The toughest part of this job is keeping 199,000 readers happy and interested each month.

That’s 199,000 people with unique interests, unique ideas, unique goals and unique lives. That’s like filling up Texas Stadium three times, asking everyone in the seats to head down to the field – then handing everyone our magazine and asking if they like it.

There’s no handbook for publishing a magazine (although there’s plenty of free advice). And there’s no way to keep everyone happy with every story or picture or headline.

But our job is to offer you a magazine interesting enough to spend time with each month, so that you’ll learn a little more about our neighborhood, so that you’ll have an opportunity to become involved (either actually or vicariously) in various neighborhood events and activities, and so that you’ll have a chance to become acquainted with various neighborhood shops and services worth checking out.

One of the most important ways we accomplish this task can be found in how we present ourselves to you. Is our magazine attractive? It is easy to read? Are the stories interesting?

For the past 13 years, your answer has been “yes” more often than not.

But that doesn’t mean we aren’t ready for a change or two, and that doesn’t mean we can’t do better.

So this month we’re bringing you what we hope will be an even better magazine that’s more attractive, more readable and still a good friend.

Our changes start on the front page, with what we believe is a more dynamic masthead and cover design. Inside, our headlines are easier to read, and the story layouts have been reworked to be easier to follow and allow for more photography.

Even our advertising sections are improved, with a neater and more organized presentation, and an easier-to-read home services section.

I’ve always believed that even though our magazines are distributed free of charge, there’s no reason we can’t be as interesting and fun to read as Texas Monthly or People or Southern Living. Sure, those publications have huge budgets and greater resources (by-products, no doubt, of charging readers for subscriptions). But those big guys are magazines, just like this one, and their goal is the same: make a whole lot of readers happy and coming back for more every month.

I’d like to know what you think of our changes and our magazine, so I’d like to ask you to spend a couple of minutes mailing or e-mailing me your comments. If you do, I’ll send you a free T-shirt (send me the size you wear) promoting our new look and our old mission: improving life in our neighborhood.

Thanks for reading our magazine this month. See you in September.

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