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Ready to Roll: Annual Manual and BW 

Annual Manual: In the alt journalism world, those two words are the equivalent of "something wicked this way comes." In other words, for the next year of your life, you'll be thinking of virtually nothing other than this looming project, and despite your best efforts to chip away at it all year, the final weeks will arrive with massive amounts of work yet to be done, forcing the complete surrender of your personal life, exercise routine, sobriety and, ultimately, your soul. And in the glorious, yet fragile weeks between the time you ship it off to the press and the day it inserts into every edition of your paper, it is then and only then that you will find some peace before it all begins again.

OK, that's a bit melodramatic, but no joke--from the sales staff to the design team to the editorial department, getting Annual Manual from a mere line on our planning calendar and into your hands each year is an immense effort, which makes its arrival in this week's edition all the more rewarding.

Even as it hits stands, however, we know that since we've gone to print, a few things have changed, rendering our masterpiece ever so slightly flawed from the get-go. Such is the nature of an annual publication. As always, if you have suggestions for us on how we can improve our yearly guide to life, the Treasure Valley and everything, drop me a line.

In other alt journalism news, most of the BW staff just returned from New Orleans, where our annual trade association conference was held. For me it was a chance to regret drinking my first hurricane, as well as to gauge how our daily efforts at BW stack up against those of our peers.

So much of our energy over the last few years has been directed at expanding Boise Weekly from a once-weekly newspaper into a seven-day multimedia company that it always astonishes me how indifferent some of our alt media peers are to the old "interwebs." Then again, some of those papers also produce among the strongest editorial content in the association. As editor at BW, my goal is to nail it all--from digital media to the print product--and trust me, it's no easy feat. But with a little renewed inspiration from others in the business and a few extra minutes on my hands with the completion of Annual Manual, I'm ready to keep working at it.

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