Dear Readers for June 4, 2009

I am not an easy person to work for. Might as well admit it -- there are plenty of folks who would testify to it anyway.

I’m not BAD… I’m just intense. Every week, when Blount Today comes off the press, our hard-working, dedicated editor hands me a cup of hot tea and says, “Well, what do you think?”

The best he’s gotten in almost five years is, “Well, I’m almost happy with this one.”

Lest you decide to start organizing my team against me, let me tell you I do have good qualities that make hanging around an okay thing. I just never have enough space, enough ads, enough time to get things exactly the way I want our readers to see them.

So, please understand that when I tell you today that I am so very, very close to being happy with this Blount Today package, it is a big deal.

The key word here is “package.” To fully experience Blount Today this week, you need to read it in print, and experience it at

We have 133 photographs to share with our readers this week in Blount Today. Don’t count the pictures you see in print. The number won’t add up. But count the ones in print and the ones at, and you’ll see 133 of your friends, neighbors and acquaintances this week.

We seldom sit still at Blount Today. Over the past few months, we have been taking more pictures than we ever hope to get in print and putting the extras on our website. Instead of making choices between cutting the heart out of a story to get in more photos or cutting great photos to get in more story, we’re simply keeping the best of both. What doesn’t fit in print goes online.

We are also shooting video. And we’re shooting fun video as well as quick sound bites at news events. The total package means Blount Today truly reflects the things going on in our community.

Thanks to our great advertisers, we also had a little more room this week, so we were able to get in some fun events -- like Hops for Hope and The Garden Shop opening -- that we’ve been sitting on longer than we wanted to. It’s a juggling act every week, and every week Lance and I agonize over putting 15 pounds of potatoes in a 5 pound sack.

The community businesses responded to our “Inventory Reduction Sale,” so we had a few more pages to work with and moved more “inventory.” Please thank the businesses who advertise in Blount Today with your patronage. It means something to them -- and to us -- for you to tell them you saw their message in Blount Today.

But back to our website. This Blount Today team has grown as you have in this Internet world. The editorial team grew up with print. The advertising team did, too. We are lucky enough to have Tessa, our designer, who is both young and hip and has helped us dip our toes into the web since the beginning. Our part-time designer Brad actually does web design as his “real” business. So, we’ve got great support here.

Then Emily came along, a Maryville College graduate even younger than Tessa and Brad. Emily has some ideas for developing web-only content, and she’s has us excited, too. It will mean we can expand and do even more in bringing you a snapshotof this great community.

We’re knee-deep now, and about to take some really great dives. We’ve watched our page view and unique user numbers grow steadily every month for the past two years. We hear more and more from you about things that we put online that aren’t in print. You love the Photo Galleries. You like when we can put our special sections online.

And you are going to love the videos! I’m adding “film maker” to my resume and expect a call from the Academy soon.

OK, maybe not. But it’s fun and expands your community newspaper. We hope to do even more in the future.

So, just in case, if designers start calling for my Oscar gown, I’m extremely partial to either the designer St. Johns or Badgley Mischka.

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

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