Years ago, before I moved to Las Vegas, I lived in a community in Southern California that was populated predominantly by retirees.
They lived in giant mobile home communities and their “rock lawns” were repainted grass green once a year. They brought with them the assets they had accumulated throughout their lives and it was said that there was more money in the banks along the main street through town than on Wall Street.
We were so immersed into the mentality of senior citizens, that when we ran across a crossword puzzle clue, senior dance in four letters, we were stumped for days.
I’ll give you a couple of seconds to think about it. OK, time’s up. The answer is prom.
But living in this community affected more than just our thought patterns. It also affected the way we drove through town.
There were plenty of people who probably shouldn’t have been driving any longer. The growing population scared them and they drove too slowly or erratically, often causing younger drivers and those in a rush to become impatient and act rashly. Sometimes these actions caused accidents or near-accidents.
We used to call these senior drivers “Hey Mabels” because the were so preoccupied with what they were doing or where they were going that they didn’t realized they might have caused the situation around them.
We created imaginary scenarios where they would say to their friend, “Hey, Mabel. Did you see that?”
That made me realize there are many instances where we get so wrapped up in the specifics of something that we forget to notice anything else, see the big picture, or tell others about it. On Feb. 1, we launched our new website. Our editorial staff has spent weeks learning about the new online platform and the enhanced coverage we can provide. We now have the ability to customize our website to showcase the top news of the week.
We have learned how to create videos that can be added to stories, attach documents and create maps that show you where something is happening or where it happened.
There’s also a calendar feature where readers can submit their events, as well as the opportunity to submit a letter to the editor or feedback.
We have devoted hours to creating special online-only content.
Not only that, but we have spent months building a team in our office that is designed to meet all of your needs and answer questions.
In addition to our editorial department, we have a full-time office coordinator who specializes in handling circulation issues and new subscriptions along with the ability to help you place a classified ad or put an obituary in the paper.
We also have an advertising sales executive dedicated to helping local businesses and groups get the word out about their services and events, both in print and digitally on our website.
And just like Hey Mabel, we have been too preoccupied offering these services and writing about the news in town to make sure that those around us saw and knew about the changes we made.
Hopefully, you have noticed. But, just in case, “Hey Mabel, did you see that?”
Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.