participation in two very important events.... We already have 11 runners registered in the AHA Cincinnati Heart Mini the weekend of March 16th and from my conversations with our members I think we have a good shot at 20 runners by race weekend. Brian Nash is heading up this event and you can find the latest info on our forum here: http://heartorg.forumotion.com/t153-heart-team-now-taking-registraion-for-the-heart-mini-in-cinci-march-2014 Thank you Brian, This is a race that we all have good reason to support. It's the only race that I know of that recognizes heart survivor/runners with a special "Red Cap" division so please consider joining us in Cincy to help raise awareness.

HEART's main gathering for 2014 is the Grand Rapids Marathon, Half Marathon, and Team Relay the weekend of October 19th. http://grandrapidsmarathon.com/  Rachel Bishop is our local event organizer for this gathering and it looks like it will be a perfect race for our group.... We'll be working with Rachel to make this the best HEART gathering yet and we've heard from a lot of you already so we know this gathering will be a BIG one!!  Information is available on our forum now and it will be updated regularly as plans firm up: http://heartorg.forumotion.com/t156-2014-heart-annual-gathering-the-grand-rapids-marathon-half-marathon-and-team-relay  Thank you Rachel for taking on this big project for the group...

Probably even more important than our annual gatherings or anything else we do are HEART's outreach efforts and ultimately our sustainability. If we truly hope to survive and provide encouragement and support to those other heart patients out there who desperately need our message (you and I needed that message ourselves not too many years ago), then we really do need to reach out to more people than just those within our group. We're preaching to the choir as they say... As a goal for 2014 we would like each of you to think about how you can help spread our message and bring new members into the group and also how we can encourage non active members to participate in the gatherings and on the forum. Please share the link to our web page and forum with anyone you think might be interested too. We are working to improve our visibility on the web and we are seeing new hits through the Cleveland Clinic web site, Face Book, and via web searches, but if we hope to reach even more heart patients in need and grow our organization, we need your ideas and help... We hope you will make helping HEART reach out to more heart patients seeking support one of your goals for 2014 too... How can we make it happen??


Last edited by Admin on Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Growing the membership ranks

Post by RoadKillBill on Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:43 am

Admin wrote: but if we hope to reach even more heart patients in need and grow our organization, we need your ideas and help... We hope you will make helping HEART reach out to more heart patients seeking support one of your goals for 2014 too... How can we make it happen??

There are a few folks I got to join CA from beginnertriathlete.com -- if I noticed that members indicated a heart condition, I sent them a PM invitation. I can't say that approach was highly successful, but as long as I was logged in anyway it required minimal effort. HEART members of online running communities may want to keep an eye out for potential joiners.

Let's do some brainstorming here - any new ideas (fully-baked or not) that you guys have? Please just blurt, we may have a really good strategy up our hat that we just haven't discovered yet.

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Re: HEART in 2014

Post by Dave Tuttle on Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:21 pm

I invite others with similar interests and issues to join HEART too, often through face book contacts but also people I've met in person. I think this kind of outreach is relatively successful but inherently low volume due to our limited number of personal contacts... To help understand where we are now, here are some roughly averaged weekly forum statistics:

Visits per week 300
New user visits 100
Referral traffic from other web sites 85
Internet search traffic  20

The referrals from other web sites number is deceiving because it includes people who start on our new HEART web page and then click the link into our forum. It also includes a steady 10 - 20 referrals per week from the Cleveland Clinic web site. It's steady traffic from the Clinic because we are permanently listed as a resource for active heart patients there. The rest of the referral traffic is from valvereplacement.com posts with links to HEART that several of you have made and referrals from face book. The VR and FB traffic is strong for several days after a post is made but then tapers off.

What I think I see in the numbers;

33% of our traffic is new people. That seems pretty good but it would be better if we could get more of them to join.

Internet search traffic is not good... Not sure how to improve that number. A couple of people with limited knowledge have looked at our SEO and thought it was as good as could be? Expert optimization is out of the question.

The referral traffic from other web sites seems to be the strongest asset we have at the moment for bringing new people to our group. Posting about our events and forum on other heart patient web sites is very effective but naturally sporadic. Permanent links to HEART on major heart health web sites are steady producers but very difficult to get.

OK, those are some of my impressions... How about some ideas but don't necessarily confine your thinking to what I rambled on about here... Often the best ideas come from outside of the box.

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Mended Hearts

Post by Dave Tuttle on Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:52 pm

I joined the Mended Hearts Inspire Forum a while back. It's a large, varied, and interesting forum and they do have some members like us who are pursuing  active lives: http://www.inspire.com/groups/mended-hearts-heart-disease/

I've posted there a few times trying to encourage others and included links to our forum and web page. We've been getting some visits through those posts and maybe some new members... I hope so, I think there are some people there who would fit well in our group.

I had to register as tuttle7440 because Tutt was taken.

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Re: HEART in 2014

Post by mikenall on Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:12 am

I've posted on there a few times also. I'm also registered and posting on Pacemaker Club. There are potential participants there as well.

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Re: HEART in 2014

Post by Gary E on Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:05 pm

tutt wrote:
I had to register as tuttle7440 because Tutt was taken.

That's probably that Egyptian guy that keeps reincarnating himself. I'm sure he figured it would be fun to experience the euphoria of a cardiac patient that discovers he can still enjoy an active lifestyle.
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