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Oct
10

Editorial 661


Missy Layfield - Editor

Never in My Wildest Dreams

I can clearly remember the day many years ago when an office equipment salesman stood in my office explaining the future of business communications was going be the fax machine. Being a polite Midwesterner, I did not laugh or toss him to the curb, though my inner self certainly wanted to. I could not imagine the function, purpose, need, or advantages of business communications beyond the telephone, US Mail, or UPS/Fed Ex packages.

Fast forward to today, and I acknowledge that the salesman years ago was just ahead of his or my time. These days, I am a much quicker adoptee of personal and business technology if useful, not too time consuming to learn and affordable.

As a result of technology, today we offer our readers and advertisers 5 different platforms of news and information, including our flagship weekly newspaper. I mention this because I know many of you see us only as your local newspaper.

Our monthly Entertainment Magazine is the go-to publication for what is going on in our area. Events, activities, and entertainment are listed at no charge in our daily calendar format every month.(Deadline for November calendar items is Wednesday, October 23.) Each month also features the premier events in the area for that month with specific event information and background. This month Pirate Fest and Halloween are our focus. November will feature Paint the Beach and the Sand Sculpting Championships. Check our newsstands for our latest issue.

Many of you have also discovered our website at www.islandsandpaper.com. Paid subscriptions ($30/yr) get you the entire weekly issue – cover to cover – including ads, along with archives of past issues. We have 4 stories each week available at no charge which is more than most others offer. I know you have found us because our web statistics indicate our traffic is now over 600,000 unique visitors annually. That translates to a couple thousand of you visit the site every day to read island news…or see the Back Page Girl…I am not sure which. It is a true indicator of growth in digital access to information and news…not something new to anyone, but relevant because it speaks to what is going on right here and right now in our community.

Most of us have suffered through trying to access certain websites that load slowly or don’t format well on our smart phones or tablets. We decided that rebuilding our current website for mobile applications was not what we wanted to do, so we created our 4th platform. Our mobile application can be found at www.i-sandpaper.com The purpose of this is to be the best digital guide of local consumer information available. Where to stay, dine, shop, and go. This format provides free phone directory listings in each category. (If you would like your business added, please let us know) Businesses can choose to create and send an advertising message to reader’s smart phones and tablets via i-sandpaper.com to inform and attract customers. This message does not have the same deadline and circulation limitations that print ads can have. We are very positive about this product for readers and advertisers in the future. Stay tuned as we continue to populate this application with more and more information.

The latest world we have entered as a company is social media, Facebook specifically. Sandy Sandness joined our company a few months ago. Sandy is an Island resident who brings 19 years of Yellow Pages advertising experience with her along with a lot of great ideas. As a result, Sandy took over our Facebook page for Island Sand Paper and has been sharing our collective vision. Visit us, like us, and you will see where we are heading, with hats off to Sandy for a great start to this venture. Our goal is to share and create interest in our beautiful area, the activities going on here, and in our many fine local businesses.

Frankly, we think our Facebook page and the information it shares is another benefit to being part of our family of advertisers. It’s another place we can share what they have going on with their businesses. We naturally pay more attention to our advertisers, so why wouldn’t we share what they have going on? Are we selling ads or space on our Facebook page? No. Are we posting businesses’ direct commercial messages or ads? No. This is a place to share snippets of info, and tell you where to find more. So you will see references to content in our other platforms: newspaper, magazine, website, and mobile app. You will see beautiful beach photos. Sandy is a great photographer, I’ve learned. You will see postings to check out this or that going on. Humor, beauty, information, most of it contributed by you, right here, and right now. Got something to share on our page? Contact Sandy directly at sandy2.sandpaper@gmail.com

Yes, I must admit I never saw all this coming, but I can’t think of a more exciting time to be in business in our great community of Fort Myers Beach.

Comments on this or how we are doing are always welcome at bob@islandsandpaper.com

Bob Layfield