We need your help

Change, as has been rumored far and wide across the land, is indeed in the air here at the 1 Venner Road world headquarters of Port Jackson Media.

(It's OK to admit the new name is pretty cool. I've done it.)

Our plate is filled with physical changes to the property itself, cosmetic changes to the pages of The Recorder, a stronger and fresher presence in the world of the Internet, and, as a special surprise for you today, a question for you, our trusted and loyal readers.

And, you know, everyone else.

Our first change: How many of you noticed the "The" has already been added back to the name of your favorite hometown newspaper? (How many of you noticed it disappeared several years ago?) This translates to big doings around these parts.

Proof that the fast-paced world of professional journalism remains on the cutting edge.

But the main reason the boss woke me from my months-long slumber is to get your input. Many of you growing up here in our rugged city and beautiful valley were accustomed to the Amsterdam Evening Recorder landing in your geraniums in the late afternoon. Just as you were coming home from work.

As you settled into your easy chair while the dog brought your slippers and after-work beverage and dinner simmered in the skillet, you flipped open to the police reports and obituaries -- and found your name in neither one -- then folded the paper back to Page 1 and started reading from the beginning, finding comfort and a sense of community knowing you held in your hands a summary of the events you missed while slaving away at your thankless job in this bucolic black-and-white world, painted in the longest sentence you will read today.

I am disheartened by the number of times each week I discover yet another way modern life has killed romance. I refer to the romance of reading the newspaper. The morning is all rush rush rush. The afternoon is a peaceful, easy feeling. At which time of day would you rather settle down and read the local news?

When I was a kid, I couldn't wait for the afternoon paper to show up. It was one of the day's highlights.

Not that I was a friendless dork or anything. I liked the funnies.

When modern times finally arrived -- after lo these centuries -- and the afternoon newspaper became ignored, we, like many of our counterparts, switched to the morning edition that some -- but not all -- of you currently enjoy.

Those of you not reading this (and we know who you are), it should be pointed out, have no idea what you are missing.

When we made the change, we caught our share of heck from our most loyal readers, upsetting their apple carts, life itself, and the tumblers of the universe. Eventually, you settled down.

Times have changed again, however. The number of ways you can get your news has multiplied. The computer, the smart phone, the tablet, the newspaper, the television, the radio -- they all have the news. (The radio, of course, has the news because it reads the newspaper.) And some of them have it faster, and more accurately, than others. Some of them.

Your Recorder, for example, offers apps for your smart phone and your tablet. The stories on these devices are updated as news breaks. The stories on our web page (www.recordernews-.com) are updated throughout the day.

A subscription to the newspaper gives you access to news all day long, as it is reported. Take that, old days. Breaking news is sent to your phone, your tablet, your e-mail box and our home page, all at the same time. Fire in Amsterdam at 10 o'clock in the morning? Your phone goes ding; a big red flag goes up on our web site.

The newspaper is no longer a once-a-day megaphone. We're in your face all day long.

Speaking of which, we're also on the Facebook -- that marvelous time-burning collection of cute kids, political stupidity, birthday wishes and Farmville invitations -- that has ground worldwide productivity to a screeching halt.

We newsies use this vehicle to spread even further across the land proof that we learned how to type. Somewhat accurately.

More than 5,300 of you have clicked "like" on our Facebook page. We thank you for that.

(Oh, if I may: Yes, it costs money to read the stories that are teased on the Facebook. Those among you who take great joy in complaining that the newspaper is useless because it isn't free are more than welcome to offer me free merchandise or services when I walk into your salon, lumber yard or waiting room. But that never happens, now does it? So yes, to read the newspaper you should expect to pay for the newspaper. Unless I can get free beer every time I walk into your bar. In which case, I'll bring you a copy every day.) I'm over it.

The reason I was awakened, splashed with water, and positioned upright at my keyboard is to find out from you how your world may -- or may not -- crumble if the Amsterdam Evening Recorder were to return to an evening publishing schedule. Meaning, we wouldn't be on the porch for the morning coffee, we'd be there as you relaxed during your evening.

Your subscription would gain you access to the web site, which will be popping with fresh news all day, and the printed edition -- tossed in a timely fashion every afternoon into your flowers.

Visit http://www.recordernews.com/ -- there, in the top right corner, is a poll question: "Would you like The Recorder to remain as a morning paper or return to an afternoon edition?" Your opinions will be considered as we continue to forge ever onward into newsgathering in the 21st century.

If you would like to share more than just an opinion on a poll, please send me an e-mail at kmattison@recordernews.com. I only ask you to keep in mind that I am very fragile.

But, please, do go vote. We really care what you have to say. And we're sorry about the geraniums.

KEVIN MATTISON is executive editor of The Recorder and is most happy that the "The" is back. Contact him

at kmattison@-recordernews.com.