Autumn Phillips: Web comments give Grand County a new community forum |

Autumn Phillips: Web comments give Grand County a new community forum

I read this week that the average American spends 24 percent of his or her entertainment time on the Internet.

I tried to imagine where people are spending that 24 percent ” downloading videos, Instant Messaging, Googling exes, lurking on stranger’s MySpace pages, shopping on eBay.

And as I imagined those people, I imagined urban people ” not Grand Countates.

The people here, I imagine, would rather spend time outdoors, soaking up sub-zeros, than sitting inside sifting through cyberspace.

Then, this morning, I received a report from a company that tracks the number of hits we get on our Web site ”

And, it turns out, people in Grand County not only visit our Web site, but the average visitor spends eight minutes there.

I wonder how many of you, during your eight minutes on our Web site have been reading a story and saw the button at the top that reads, “Post your comments.”

I wonder how many of you have clicked on that button and discovered that it’s just for show. It gets you nowhere. Lets you comment on nothing.

Or, I wonder, how many of you have answered our online poll and wanted to say more than what we offered in our “yes” or “no” boxes to check.

Well, anyone who has had that experience will be happy to hear ” as of yesterday, people have the ability to post comments after every story they read on our Web site.

First ” you’ll have to register. We need a valid e-mail address and your name. Once you’ve registered, you can post as many comments as you like.

This is meant to be a productive forum of opinion.

Please do not use this as a place to defame anyone’s character or to lodge personal attacks.

Please keep it civil.

This is a good place to create dialog among community members interested in similar topics and to engage the newspaper on another level.

I hope you will still write letters to the editor if you have subjects to address, but the comment function on our Web site functions as something of a modern day, Internet-age extension of letters to the editor.

Most of the people who read the comments on any newspaper Web site, never post themselves. They simply enjoy getting a glimpse into what other people are thinking.

I look forward to reading what you have to say as we add this next dimension to the newspaper.

If you have trouble logging in or getting started, feel free to call me at (970) 887-3334 ext. 19600 or e-mail me at and I’ll walk you through it.

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