To Iowa and back again

Joey Young and I just got back from a quick trip to Dubuque, Iowa, for the Midwest Free Community Papers Summer Publisher’s/Manager’s Summit this past Wednesday and Thursday.

It’s 10-plus hours one way, so it is quite a haul, but it was definitely worth it.

The Summit kicked off with a meal and was supposed to be a Missis­sippi River cruise before dinner, but a recent storm had flooded the boat landing area and the river was filled with debris, making the cruise an unsafe proposition.

It was great to catch up with my friends I served with from the board of directors and other acquaintances from days gone by.

This guy was looking for his wallet under a street light one night when a friend came along and asked what he was doing.

When the friend was informed of the situation, he asked his buddy if he knew about where he had maybe lost it. He said it was probably a couple of hundred feet farther back.

Then the friend asked him, if he thought he had lost it way back there, why was he looking where he was looking?

The guy says, “The light’s better over here.”

Most of the summit was devoted to a roundtable discussion.

The subject of social media came up, and one of the publishers stated that he had done a lot of study about Facebook, and that while some businesses have a great many likes, only a few people see the posts based on the algorithms used.

And if you buy a post it isn’t a great number who actually see the post.

He said he had tracked businesses who had dropped their advertising with his paper and most of them were out of business several years later when they relied solely on Facebook for promotion.

He went on to say that Facebook does work for some, but it is the exception rather than the rule.

I made sure we got back to Kansas before we bought the final tank of gas so we could at least keep some of the sales taxes in our state. We did have to buy some gas in Iowa.

Reminded me of the time Missouri basketball coach Norm Stuart would not spend one dime in Kansas when they came to play the Jayhawks.

So I guess I was trying to return the favor by not buying any gas in Missouri.

The weather up north can get just as ugly as here, with high temps and high humidity. But, in the mornings it was very cool, low 70s in the morning and a high of 68 degrees on Friday.

The other great thing about the trip is that Joey and I could brainstorm for hours on end. There may be some new ideas coming.

If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is joel@

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