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August 1, 2013
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Help us shape your paper

Maybe you can help us.

Last week I wrote about our content strategy — well, between whining about having to do the exercise and being laughed at for finding the root of everything here being “fun.” But honestly, that’s what a swami atop Holy Cross would tell us if we asked the secret, I’m sure. Never mind the irony of a tough climb to get there.

We use our strategy as the touchstone for ideas like “On the Hill,” our popular video feature, and fistful of magazines along with how we focus coverage by the day and season in the Vail Daily. And, of course, the Weekly focuses entirely on fun in the sense of having some.

All that strategizing is great, and it makes us feel smarter for having a grand scheme that focuses our resources. But what truly is important is what you actually see and read. There are lots of well-thought-out strategies, concepts and such that also turn out ... lame.

Our fortunes really depend on your engagement with what we, or Coca-Cola for that matter, produce. (Just lost points with the newsroom, oops. “Comparing us to a Coke, Rogers? Really?”)

Our business turns on people reading our papers, our magazines, our website in all its permutations, and responding not only to the stories, pictures, charts and all, but to the advertising messages, as well. That’s it. Simple, but never easy. The rest is fizz and risk of overthinking.

Our newsroom focuses on readers and what they need to know. I listen all the time — once in the front row of a Young Dubliners concert while a new friend shouted his advice for the paper. We see what gets the most response in coverage. We have a fair amount of experience to know what will resonate and what will get a shrug and quickly turned page.

And sometimes we go out and ask you in a variety of ways. Imagine that? My personal favorite is the chairlift survey. That is, I go snowboarding and just do what comes naturally. And get paid! Note to self: Quit feeling guilty about that and just do like Nike says.

Right now we have an, um, more scientific approach online. Here’s where you can help shape the paper more to your interests and information needs: Take our reader survey online at vaildaily.com.

It’s a little long, but we thought we needed fuller list to maybe dial in a bit more than previous surveys. It took me 10 minutes, and we’ll see if that’s too long for best results.

Our bait is the chance to win an iPad Mini. I’m a fan, but not eligible, of course.

We’ve been doing a number of surveys during the past few years, but this is the first since 2007 focusing this much on readers and their interests in news content. I’m eager to see how tastes have changed, as well as those that have endured, since then.

So I’m hoping you will take some time to help us shape our paper. It’s as much your baby as mine, after all.


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The VailDaily Updated Aug 1, 2013 09:20PM Published Aug 6, 2013 02:41PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.