Welcome, AAN


Get ready, Boulder, because the hard-partying members of the AAN are are about to descend on your town. And trust me, the folks from the American Academy of Neurology know how to tie one on.

No wait. Scratch that. 

I meant to say the folks from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia are coming to town. Apparently, our friends at the Neurology Academy know more about SEO than we media types and they’ve secured the top spot on the all-important “AAN” Google search, which in the big picture means… absolutely nothing, of course.

But just the thought of discussing an inspired subject like SEO tells me it must be convention time.

Like the swallows of Capistrano (if Capistrano was in a different location every year), the people who own, publish, edit, write, market and otherwise draw a paycheck from the 120 or so alt weeklies around our country and Canada return each year to a single town in their ongoing effort to sort out the state of our industry. 

Convention week is a time to share what’s working or isn’t from a business standpoint; examine ways to better serve our readers and advertising partners; see old friends and make new ones; drink a shot every time Trump says something stupid or untrue  (the game is usually over in about 45 minutes with all participants having passed out); and, of course, talk all things journalism. And yes, terms like “digital transformation” and “SEO” will be uttered, but not as frequently as, “We’ll have another round,” or, “I don’t feel anything yet… I better eat another whole cookie.” What else would you expect from a few hundred representatives of the alt-press.

All kidding aside, Boulder Weekly is proud to be playing host to this year’s AAN convention which will be taking place at the Hotel Boulderado from July 11-13. It’s the first time our industry has ever held its national convention in Colorado and it could not have come at a more critical time for journalism and journalists everywhere. 

Shrinking newsrooms have made it hard to confront the current assault on journalism that originated from the White House with its silly-at-first chant of “fake news.” Unfortunately, what seemed only silly has turned into something sinister since amplified and complicated by the likes of Facebook, Google and Twitter. Now people on all sides of the political spectrum are expressing their disbelief at much of what is being reported. It’s a dangerous evolution that comes at a key moment in history when climate change and the way we treat immigrants are threatening to forever change our nation and the world going forward.

Got dark in a hurry, right? 

The point is, we have a lot of serious things to talk about at this year’s AAN conference. So, if you happen to see a bunch of strangers sitting around in a local bar this week talking journalism, feel free to buy them a round.

But you don’t have to. After all, you folks are already the reason that all of us in the AAN show up for work every day and try our best. So all we really ask of you is that you keep reading… oh yeah, and clicking “like” and “share” and “retweet” and stuff like that. 

With your help, and a little luck, I honestly believe we will one day rise above the American Academy of Neurology on search engines everywhere, even on Bing.