Milestone: Monthly Reminders

Blue overlay to solicit voluntary financial support for The Chronicle

The Chronicle’s milestone column was originally conceived as a monthly feature – an opportunity for either the editor or the publisher to relay housekeeping news to readers, or offer opinions on topics related to media and journalism. It was also conceived as a monthly reminder to readers that actual human beings who live among them are reporting, writing and editing this publication.

Blue overlay reminder notice

Screenshot of blue overlay reminder notice. After it’s been closed – by clicking the “close button” in the upper righthand of the overlay – it should not appear again as a reader continues to navigate through The Chronicle’s site.

The monthly milestone column was also a vehicle for reminding readers that it takes regular financial contributions from readers like them to sustain this publication. As we look to transition this from a monthly to an occasional column, we’d like to maintain a monthly schedule of reminders to folks: If you perceive a benefit from The Chronicle to yourself and the broader community, then please consider contributing financial support so that benefit can be sustained.

So, to maintain a regular monthly reminder, especially in those months when we don’t publish a milestone column, we’re trying out a blue overlay – which should have appeared on your screen if you visited the website today (Feb. 2, 2013). In some ways, it’s an awful and ostentatious way to greet Chronicle readers. But to make it go away, just click in the upper righthand corner on the “close button.” It shouldn’t appear again for the duration of your visit.

Of course, instead of clicking on that “close button,” we’d prefer you clicked on the SUBSCRIBE link. Or failing that, we’re hoping that the blue overlay might remind you to review your check register for the last time you wrote out a check to The Chronicle.

And of course, if you’re already sending your regular financial support to The Chronicle, we’d like you to interpret that blue overlay as a thank-you. We hope it will encourage you to mention to your friends, co-workers and acquaintances that you voluntarily subscribe to The Chronicle, and suggest they do the same.

Dave Askins is editor of The Ann Arbor Chronicle. For the first four years of publication, a milestone column was published every month in The Chronicle. Now the column is only an occasional feature. When the milestone column does appear, it’s on the second day of the month – to mark the anniversary of The Ann Arbor Chronicle’s Sept. 2, 2008 launch. It’s an opportunity for either the publisher or the editor of The Chronicle to touch base with readers on topics related to this publication. It’s also a time that we highlight, with gratitude, our local advertisers, and ask readers to consider subscribing voluntarily to The Chronicle to support our work.

One Comment

  1. By C Bultman
    February 2, 2013 at 5:39 pm | permalink

    I tried it out and indeed the blue banner went away and did not come back again. It seems like a fair and innocuous enough way to remind us that “actual human beings who live among [us] are reporting, writing and editing this publication”. But really, reminding us that there are humans involved is just not necessary; it is why we keep coming back for more. The Chronicle is clearly artisanal journalism.

    So Dave & Mary that is just my way of thanking you for persisting in this experiment and, yes, The Chronicle has become “a regular stopping point in [my] daily routine”. And yes, “The Chronicle is about highlighting and strengthening the relationships among people who live and work in this community” and you have demonstrated that time and time again. These, you may remember, were your simple goals when you turned on the comment section 4 years and 5 months ago. So if you keep writing and I’ll keep reading… oh and contributing, of course.