With all the talk about newspapers failing, or dying, or being too old-fashioned to be relevant, I committed myself to attend three conferences within two weeks: the Minnesota Newspaper Association annual convention, the Midwest Newspaper Summit session (a follow-up to last year's session), and the Iowa Newspaper Association's convention.
I wasn't sure what I'd hear and learn at these meetings with hundreds of other newspaper people, most of them from small community papers. But I have to say I was pretty impressed. Actually, I was blown away.
I learned a number of technical things that will help our photos print better, for instance, or where to focus our efforts on-line.
But I also learned that we, the Tri-County News, are in a great position to move forward into the future. We'll be here, going strong, not only a year from now, but 10 years from now and, most likely, 20 years from now.
I've returned from Bloomington and Des Moines with an award (see the photo at right of MNA president Jody Hansen and me), a couple of books, lots of pens and doo-dads, and a notebook packed full of projects, ideas, contacts, and information.
I'm already using some of it. And I can't wait to tackle projects from the notebook, one page at a time. It's a great day for newspapers, and for us at the Tri-County News and www.tricountynews.MN.
This week's paper is a "saturation issue" in that it's going out to every address in Kimball, Watkins, and South Haven. Our plan for 2010 is to send out a saturation issue every month, on the third Thursday each month (except in December, when it will be on the fourth Thursday, for the Christmas issue). This is a lot of extra work, more than double what it takes to put out a "regular" paper. But it's well worth it. Putting out a bigger, better paper to everyone in our community each month is great for our advertisers, and great for our community.
We hope you like this week's paper. Next month is the annual Business Issue, on March 18. Call us soon to be sure you're included! We invite you to subscribe, too, if you don't already. In fact, if you're a new subscriber, call us and we'll sign you up for a month trial for FREE.
Saturday, March 27, is the annual Kimball Area Business and Community Expo, again at Kimball Area High School (south entrance). The expo will run from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., and there's still time to sign up as an exhibitor. This is a great chance to meet potential customers, and to show off your products and services. You can contact either Leo Wirth (398-8211) or Mike Zieska (282-1509) to sign up. Or stop by the Tri-County News office and get a copy of the sign-up forms.
Watch out for e-mail scams
Cal Brown stopped in the office a few weeks ago, from his home in Palisade, and we had a pleasant visit. So imagine my surprise when a few days later I received an e-mail from him saying that he was stuck in London and needed to borrow money to pay his hotel bill and fly home. Well, I knew he wasn't in London, and that it wasn't Cal who'd sent the e-mail. So I reported it to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Then I called Cal. I was about the eighth person to have received this spam. Someone hacked into his e-mail account and spammed everyone in his address book.
So be careful out there. It can be kinda scary sometimes.