FTAF 100

Jill Rodgers, Journals Marketing Manager, on FTAF‘s 100th birthday.

Our From the Archive Friday feature turned 100 on Friday, and this Press employee finds it hard to believe. In May of 2011, the Journals division launched the From the Archive Friday (FTAF) program as a way to highlight select content from the depths of our online catalog and share that content freely with the public. We had done this type of promotion on occasion when something in the news triggered a remembrance of an article past. FTAF is way to do this on a regular basis, and allows readers who might not normally dabble in MIT Press content to sample our fine works.

We select a single article weekly, the subject of which is often tied to current events or historical anniversaries. We select a quote from the article, compose a summary, and then make the article freely available in whatever format it appears (normally PDF and PDF Plus, but sometimes full-text HTML as well). Through our analytical tools, we know that readers spend twice as much time on the FTAF page than on our site’s other pages. We also know that promoting an article through the FTAF program triggers four, six, up to twelve times as many downloads of that article during its selection time than during the rest of the year.

Here are some of the most popular postings based on page views:

·         “The Coloring of Jazz: Race and Record Cover Design in American Jazz, 1950 to 1970” from Design Issues, Winter 2007. Selected for FTAF in January 2012, on what would have been Dizzy Gillespie’s 95th birthday.

·         “What is Yours, Ours, and Mine: Authorial Ownership and the Creative Commons” from October, Fall 2008. Selected for FTAF in January 2012, following the heated discussions surrounding SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act).

·         “Marriage Strategy among the German Nobility, 1400-1699” from the Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Autumn 1998. Selected for FTAF in October of 2011, after internet bandying of The Atlantic’s popular piece discussing recent marriage trends among women (or lack thereof, see “All the Single Ladies.”

You can see all 100 selections listed on the FTAF Archive page.

If you follow the MIT Press on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, you’ll likely see our weekly announcements for the new FTAF selections. You can also subscribe to the FTAF RSS feed and have the selections dropped into your favorite feeds readers automatically. Whatever your preferred method of accessing FTAF, we welcome your feedback on the program, as well as your requests on what type of content to highlight going forward.