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So, How Are We Doin'? Grade Novato Patch

We get our fair share of criticism — constructive and otherwise. But I'm curious to know if we're meeting your needs and what we can be doing better. Really.

Novato Patch has been making the rounds of local service clubs, business networking groups and schools in an attempt to reach out and establish real-world connections with our thousands of daily readers. Lots of questions from the public have been answered about the website, which turns 2 years old in November.

Now we ask you some questions: Are we getting you news you don't get elsewhere? Are we getting it to you in a timely fashion? What part of Novato Patch do you like the most? The least? (We can take it, gulp, really).

It is apparent we have an established following, and that you are a discerning, intelligent bunch. I'd like to know your thoughts on how we can give you even more of what you need in the course of your day — and no, we're not going to add a door-to-door bagel and latte delivery service. The model doesn't work that way.

But if there's anything else you think we should be doing, let me know in comments.

Roger September 09, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Brent: I like your improvements in screening out comments that are personal attacks on other commenters. Comments should focus on issues, not ugly personal attacks. Tina was unfairly picked on, but you stepped in. Nice job. You taking such action makes me feel safe posting a comment on the Patch.
Ventress Dugan September 09, 2012 at 06:58 PM
I would like people to use their real names, when commenting on subjects. I think people would more responsible for the content and therefore more constructive. The dialogue on the Presidential Conventions got so nasty, that I stopped participating early on. Seems the meanest comments were placed by persons not using their whole name or a nickname.
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr September 09, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Some people are ashamed of their name, and should be.
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr September 09, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Novato Patch is the one local medium which has kept pace with the 21st century. Thank you, Brent. To all of you readers, get your friends and neighbors to read the Patch.
Carole Bennett September 09, 2012 at 08:30 PM
I have a quick smile of winning competition when I share Novato updates with my husband, as he always prides himself in knowing what is going on in town. I love the emailed Patch headlines with links to the details, as that really keeps me in the know! Patch must be growing, as there seem to be many more active readers and bloggers than a year ago. Whenever I blog now, mine seems to disappear quickly. This did not happen in the past. Only a few hours seem to go by now, and my blog disappears from view.
Tina McMillan September 10, 2012 at 04:07 AM
Brent Patch has been a great opportunity to have conversations with other folks about all kinds of issues. I still would like people to post under their actual names. I think it would make a huge difference in the personal attacks and the trolling. The articles by Patch journalists as well as local blogs have been great. I miss having a newspaper to hold each morning but neither the IJ nor the Advance can cover a broad array of issues including direct public content with the immediacy of Patch. I totally miss Paul Mamalakis's columns. They would be amazing on Patch. Otherwise it has been a wonderful experience participating in the process. Thank you and the other journalists for all your work!
Brent Ainsworth (Editor) September 10, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Thanks for all the nice comments. People like you are making this site worth reading.
Rabbi Menachem September 10, 2012 at 05:30 AM
Thank you Brent. I've been in Novato for 6 months, and I am hooked on the Patch. I look forward daily to all the great articles, and comments.
Lou Judson September 10, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Patch is great, only not enough of it! You need more reporters and wider interest - though practically the only news I can get about Novato is here, so I like what is here. Less of the personal attacking, even like Jeromes comment above, should be filtered out; keep it to the issues. Go bicker somewhere else! I wish there were a way to get all of the Marin Patches in a combined issue, as the hyper-local focus is sometimes too narrow. I have to subscribe to five patches just to get a more general picture of Marin! They still don't add up the the IJ I grew up with, but better news than we have had about Marin since the 1980s. Keep up the good work!
Tom MacDonald September 10, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Brent deserves a raise. Excellence needs to be rewarded.
K September 10, 2012 at 03:00 PM
I enjoy the Patch very much. I would like to see a youth sports area. Thanks. Keep up the good work.
Bob Ratto September 10, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Patch is terrific. Brent, you are doing a terrific job. You get more timely local news here than anywhere else.
Susan Wreden September 10, 2012 at 04:23 PM
I think the patch is great. Thank you Brent for keeping us up to date on local issues.
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr September 10, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Personal, would be "Bob Jones is a schmuck." Addressed to a PERSON. The fact that bad people hide their name is a comment on bad people. Would you buy a used car from someone who would not tell you his name. If someone is ashamed of their name they probably have a good reason for being ashamed. RTFQ
Roger September 10, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Brent, the various schools on their websites will soon post the Honor Roll for the Spring 2012 semester. Might you post those links when they come out? The IJ and Advance cover so many stories about youth sports, but few articles on what the kids are there for....learning. I tell my son getting his 4.2 GPA at San Marin High is liking hitting a winning home run in the championship game.....but he doesn't see the same level of fanfare that media gives youth sports.
Brant September 10, 2012 at 05:12 PM
The Patch (and in particular, the daily e-mail) is my primary source of Novato news. You are doing a great job! Keep your reporting factual, but, when you get some spare time ( :-) ), provide increased factual background material.
Rick Fraites September 10, 2012 at 05:18 PM
The Patch is an example of democracy in action. It's sort of a town hall on the computer. Instant feed back and a spirited exchange of ideas is a good thing. I do agree that we all benefit if personal attacks are left out of the comments section. Keep up the good work Brent.
Bev James September 10, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Brent, I check Patch daily and think you do an excellent job of covering Novato news. As a public agency, we particularly appreciate that Patch makes it easy to get announcements such as meeting agendas widespread notice. Also, we have found the banner ads about recycling to be very effective and reasonably priced (and save paper!)
Pam Drew September 10, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Brent, you and Patch are simply the BEST! Keep on doing what you're doing. Good citizenship from a good citizenry can flourish on the Patch. There are fun articles, too, to make us smile :)
Diane Thompson September 10, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Great Job Brent. I particularly appreciate being informed about new restaurants and businesses opening in our town. Breaking news about accidents or bad Hwy 101 problems is also appreciated so that people can avoid those areas when necessary.
Jeffrey Vaillant September 10, 2012 at 07:10 PM
The Novato Patch has replaced the Marin IJ in our household. If only Get Fuzzy could be added:):)
Eleanor Sluis September 10, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Thank you, Brent, for the variety of subjects, on which we may choose to comment. We, the public, may agree to disagree on topics and perhaps come up with solutions of what may be in the best interest for our families, neighbourhoods, city, state, federal, and even global institutions. New ideas might transpire and make things better for our children, friends, and future. Progress in food, health, safety, education, technology, politics, science, horticulture, art, and music are but a few of the many articles, which Patch has for the public’s responses. Thanks again for the opportunity to be heard
Kevin September 10, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Hey Brent how come we cant see comments or make comments from our iphones? Is it just me? Am I missing a setting?
Kevin September 10, 2012 at 07:34 PM
and why do I have to always sign in???

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