Dispatch Editor Ben Marrison was nice enough to post a reply to my letter on his own blog over at the Dispatch website.
The piece had some interesting fallout.
A few people who I expected would laugh off the whole thing were quite offended, and those I thought might be offended were actually pretty lighthearted about the whole thing.
I was pleased to learn, through the whole process, that the Dispatch is actually aware of some of their problems, and they have retained a crew of people to help them with their social media - and other - skills.
So, thanks to you, Ben Marrison, for taking my critique with a good dose of humor - you had some funny digs on your post that only close readers would have caught - and for acknowledging the road ahead. It really is my hope that our paper can figure out a way to become great. It would be amazing if we could lead the country in local papers who are doing something great.
I realize we are at a crossroads here, especially with print media, although I feel that we aren't really that far away from the model becoming online only. My parents are in their 60s, and they read most of their news online. I will admit they have always been closer to the cutting edge of technology than a lot of others their age, but it shows that there is a lot of room to develop your online presence.
I would encourage the Dispatch to see their criticism - not just here, but everywhere - as "an opportunity for improvement" (ha! That's one of those corporate phrases I hate but still love to use). Your city wants to support you. We want to root for you. There really isn't a better place from which to start.
I look forward to seeing what the future holds, and don't forget my offer - always willing to lend my services as an overpaid consultant.