The Best of 2015: The Stories You Read and Shared Most

It's been a busy year for associations, and their work has continued to shape the news every day. We dug into our readership numbers to give you a look at the most popular Associations Now stories of 2015.

Is 2015 really almost over already? Time flies when you’re watching associations do their work.

Before we go on a short break for the end of the year, we took a look at our web-traffic data to find out what you found most interesting, compelling, and buzz-worthy this year at Associations Now. You, dear audience, are an eclectic bunch, as the most popular stories cover a wide variety of topics—though technology seems to be a subtle theme. Read on to remember another year in associations.

Most-Viewed Stories

1. Could the SIM Card Become a Thing of the Past?

By Ernie Smith, July 20
The little card that ties a single phone to a single network could be on the chopping block as the GSM Association works with Apple and Samsung on an update that could have broad support from mobile providers.

2. Off-the-Cuff: Tips for Improving Impromptu Speaking Skills

By Katie Bascuas, January 29
Should you ever find yourself in a situation that calls for unscripted speaking, take some tips from executive speaking coach Anett Grant, who shared some secrets of the trade to help master the art of impromptu speech.

3. Member-Data Collection: The Never-Ending Story

By Joe Rominiecki, March 18
Associations have long wondered how to get more members to update their profile info. One association says the key is realizing data management is a multi-channel, every-day job.

4. Blast From the Past: Is 2015 the Year of the Chat Room?

By Ernie Smith, January 6
It’s been about two decades since the chat room was truly in vogue, but would 2015 prove a turning point for chat in the private community sector? Our tech blogger took some insights from the success of Slack.

5. The State of Email Design Stinks

By Ernie Smith, November 17
If you’d like to push the envelope with an email message, you might be in for a world of pain. Like web design in general a decade ago, email design remains mired in a set of inconsistent standards and poor rendering support by popular clients. The result is that email marketers are often stuck playing it safe.

Most-Shared Stories

  1. Member-Data Collection: The Never-Ending Story, by Joe Rominiecki, March 18
  2. Nonprofit Boards Are Largely Ineffective, Stanford Study Finds, by Katie Bascuas, April 27
  3. What Would Your Former Members Say You’re Worth?, by Joe Rominiecki, March 25
  4. The State of Email Design Stinks, by Ernie Smith, November 17
  5. Without Membership Metrics, You’re Working Blindfolded, by Joe Rominiecki, January 14

Readership Highlights

Despite the ubiquity of mobile devices, desktop reading still dominates among association readers, though smartphone traffic gained some ground in 2015. (If you haven’t checked out Associations Now on your phone, give it a try. The responsive design looks great, in our humble opinion.)

Twitter has a relatively strong following in the association community. In a wider world where Facebook dominates social traffic and sharing (even now outpacing Google), Associations Now continued to see more traffic and sharing activity via Twitter than any other social network in 2015—though Facebook did make a significant gain in traffic compared to last year. Will that trend continue in 2016?

Big Days

As was the case last year, Associations Now‘s biggest day for traffic was the day of its most-viewed single article for the year: Tuesday, July 20, when we published Ernie Smith’s “Could the SIM Card Become a Thing of the Past?” on the Technology Blog.

The most-opened edition of Associations Now Daily News was delivered on a Wednesday—in particular, the Wednesday immediately following the close of the 2015 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition in Detroit, with the subject line “#ASAE15: Motor City Memories.” We hope it made good reading for attendees waiting to board flights home on August 12.

August 12 Daily News

Staying Power

Some stories were so compelling that they held your attention both in the moment and over the long term.

Longest average time spent on page:Embrace the (March) Madness and Other Productivity Tips,” by Katie Bascuas, March 26. Readers spent 7 minutes, 41 seconds, on average, learning about productivity by reading this post on the Money & Business Blog—always a highly productive activity.

Most “evergreen” story:Take It From the Top: How Leaders Foster an Ethical Culture (or Not),” by Lori Porter, MBA, IOM, CAE, January 16, 2014. Porter’s guest blog post was part of a weeklong series about the ASAE Standards of Conduct and focused on organizational ethics and the actions of leaders. It lived on as the pre-2015 article most read this year at Associations Now.

Top Stories by Topic


Anthropological Association Takes a Stand in Native American Mascot Debate, by Rob Stott, March 30


Could the SIM Card Become a Thing of the Past?, by Ernie Smith, July 20


Member-Data Collection: The Never-Ending Story, by Joe Rominiecki, March 18

Money & Business

Off-the-Cuff: Tips for Improving Impromptu Speaking Skills, by Katie Bascuas, January 29


Early Meeting Predictions for 2016, by Samantha Whitehorne, October 2

What other Associations Now stories stood out to you in 2015? Share your favorites in the comments.


Joe Rominiecki

By Joe Rominiecki

Joe Rominiecki, manager of communications at the Entomological Society of America, is a former senior editor at Associations Now. MORE

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