Editorial: Where are you right now?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 5, 2008

It makes sense that many readers of the online publication AlbertLeaTribune.com look at the Web site while in Albert Lea, but a surprising chunk of people view the site from outside the delivery area of the print edition.

The Quick Vote at AlbertLeaTribune.com asked online surfers this question:

&8220;Where are you right now?&8221;

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The total votes for the unscientific poll came to 437. Here are the results:

A. Albert Lea, 26.1 percent

B. Not Albert Lea but still in Freeborn County, 11.4 percent

C. Faribault, Mower, Steele, Waseca, Winnebago or Worth counties, 12.1 percent

D. Twin Cities metropolitan area, 11.4, percent

E. Anywhere else in Minnesota or Iowa, 16 percent

F. A southern snowbird location such as Ariz., Texas or Fla., 6.9 percent

G. Anywhere else in America, 13.5, percent

H. A foreign country, 2.5 percent

The Tribune delivers the print edition to Albert Lea and Freeborn County, and it is frequently available in neighboring counties. Add up percentage points for A, B and C and that slice comes to 49.6 percent &8212; just under half.

Add up D, E, F and G, and it means &8212; surprisingly so &8212; that slightly more than half of the readers view the site from outside the delivery area of the printed edition.

It shows that the Web site is extending the reach of the news from Albert Lea, not hindering it. It is why the Tribune receives letters to the editor from Florida and other far-off places. The site helps people who are away keep up on local activities.

The Tribune treats the Web site as a separate publication than the print edition. You can find items there not in the newspaper and vice versa. For instance, photographer Brie Cohen posted photographs from the state wrestling tournament that didn&8217;t make it into the newspaper. That could never be possible in the old ways of work. The recent purchase of presses shows this company&8217;s dedication to the print edition, but you can rest assured we are equally dedicated to the online edition. It is an exciting time of changes for the newspaper industry, and we hope readers see the value of both print and online versions.