A few changes in the Business Journal for 2011

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Not to be too obvious, but one of our main objectives at this newspaper is to be your primary source of local business news.

This week, we’ve introduced two new initiatives and re-engineered our approach to a third in shifts that I hope help us cement our reputation as a leading purveyor of information you can use.

For starters, we’re now pulling together a morning round-up of state, regional and national headlines in an email that we’re sending to anyone who already subscribes to our daily local news email.

So, rather than you spending time scouring through various news outlets for stories of interest over coffee, we’ll do the job for you.

This new email service goes out Monday-Friday. We’ll package the most important business news breaking in the early-morning hours or overnight and deliver it to your inbox by 8 a.m.

On Monday, for example, recipients of the email got early word of Goldman Sachs’ Facebook equity deal. They also learned that some state parks in Colorado could be opened for oil and gas drilling to raise money for the cash-strapped parks system.

If you’re a news hound or just need to stay on top of things, you might already receive a number of feeds from your favorite outlets. But sifting through all of that material can eat up a lot of time. Our new AM Roundup will help you more efficiently identify the stories important to our region and your business, as well as save you some of that time.

You can sign up for the AM Roundup at csbj.com/daily-e-mail/. The work of producing it largely falls to our Nathan Rodriguez, who also researches our weekly lists.

Which brings me to another of the big changes we’ve made: the way we handle the production of our lists, or rankings, of area companies and organizations.

The rankings are now being produced by Nathan, who works in the newsroom, meaning that the information we collect for the lists will now be subject to the same vetting that our stories, columns and blog postings receive.

Researching these lists isn’t easy; for a million different reasons, we run into a lot of uncooperative sorts and, of course, some people just lie about their numbers.

Moving forward, anyone hoping to get on the list will be dealing with Nathan and his critical eye.

Some of the more obvious problems — including grossly inflated figures — should be easy to spot. Other inconsistencies or issues are sure to be more difficult to uncover. But failing to respond fully to our surveys will mean your company could be bumped off the list. We’ll also work harder to be sure those that merit inclusion are, in fact, included, whether they cooperate or not.

The bottom line on this is that we’ll be doing more to check and double-check the figures submitted to us. I can’t promise that every ranking will be perfect in every way, but I can say we’ll be doing everything we can to achieve a higher level of accuracy and reliability in our work.

Lastly, our real estate reporter, Jonathan Easley, is now producing a blog on our website, csbj.com, where you can get the latest breaking news off his beat. Jonathan also will be posting information on commercial leases and sales.

Anyone in need of space or renegotiating terms with the landlord will want to check out this blog. As in a lot of what we do online, Jonathan will be updating his blog daily, if not several times a day, so I encourage you to check back frequently.

More changes are in the works, and we’ll keep you posted about them as they’re introduced.

Until then, please let us know what you think. We welcome suggestions on how to improve all that we do.

In case you missed our online promos, nominations are now being taken for our annual Rising Stars event.

We’re looking for young high achievers — typically those 40 and under — in your business who are making a difference, helping to lead the way professionally and through their civic and community engagements.

The nomination forms can be found here or by emailing sue.hamilton@csbj.com. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 4.

Allen Greenberg is the editor of the Business Journal. He can be reached at 719-329-5206 or allen.greenberg@csbj.com