Whit Honea steps in as new editor of the Dads & Families section as Robert Duffer steps out and reflects on a year of growth.
It’s time for me to step down as editor of the Dads & Families section of the Good Men Project. It’s been a year since I started, which is a long time in the ever-changing frontscape of digital media, so I want to reflect on our coverage of the major developments in dads’ evolution in popular culture and the major milestones shared by many of the dads and adult children shared on the site.
First some numbers. Readership at the GMP as measured by pageviews and subscribers has continued to grow, validating the GMP’s contention that it is hosting the conversation no one else is having. The discourse of men’s issues and the evolving roles of gender in our society has reached a cultural tipping point in this new era where men and women share more domestic and professional responsibilities than ever before.
From the beginning of July through September of 2012, the section had 270k pvs, or just under 3 percent of traffic. The magazine was reorganizing and going through some staff changes. From the same time period this year the Dads & Families had 1.325 million page views, accounting for 7 percent of traffic. August was the best month in the magazine’s history.
These numbers don’t reflect on me as much as they do the dedicated effort on the part of the senior editorial team to raise the profile of dads discourse. I was fortunate enough to be part of the team. Of all the nuanced and sometimes impossible-to-predict reasons for the growth, one of the direct and undeniable reasons for this success were the quality of the contributions. In short, the writing.
Contributors to the Dads & Families section have signed book deals, published memoirs, appeared on Huffington Post Live, Raising America and other local and national broadcasts, have had essays published in The New York Times, Huffington Post, iVillage Australia, Harvard Business Review and too many more to mention, and most importantly raised the profile of men talking about what it means to be a man and why it matters.
Covering everything from the death of Mr. Mom to the muddled message of the Boy Scouts, from gender inequality studies and media reports on the new dad, contributors covered the toughest subjects in the form of what matters most to them and coping with grief, loss, joy, wonder—the entire range of the human condition.
The contributors, and the reader responses, along with the weekly editorial calls and countless emails as to what can make the GMP better and how, have provided an invaluable and incalculable learning experience for which I am eternally grateful.
My personal contributions as a monthly columnist read like a crazy chronology that I am still grasping to comprehend, from the reportorial to the personal.
I am most proud of simply being part of the conversation and for hundreds of writers trusting me with their work.
Life is moving at the speed of parenting. That is at the core of my decision to step down: time. I want to spend more engaged time with my kids, more profitable time on my career, and more healthful time on myself. I’m the man in The Giving Tree. Sorry, tree, self-interest is good for the species.
The section will be in far bigger and better hands with Whit Honea (don’t say it like that; it’s Honea as in “pony”), who is a damn talented writer and a fine editor with a sharp eye for connecting audiences and an open ear for balancing pathos and wit. Yes, wit. Honea as in pony.
I also want to thank Lisa Hickey, CEO and engine in overdrive of the GMP, who leads by leading, and who, despite battling Lyme disease and being hit by shrapnel at the Boston Marathon madness amidst the day-to-day madness of running a digital magazine and media company, has been a model of pragmatism, passion, dedication and drive.
I’ll still be writing, editing, posting, publishing and sharing and you can bet your ass I’ll let you know about it (www.robertduffer.com/).
Thanks for reading,