Guest Post by David Jarmul
Futurity.Org, a website that has shared Duke’s research news with millions of readers around the world, is celebrating its fifth anniversary this week.
Launched in 2009, Futurity has since recorded 12 million visits and 16 million page views. Among the approximately 10,000 stories it has published are recent Duke offerings on baboon behavior, the treatment of hepatitis C, species extinction and smoking rates among immigrants.
Michael Schoenfeld, Duke’s vice president for public affairs and government relations, helped launch the site, which presents research from 62 leading universities in the United States and other countries in a colorful, non-technical format designed to reach wider audiences.
“When we started Futurity five years ago we hoped to create a new channel to those interested in thoughtful stories about university research,” Schoenfeld said. “That has turned into a very successful venture in digital media, and helped create a model collaboration among the top universities in the world.”
Karl Bates, director of research communications for the Office of News and Communications (and editor of this blog), serves as the university’s “bureau chief” for Futurity, working with researchers and communicators across the campus to identify newsworthy stories. He then works with the Futurity editorial team, based at the University of Rochester, to present the stories on Futurity’s website and social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
Schoenfeld, who continues to chair Futurity’s governing board, said the site hopes to build on its success and is considering expanding into new arenas to keep pace with the rapidly changing media landscape.