How Much Do We Love Thee?

By Lou Earle – April 1, 2015

In our line of work, nothing is more important than the quality of our content and the best measure of that is how our readers respond each month. We welcome your feedback and take it seriously. We examine our metrics and pay attention to our pick-up rates. And we obsess over bringing you the best, most interesting, entertaining, and educational information possible.

We are blessed to live in such a diverse and robust city where great content can be found all around us; we just have to open our creative eyes and minds to find it. Each year when we plan our editorial calendar, we carefully review our prior issues—how they were received and what changes we may need to make. This is especially important in those issues that appear once every year because of their popularity. One of those A-listers and mainstay’s is this month’s Austin’s Fittest Dogs issue. 

Now I know we Austinites love our dogs. The AFM office is routinely overrun by all manner of breeds stopping by to network with the team. But every now and then I question if you readers still want to go to the trouble of submitting pictures and stories about your dogs. “It’s a lot of work,” I tell my team. “Are we sure readers really like doing it?” Of course, they denounce my doubts, reiterating how much fun it is to read stories about people’s pets and gawk over all the cool images that stream into our inboxes. 

Being the shrewd, data-driven publisher that I am, I look to the volume of entries we receive for the AFM Fittest Dogs contest to indicate reader interest level in the issue. In the past, we’ve seen an overwhelmingly positive response from readers—not to mention my team’s obvious bias and personal attraction to all things canine. Nevertheless, I eventually come around to asking how many folks really go the distance to submit their “doggy stories.”

This year, after an appropriate drum roll, I learned we had more than 100 entries in our contest—the most submissions in our history. How cool is that! And so, back by popular demand, I am delighted to bring you another highly anticipated Austin’s Fittest Dogs issue. Get ready to overuse the word “cute,” smile until your cheek bones hurt, and read until you’ve convinced yourself—if you haven’t already—that you need a dog of your own. 

Man’s best friend is more than just what meets the eye, though. More important than what a dog can or cannot do, what truly defines them is their character. Nowhere is this fact better demonstrated than in this issue’s article on the training of therapy dogs. Another story not to miss in this issue is the feature on the history of the American Ninja Warrior competition and TV show. Make no bones about it: this issue is packed with content we hope you savor and enjoy. 

Thanks for picking up Austin Fit! Have a wonderful April and don’t forget to register online for the AFM FITTEST coming up on May 30.


Keep Austin Fit,

Lou Earle, Publisher, CEO


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