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Change is seldom smooth, readers remind us

Change is tough. On everybody.

It’s been 12 weeks now that the Business Press has been in its new format and some questions have come up. Let me answer some of those frequently asked questions.

1) Where did you go? I can’t find you on the Internet.

Our new website is up and running at BusinessPress.Vegas. It’s important that we have our own website as we grow into our own identity. Look at it as moving out of your parents’ home. Still love ‘em; just need our own place.

Type the new address in once and you’ll have it.

The shift to the trendy .Vegas address, however, comes with a cautionary tale for businesses everywhere. I was doing some research at a big name website and went to register for a product. I filled in the information form and – surprise – my .Vegas address was deemed “not a valid address.” Interesting for a tech-savvy company to be unable to handle .Vegas. I contacted the site’s help desk and was urged to “just work around it” and enter another email address. Wow.

That got me to thinking: How many websites are going to be caught flatfooted as new domains proliferate? Is your website up to the challenge of addresses that don’t end in .com, .org or .net? This would be a good time to find out.

2) What happened to the “numbers” feature? It was always interesting.

Interesting yes, but also a bit random. We like the concept of the column; we like numbers; we like that kind of quick-read content. The issue is really one of context. If we tell you there were X units sold in February, wouldn’t it be nice to know how that compares to the previous month or year and what it means?

We’re working on developing a new numbers column. It could rematerialize as a package of rotating statistics. It could involve some trend lines that seek to use numbers to track the economic health of the valley. Or maybe we’re overthinking this and a certain amount of randomness may be a healthy counterpoint to the rest of the content.

Perhaps the best course here is to invite you, the reader, to tell us what you’d like to see. That’s an approach that’s worked well for us so far. I’m always up for a good idea. Drop me a note at nbell@BusinessPress.Vegas.

3) Why won’t the Business Press write about my new pizza parlor/shoe store/hair salon?

That one is easy. By definition, we’re working in a business-to-business space. Our audience of business owners and decision makers is interested in buying/selling goods and services to other businesses. We served that need by reporting when you took out a business license. At your store opening, you’re trying to reach the broad sweep of consumers. That’s not our audience. But we can point you to a fine set of consumer-facing products over at our parents’ place at ReviewJournal.com

4) I like the paper. I like the e-newsletter. How do I subscribe?

Busted.

When we started the website, a glitch was sending would-be subscribers to a sister publication … in Arkansas. We moved quickly to get that stopped but then we got distracted. A couple of weeks back, I accepted the responsibility to write new content for that subscription page. It never happened.

The result was called to my attention by a reader who wanted the e-newsletter. Luckily, he was persistent enough to chase me down. He got his newsletter but I still haven’t solved the underlying issue. This week, for sure.

In the interim, if you’d like to subscribe to the print or email product, contact me at nbell@BusinessPress.Vegas. I’ll fix you up and every email will be reminding me why I need to write that content for the subscription page.

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