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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Launching a "News of Neighbors" page was a source of worry early on


Very early on in our ownership of the Kuna Melba News, it may have even been the second week, I decided to dedicate Page 2 to “News of Neighbors,” which would contain weddings, engagements, birthdays, graduations, etc. Strangely, the News of Neighbors page caused me the most amount of stress the first few weeks. I wanted to take the strategy of launching something new only if I knew for sure that it was sustainable. I started my weekly “Editor’s Notebook” column knowing I was going to be able to fill that each week. We launched a community calendar, knowing that we had enough items to keep that going for several weeks. We started an “At the Library” feature with the agreement that the library was going to supply something each week.
But News of Neighbors, to some extent, was a crapshoot. This page would rely almost solely on reader-submitted items. Already in just a few weeks, I had noticed that submitted items like this were coming in regularly, but would they come every single week? What if Tuesday rolled around and not a single person had submitted a single News of Neighbors item? What would I do? How would I fill that page? Each time I received something through email or through the door, I would rejoice that I would at least have one thing to put on that page.
Those first few weeks, though, I did most of my worrying about the News of Neighbors page. Five-and-a-half years later, I can say with some degree of astonishment that we never had a blank News of Neighbors page. Every single week, for five-and-a-half years, someone somewhere always sent something in to use on that page. I’m still amazed by that.

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