Tell us about your favorite adventures
This column is about two things most of our readers like to do: enjoying the rich outdoors experiences here and using mobile phones. Not necessarily at the same time — I hope you’re not checking Facebook while on your mountain bike — but the two do come together with photos.
For all the time that people here spend on outdoor activities, ranging from skiing and horseback riding to biking, rafting, hiking, climbing or enjoying hot springs, I have not thought that the Post Independent’s coverage reflected that very well.
Starting last Thursday, then, we expanded our Go! content, which typically has been just one page. We will make it at least two pages every week, and more if advertisers are interested in being associated with the content.
We will have regular adventure/travel/outdoor features, a monthly column from the Forest Service’s Aspen-Sopris Ranger District and a fly-fishing column that has been a fixture of Go!
But we want to make it a much more energetic and visual representation of outdoor life, and we want your contributions in words and photos.
A few months ago, reader Michael Mountcastle submitted a short essay about rushing up Red Hill toward Mushroom Rock to take a sunset photo when he thought the light was just right. He ended up being a bit late, instead getting a stunning dusk photo that we ran with the essay.
His piece really was about the process and thrill of seeking the shot more than the photo itself. It made me wish for more such reader contributions about your hiking, biking, fishing and fun.
I was reminded of Runner’s World magazine’s feature called Rave Run, a very short essay — maybe 150 to 200 words — and a photo about a special route or place.
I, for example, love running and biking on the Crystal Valley Trail south of Carbondale. It’s not a backcountry route at all, but that’s part of the appeal. Having lived in cities the last few years, I deeply appreciate the easy access and everyday Colorado beauty of being beside the Crystal River rushing through ranchland that rolls up to Mount Sopris’ explosion from the valley floor.
Or I might wax warm about the bike ride last summer turning off the Rio Grande Trail at Emma and creeping up West Sopris Creek Road till my legs got tired, then zooming back down. It was so perfectly quiet and freshly gorgeous at each turn. If I ever get tired of that kind of scenery here, I might as well just stay inside the rest of my life.
So what do you like? What favorite spots and experiences are you willing to share in our new show-and-tell Go! feature? We want them.
Of course this is where smartphones come into play. Send those photos.
About those phones.
Digital metrics assessing our online traffic show that rapidly increasing numbers of you are reading and watching our content on your phones. Our smartphone visits are up a stunning 74 percent from last year, and so far this year, slightly more than half of our digital visits are on mobile devices — phones and tablets — as opposed to desktop computers.
This is a phenomenon nationwide as more people learn that news can come to them now wherever they are, and it tells me that many of our customers are interested in local news updates during the day.
We have become pretty aggressive about posting news and social media updates whenever warranted, and a lot of people find our posts on Facebook each day.
Unlike many media outlets, we don’t currently don’t do email alerts. Readers interested in those sorts of updates can get the same effect by using Twitter to create phone alerts.
I’ve done this at a desktop computer — I haven’t been able to find the options on my mobile devices, but yours may be different. In your Twitter settings, under “mobile,” enter your mobile phone number.
Enable notifications. Search for @GlenwoodPI. Click the settings (the gear-like icon) and turn on notifications.
This will send our tweets to your phone as text messages. That way, you won’t miss developments during the day.
It won’t inundate your phone. We tweet about a dozen times a day, mostly before noon. If a big story breaks, such as the day last winter when Garfield County deputies shot a man on Interstate 70, our activity increases because metrics tell us that readers are keenly interested in developments on such stories.
Give it a try. Twitter and Facebook enable you to not only get fast updates, but also to interact with the story, asking questions or telling us and other readers what you might have seen.
This can be extremely valuable in some situations, road closures or wildfires being one obvious example.
Feel free, please, to let me know how you like to get updates and what kind of content interests you during the day. I’m firstname.lastname@example.org or @randyessex on Twitter.
Randy Essex is editor of the Post Independent.
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