A Little Bit of Background

My hearing has been stable since birth, and chances are it will probably stay that way until age-related hearing loss catches up with me. I was fitted reasonably late in life, at 38 (two years ago) and so my interest for audiology and hearing loss in general is quite fresh. I’m a bit of a geek, so I did my homework when I was fitted, but hearing loss wasn’t really a big part of my life growing up (I considered it a detail), and as my loss is mild to medium I clearly approach things from another angle than people with severe hearing loss or profound deafness. Hence the variety of contributors that we are currently getting in touch with for this blog.

Steph on Phonak roof

I’m aware the field of hearing loss/audiology is fraught with occasions to say things the wrong way, so I hope you’ll forgive me (and gently let me know) if I blunder into an issue with big uninformed boots. I’ll do my best not to, of course!

I’d also like to say a few words about my involvement in Phonak’s community blog project, and what I’ll be doing here. I started blogging a long time ago, in 2000. My blog Climb to the Stars is still active, and in it I write about pretty much anything that catches my interest, from futile to serious. I’ve been a “social media professional” since 2005, though I hate the term (“social media” didn’t exist back then). Over the years I’ve worked with ┬ácompanies big and small to get them started with blogging or social media, manage their blogs, or assist them in establishing relationships with bloggers that go beyond “let’s put you on our mailing list and send you press releases and goodies every now and again”.

A few months ago Vincent and I met up to discuss a possible collaboration. Phonak had been thinking about setting up a community-oriented blog, and they were looking for somebody who had expertise in blogging and and also had direct experience with hearing loss. Based in Switzerland, in addition to that. That would be me!

We kicked things off early this year and as you can see we’re now in the process of getting the blog off the ground, defining its direction, and getting people inside and outside of Phonak interested in contributing. In addition to my blog-editor-in-chief role, I will be writing articles based on my personal experience and reflexions, and also what I’m discovering about audiology and hearing loss through my contacts with Phonak.

I’m really excited about this project, first because it’s a rather large-scale blogging project on a topic that is of personal interest to me, and second because of the role we are hoping this blog will play in the relationship between the company and “the outside world”, if I may put it like that. We find the vision behind Microsoft’s Channel 9 inspiring, and I’m really looking forward to opening the doors to passionate Phonak employees so that you can read what they have to share directly.

If you have questions about the blog or ideas, or if you’d like to contribute, feel free to get in touch!

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