Will you advise me?
I need your thoughts on how to make Bay Weekly work better for you.
You know how change goes: The thighbone is connected to the knee bone, and before you know it the whole skeleton is shaking.
That’s what’s happening with 8 Days a Week now that we’re seeking a new calendar editor. As we rattle old bones, we’re wondering whether old solutions are still useful — for us and for you.
Subliminally or not, you’ll probably notice one change initiated this week both in 8 Days a Week, where the usage is most common, and throughout our pages. That’s the elimination of small capital letters on am, pm, noon and midnight. Thus 11am to noon, 2pm or midnight now appear as plain 11am to noon, 2pm or midnight.
We adopted that use of small caps for our style way back in 1993 because of its elegance. With regret, we now abandon it to save time. Each usage requires a separate step and menu, in both print and online. That’s time our mental efficiency experts came to begrudge. So farewell small caps.
Can you bear to lose them? Or is this a point of style too small to worry about?
More practical is the question of addresses in calendar listings.
Our Chesapeake region is a big one, stretching about 70 miles from Severna Park to Solomons Island and in width from the Bay to the Patuxent River and then up Route 301. Not even our five faithful delivery drivers know every location in that stretch.
Back in the day, we believed that including street addresses, with phone numbers, in an entry helped you get to your destination. That day was before the Worldwide Web, before GPS, before smart phones.
As the world changed, we added web addresses, too.
So today, when 61 percent of our nation use smart phones, do we still need to list addresses?
With information at your fingertips, is your habit to look up an event before setting out?
Take Annapolis Community Boating’s monthly Full Moon Paddle, for example.
Here’s the 8 Days a Week entry for that July 20 event:
Full Moon Paddle
The full moons lights the way as you paddle thru Back Creek and the Annapolis harbor for Annapolis Community Boating’s monthly full moon paddle. Bring a dish to share for a BBQ/potluck dinner before your journey. 7-10pm at Ellen Moyer Nature Park, 7314 Edgewood Rd., Annapolis. $20 w/discounts; rsvp: 410-703-8243; www.annapolisboating.org.
We tell you the opportunity, the requirements, the time and the place, plus price, phone and web. Is the address — 7314 Edgewood Rd. — any help to you?
Whether or not you know where Annapolis Community Boating holds its events, you’d rsvp for this one. I suspect before committing to going, you’d first look online to find out a little more, maybe about what to bring for dinner.
Figuring you guide yourself nowadays, we’re leaning toward eliminating street addresses.
Dropping them could help save us enough time and space to add information you’d value more.
But what information do you value?
Would you like to see who’s playing night by night at the many bars and clubs in our big Anne Arundel-Calvert County region?
Music calendar was a feature in our pages for many years, and as page space became too competitive.
Should we reconsider that decision?
Would you prefer to see weekly listings of what’s showing at art galleries (usually a show runs a month or more)? Or are you satisfied with our current listing of openings, and artists’ receptions?
Should museum exhibit openings get the same coverage as art exhibits?
Skipping over a section to The Moviegoer, what’s your opinion about movie times at the three movie houses in our immediate region? Do you need the time listings? Or, after reading Diana Beechener’s review and previews, do you go online for times and locations?
Yes, the skeleton is shaking. From the thighbone, we’ve connected to toe bones and clavicles.
So, dear reader, I need your advice. Please tell me how you use our event listings and what we can do to make them work better for you.
While you’re at it, why don’t you tell me what you’d like to see more of — or less of — in Bay Weekly — plus what you think we’re missing.
July 25 to August 1’s 8 Days a Week comes to you thanks to Michelle Steel, a long-time contributor who’s adding calendar to the positions she can play.
Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; firstname.lastname@example.org