This time last year I hammered out a Note from a Berkeley, Calif., coffeeshop after having spent four days at a conference learning how to better integrate the digital world of Boise Weekly with our print world. At the time, I wrote that we didn't have a choice about throwing ourselves headlong into the digital world. "These days," I wrote, "a good local newspaper does more for its readers than sit on a shelf for a week."
At the time that meant providing a constant stream of robust web content through video, blogs and slideshows. It meant developing solid social media strategies to better connect readers with content.
I returned from the same conference earlier this week with a long to-do list. Much of last year's conversation--how to monetize the web, how to produce more content with fewer resources--has evolved into a discussion that starts from the assumption that we have those issues figured out and moves forward on a mobile mission. According to one speaker this weekend, mobile ad revenue has more than doubled in the last two years. Given that smartphones only account for about 30 percent of the market, mobile is poised to become a money maker.
But my business is content, not money. And this weekend, I learned about all kinds of new editorial tools within both the mobile world and the social networking world. One of them, Storify, I've put to work at boiseweekly.com with coverage of the mega-loads that started rolling on U.S. Highway 12 this week. You'll find it online in News.
In this week's edition of Boise Weekly, you'll find the usual monthly First Thursday coverage. Rediscovered Bookshop will host a reading of work from winners of Boise Weekly's Fiction 101 contest. You'll find details on Page 21, as well as detailed event listings and a map to help you find your way on Pages 22-24. Also kicking off this First Thursday is Valentine's for AIDS at Flying M Coffeehouse, a preview of which is on Page 28. And in keeping with what seems to be an art-heavy theme this week, don't miss this week's main feature, an in-depth look into Boise Art Museum's current exhibition Critical Messages.