How do you get your news?

If only I could ask this question face-to-face to every single person in the Triad, I would be able to learn the best practices we here at YES! Weekly could use to reach more readers, engage more demographics, and provide more information.

Alas, I cannot do that. Instead, I work with our staff at the news office to figure out what content makes it into the publication each week, and what content we apply to the digital side of this publication, YesWeekly. com.

Lately, you’ve probably seen a few new names appear in our print publication. Kristi Maier, our resident writer of all things culinary, has been scouring the Triad for more food-related content, and she’s doing a great job at it.

Megan Young, the writer that has been gracing our Visions section, has had her finger on the pulse of fashion and style for many years, and just recently started turning her lens to focus on the Triad fashionistas and designers.

Some of our usual suspects – Jim Longworth, Mark Burger, Lenise Willis – possess such a strong understanding on their respective beats, and are so highly regarded in the community, that we know they are the best source for all things theater, film, and celebrity/political commentary.

We’re growing, though, in the best way possible. And we should. We have to keep up with the pace that the Triad has set and is maintaining because we are determined to keep the breath of journalism, culture, and all things juicy-news alive in the area.

That’s just who we are. It’s you who are the all-stars. Without you we wouldn’t be around. Without the small businesses taking chances on ideas, we wouldn’t be able to wear certain clothes, buy certain gifts, and continue to support local.

Without the dreamers and visionaries believing in these towns, we wouldn’t be able to drink new craft beers, or listen to music in new venues designed specifically for the locals.

In an article published April 28 in the New York Times titled “Technology Overtakes Tobacco in Winston-Salem, N.C.,” much of the narrative is directed toward the evolution from cigarettes to health and innovation. True, the land that is now known as the Innovation Quarter was sold by R.J. Reynolds, but it’s not like they donated it without reasonable compensation. The Innovation Quarter is great, yes, but there is so much more to the area.

It would have been nice if the New York Times covered the growth and change occurring all over the Triad – even if Winston-Salemites could, just for a moment, pat themselves on the back for the national attention garnered from such an esteemed publication.

It’s important to recognize how everyone in the Triad is playing a part in the growth of each city, even if High Point residents don’t make it to Greensboro often, or Greensboro residents don’t venture to Winston-Salem, or Winston-Salem residents don’t trek to High Point: We are all in this together.

That’s part of the joy of putting together the Best Of issue: We get to put everyone together, everyone gets a fair chance, and the people who live in this town get to partake in propping up their favorite businesses.

Social media plays a huge factor when businesses ask to be voted for, or when people request that their friends put a card in the hat for them in a certain category. And although this is my first time partaking on the back-end of the Best Of issue at YES! Weekly, I’ve worked for other publications that provide the same service to the city that keeps the newspaper alive.

And you know what? You can’t please everyone. And that’s OK.

At the end of all this, I think of my peers, friends, and Facebook friends (whom one could argue are slightly less than acquaintances) who strongly voice their opinions about political hopefuls, yet who didn’t manage to peel themselves away from the latest episode of Game of Thrones to get to the voting booth.

To you all, I say please come out next year. Please tell us who you think is the best, and please tell us why. What’s even better is that we are open to this conversation all year long. Our doors are always open, our emails are always checked, and our phones are always on. We want to hear from you.

We want to hear the good stuff, like how a new couple just celebrated the birth of their daughter and wanted her to play with something familiar, so they designed a children’s tattoo machine. Or how a band came together under kismet circumstances and somehow pieced together a song that afforded them the opportunity to play at MerleFest. We love this.

With that said, we also want to hear the bad stuff. If we make mistakes, tell us. If you feel we should be shifting our conversation elsewhere, you know where to find us and you know how to reach us. There’s a reason we put all of our contact information at the front of the newspaper, and include social media links in almost all of our stories.

YES! Weekly is the voice of the Triad, and our writers are but mediums with which to tell your stories. This isn’t a publication where we want to push our unique thoughts on you – that’s not interesting and no one wants to read that.

We viciously scan press releases, we consume content at record pace, and we listen to each and every happy, angry, and every spectrum of emotion possible that is conveyed in emails, voicemails, and sometimes, even text messages.

We put ourselves out there because we want you to trust us. We trust you.

The voting for this year’s Best Of came down to a lot of numbers, a lot of names, and a whole lot of new businesses. What’s great is how people have different opinions of businesses through varying experiences. Your favorite bar could be your neighbor’s most hated, and that’s OK. Your favorite band might not have one song that your neighbor likes, and that, too, is OK.

I hope you enjoy our Best Of issue, and I look forward to seeing the awards proudly displayed at locations around the Triad. !