Three Months Old, Still Alive and Kicking!

From the desk of the Lt. Governor:

Three Month Anniversary Cake

Three Month Anniversary Cake

Today is the third month anniversary of this website! This website was created February 3, 2014, as an “unofficial, temporary, test” website for and about the Ruritan Rapidan District. The intention was to “test the waters” to see if a more permanent website would be a good idea.

This is a good time to share some site statistics, (for those readers that thrive on statistics) to demonstrate the value of a website such as this.

On the one month anniversary of the website, a post discussed some statistics of the site, and shared that there had been 671 “hits” (visits, how much “traffic”) to the website.

On the two month anniversary of the website, there were 1332 “hits.”

Blog stats as of 5-3-14

Blog stats as of 5-3-14

Now, on the third month anniversary of the website, as of the writing of this post, at 3:42 pm on May 3, 2014, there have been 2,088 hits!

There are several charts available to me, as the webmaster, that shows details of things such as how people found the website. Copies of those charts can be found below. All of these charts were pulled around 10:00 a.m. today.

The first chart shown below is shows the titles of the top posts and pages since the website was created. You will notice that one of the most popular pages is the page that lists the Spotsylvania County Ruritan Clubs. This suggests that people are using this website to help locate Ruritan Clubs in their communities. This also suggests that if each local club had their own website, that the people that came to this website would have been able to click on the club’s link to get more information about the club. This supports the idea that each local club would derive benefits from having their own website.

Top posts for all days ending 5-3-14

Top posts for all days ending 5-3-14

The second chart shown below shows the “Referrers for all days” since the website was created. If you look at the top two listings, you will see that most of the referrers are “Search Engines,” (most popular search engines are Google and Yahoo) followed closely by Facebook. This helps to lend weight to the thought that having BOTH a website AND a Facebook page are a smart way to increase public awareness of the clubs.

Referrers for all days ending 5-3-14

Referrers for all days ending 5-3-14

And last, but not least, the lengthiest chart (three pages long) shows what search terms were used in search engines since the website was created. If you read the search terms, you may be surprised what search terms were used that ended up bringing people to this website.

Search terms for all days ending 5-3-14 page 1

Search terms for all days ending 5-3-14 page 1

Search terms for all days ending 5-3-14 page 2

Search terms for all days ending 5-3-14 page 2

Search terms for all days ending 5-3-14 page 3

Search terms for all days ending 5-3-14 page 3

Hopefully within one month’s time, this website may “migrate” to a different URL – one that no longer has the “wordpress.com” extension at the end. When that happens, the “hits” counter will probably be re-set to 0, and all of the other statistics will start over again. I think it will be interesting to see how this (and the new) website continues to serve the clubs of the Rapidan District. I hope you’ll “Stay Tuned” and see how it all works out.


The Important Role Of The Undervalued Name Tag

Ruritan nametag

Ruritan name tag

From the desk of the Lt. Governor:

Walking into a Ruritan Club Meeting House, my eyes quickly sweep across the room, looking for someone, anyone, wearing a name tag. Why? Because that name tag is a welcoming beacon that says “I’m friendly. I am approachable. Come talk to me!”

When I don’t see anyone in the room wearing a name tag, my heart sinks. I’m one of “those people” that has a really hard time remembering other people’s names. I know how important it is to remember everyone’s names, and I struggle with that issue. People that can meet someone one time for just a moment or two, and remember their name forever simply amaze me! I simply don’t have that gift! Hopefully that doesn’t make me a bad Ruritan – I’d like to think that I still have a lot to offer Ruritan!

embarrased woman (free clip art)

Embarrassed woman (free clip art)

All of those memory enhancement techniques that are taught by memory experts help, but when meeting several people at once, the names go in one ear and fall out the other. Hope springs eternal, and I keep on trying, but I love to see other people wearing name tags because then I don’t spend precious time apologizing for the fact that I will probably forget their name shortly after meeting them.

But enough about me.

When a potential new member, or a scheduled speaker, walks through that same Ruritan Club Meeting House door at a meeting, they are immediately at a social disadvantage. One that could make them very uncomfortable.  (Maybe they have issues with remembering names, just like I do!)

When a person is in a group of people where everyone else knows everyone’s name, he or she may  feel vulnerable. Very few people are comfortable in a crowd when they are the only “stranger.”

In some cases, the visitor may get the impression that the other people in the group don’t even care enough to make newcomers comfortable in the group. That is one of those “first impressions” that our clubs may not want to be making.

Martha Stewart (free clip art)

Martha Stewart (free clip art)

Wearing a name tag increases the potential for better fellowship experiences for visitors. If everyone in the club were to wear their Ruritan name badges, the visitor (whether it is a potential new member, a speaker, or a visiting officer from District or National) will feel more comfortable being in the group. This level of comfort may help the potential new member decide to join the club, and it also may help improve the quality of the time of the speaker, or visiting officer. Quoting Martha Stewart, “and that’s a good thing.”

Our membership and fellowship committees can help ease the initial level of discomfort of being “the stranger in a crowd” by ensuring that the visitor gets a name tag, and that everyone in the room has a name tag. Even if it is just a temporary, sticky-backed paper name tag that says “Hello, my name is ____________.”

Hello my name is (free clip art)

Hello my name is (free clip art)

That name tag helps to level out the playing field, so everyone can see, at a glance, the name of everyone else. A member of the Fellowship Committee should greet everyone as they come through the door, and provide a name tag to anyone that does not have one.

If the person walking through the door is a new visitor, then the member that greeted the visitor should also ensure that the visitor is introduced to another member, who then becomes the visitor’s companion through-out the entire meeting. This is standard procedure for all clubs that are looking to recruit new members, and is pretty well documented in the Ruritan Handbooks and Guides.

If the club is fortunate enough to have a supply cabinet in the meeting location, the sticky-back name tags and assorted markers could be stored on-site, and brought out as people arrive to the meeting. If the club does not have that storage option, then the membership and fellowship chairs could bring them to the meetings. Alternately, each club officer could keep them in their briefcases/totes that they bring to the meetings.

These items are some of the least expensive tools a club can use to welcome visitors that have taken the time and made the effort to step through that door to see for themselves what that Ruritan club is all about. Making that visitor feel comfortable, by providing name tags is a good first step towards recruiting new members.

Not convinced? Recently I was reading a great blog article about good reasons to wear name tags. I’d like to encourage you to consider reading it as well. The article just might help convince you to start wearing your name tag more often – and not just to Ruritan functions!

I’d like to encourage ALL Ruritan Club members to wear their name badges to all Ruritan Club functions. You’ve got nothing to lose, and a lot to gain by wearing them.


Two Months Old And Going Strong!

Second Month Anniversary! (free clip art)

Second Month Anniversary! (free clip art)

From the desk of the Lt. Governor:

This website was created on February 3, 2014, making today the two month anniversary of the unofficial, temporary, “test the waters” website about the Ruritan Rapidan District!

This is a good time to share some site statistics, to demonstrate the value of a website such as this.

On the one month anniversary of the website, a post discussed some statistics of the site, and shared that there had been 671 “hits” (visits, how much “traffic”) to the website. As of the writing of this post, there have been 1332 “hits.”

Blog stats widget data as of 4-3-14 10:29am

4-3-14 10:29am

Recently a “hits counter” was installed so visitors can see for themselves the number of visitors that have come to the website. This counter can be found in the lower right hand corner of the website. The counter looks like the image to the left of this paragraph.

More statistics provide a variety of information. The following chart documents the all-time most popular pages and posts:

Site statistics top posts 4-3-2014

Site statistics top posts 4-3-2014

Tip: If you have having difficulty reading these charts due to their small size, you can enlarge them by holding down the “Shift,Ctrl,+” buttons. That enlarges everything on your screen. Then to restore back to your original size, hold down “Ctrl,-” keys.

The following chart documents search terms used in search engines, resulting in traffic:

Stats for search terms used  to find Rapidan District website 4-3-14

Stats for search terms used to find Rapidan District website 4-3-14

Did you notice (in the chart above) that twenty-one visitors found our website by trying to find information about the Brightwood Ruritan Club? (Which does not yet have their own website.) Thirteen visitors arrived by searching for information about the Earlysville Ruritan’s Bluegrass Show!

Once the visitors arrived at our website, they got the information they needed! This demonstrates that this website is providing value to the local clubs and the local communities by helping the consumer find out information about their local events!

This also demonstrates how important it is for local clubs to increase the promotion of their events by sending information about their events to the webmaster of this website, with a request to promote their events! That can be accomplished through the contact page.

The following chart shows how many visitors came to the website through referrals from other websites, and what those websites were:

Stats for Rapidan District website for referrers for all days ending 4-3-14

Stats for Rapidan District website for referrers for all days ending 4-3-14

Please note: these charts are for “all-time” and that “all-time Facebook referrals” number 258. This statistic would indicate that Facebook is a very valuable resource for people to find our website, yet it accounts for only 19% of the visitors. This lends credibility to the advice that “Although it is true that all Facebook users use the Internet, not all Internet users use Facebook. Using BOTH is good marketing strategy.”

These statistics show that this website is continuing to provide value to people who are interested in what is happening with the Ruritan Clubs within the Rapidan District. These statistics support the campaign that encourages all local Ruritan Clubs, and Ruritan Districts, to have websites and Facebook pages, too!

So…. Happy Two Month Anniversary to the Ruritan Rapidan District website, and here’s hoping for many more similarly productive months to come!