As our product gets increasingly digitized and Balkanized, with everyone with a PC and a DSL line in the publishing business, we in the world of journalism are trying to figure out what our business really is and how we can stay in that business. Creating a community has become one of the catch phrases of the large circulation dailies, and they are struggling to do just that, even as their communities get fragmented into smaller and smaller pieces.

We in the community newspaper start out with a smaller, more cohesive community, but we still strive to maintain it. Here at U.S. 1 we are embarking on an annual rite that, while it doesn’t seem like it at first, is essentially a chance to keep up our community ties.

This week we are beginning the faxing and mailing necessary to update the records for the 5,700 plus companies that form our annual Business Directory. Along with physically delivering the paper into your offices every week, this is one of the important ways in which we keep touch with you. Each year we discover which companies have grown, which have moved up or out, and which are no longer with us. We also discover that a substantial majority have no substantial changes whatsoever, and from them we get a fax back with a large “OK.” And in our community, no news is often good news.

If you receive our fax or letter, we thank you in advance for correcting or updating it, or just marking it OK and returning it to us. The U.S. 1 Directory — a business resource that not many communities this size can claim — will be back from the printer in mid-April.

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