Column: The new look: A little change can do you good

• Originally published in the Kane County Chronicle on Aug. 17, 2009

I’m a natural-born tinkerer.

I like to constantly make small changes to things until they are perfect. And since we all know perfection is unattainable, this means I usually end making quite a bit of small changes to things. My office at home has had the furniture moved around about a dozen times. My wife and I have lived there since November.

Despite my tinkering nature, though, your Chronicle has remained fairly consistent since our big change earlier this year to a tabloid. We made a few small tweaks after the initial change and haven’t made many adjustments since.

But as musician and Karl Rove’s good buddy Sheryl Crow once sang, “I think a change would do you good.” (There are some backup vocals in there too, but I didn’t think they were needed.)

And we’re hoping to do some good today with a few small changes.

You probably noticed that the

front page has been slightly tweaked. We felt it was too cluttered so we took out some of the refers and went with a more basic approach. (The Chronicle nameplate also is more prominent. No longer do you need to hold the paper sideways to find out what paper you are reading.)

We also did some work to our “Getting Started” page – better known as page 3. Our copy desk team did a great job coming up with ideas, implementing them and making the page more colorful, more informative and more fun.

Face Time now will become a regular feature on page 3 as reporter Brenda Schory continues to make her way through our coverage area looking for average Joes and Jills to profile. If you have a question you would rather her ask, you can e-mail Brenda at bschory@kcchronicle.com.

We also changed the style of Out & About to help you get the information you need quicker. Rather than making you weed through a brief to find the information you’re looking for, we’re just going to pull it out for you. If you have an event you would like to submit for Out & About, please send it to editorial@kcchronicle.com.

But my favorite change to page 3 is the smallest. Today, we begin a feature that we’re calling “Did You Know?”

I love random facts. I’ve been known to consume a large book of trivia in a single night. For example, did you know that Kermit the Frog is left-handed? (Most Muppets are, in fact, because of their design.) I have no need for that piece of fairly useless information, but I can’t help but love the fact I know it.

So, we’re taking the random facts concept and applying it to The Chronicle’s coverage area. Every day, we’ll share a random fact about the area you live in with you. Kay Nolan – The Chronicle’s newsroom clerk and unofficial historian – and I will be collecting these. You can e-mail Kay at knolan@kcchronicle.com if you have a random bit of Fox Valley trivia you would like to share.

We’ll be looking forward to hearing from you, and I hope you like the changes. Now I just need to figure out that perfect place for my desk at home.

Editor’s notes:

Raging fun: After talking about it all summer, the wife and I finally made our way to Raging Waves water park in Yorkville on Saturday – one of the few times this summer neither of us had anything to do on a specific day – and while it couldn’t quite compare with my favorite water parks (most of which are in Florida), it certainly held its own. I would give it a solid three and a half stars out of five – the best ranking I’ve ever given an Illinois water park.

Joe Grace is the editor of The Chronicle. You can write to him at jgrace@kcchronicle.com or call him at 630-845-5368.

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