Dear Readers January 29, 2009

It’s a good thing I’ve never seen a 40-hour work week. Otherwise, I’m afraid my boss would be docking my pay for “Facebook” time.

My children got me into it. Truthfully, it was easy to ignore until so many folks from Blount County started signing up. Then long-lost friends started finding me. Then my sons sent out “friend requests” for me to some of their friends.

Now I am hooked. It’s just too tempting to share some part of your day with people you know. It may be a simple, “Sherri is grumpy,” or a “Sherri is working on Today’s Bride.” Whatever the mood or activity, a simple sentence on Facebook can bring a gentle chiding from an old friend or a “hang in there” from someone in an office across the street.

There are a lot of Blount Today readers who are Facebook friends. It’s amazing what you can learn. One friend posted a little early on his page that he was heading for the Florida sun and, when he turned up at a luncheon that day, was fielding questions from his Facebook friends on why he wasn’t in Florida! I’ve seen pictures of new granddaughters (they are beautiful, Carolyn and Denia), heard my beach buddy may miss our trip this year (not going to happen, Amy), and learned that folks once liked to “cruise Midland Center” (ours was the Mug N Cone so I want to hear those stories).

Actually, Facebook has also become a good tool for Blount Today, so I could probably avoid the whole docking-pay thing. Blount Today now has its own group -- the “I subscribe to Blount Today” group. It’s open to anyone and is designed to let our great readers know how to get Blount Today delivered to their homes through the mail if they miss the home delivery.

In case you aren’t a Facebook friend, let me tell you all about our subscription service. This is something we’ve been working on since December and is something we are really excited about. We knew when we stopped driveway delivery in January that some people would prefer the convenience of having Blount Today delivered to their homes. Even though we greatly increased our racks and the number of papers we have on the streets, we also wanted to get Blount Today in the mailboxes of people who wanted home delivery.

So now we can -- almost. The post office requires 200 mailings in each zip code in order to get the bulk rate I need to mail the paper. So, we are starting with 37801, 37803 and 37804, with plans to add other zips as soon as we can. Anyone in those three zip codes can sign up NOW for home delivery of Blount Today. The rate is reasonable -- $31.20 for the entire year. Payment is by credit card or check. You can sign up by calling 865-981-9101 Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by coming by our office and picking up a subscription form.

In the next couple of weeks we will also have some charities selling Blount Today subscriptions, with $5 of each subscription going to the charity. Signing up through our website is also on the horizon.

I have a lofty goals for our subscriptions and some say I have more faith than sense. Can’t help that. I truly believe in Blount Today and think folks will sign up for home delivery if they know it will come through the mail in a consistent, timely fashion. If you are one of those folks, sign up soon!

Another Facebook treat that Blount Today is borrowing is the 25 Random Things About Me exercise. It has been so much fun to read the Random Things friends write that we are going to change our Chat Room to 25 Random Things for the next eight weeks. We revamp our Chat Room questions every year, so this gives us a chance to really look at them, revise them and keep our Chat Room fresh.

While we ponder our questions, we will share 25 Random Things from some of your Blount County neighbors in our Chat Room. These won’t be the ones who have posted them on Facebook but neighbors we have selected and asked to share their Randomness with Blount Today readers.

See why I love my job? You can’t miss a single minute or issue of Blount Today. We’ve just got too much going on!

© 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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