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Morning Poll: The Arlington Connection

by ARLnow.com August 30, 2011 at 9:55 am 3,035 32 Comments

You may see it in newspaper boxes near Metro stations. Or you may see it next to the stack of freebie On Tap magazines at your favorite bar. Or you may not even know it exists.

The weekly Arlington Connection newspaper is the light, feature-y yin to the yang of its more newsy competitor, the Arlington Sun Gazette newspaper. Normally a bit thin during other times of the year, the Arlington Connection — published by the local Connection Newspapers chain — beefed up its coverage this summer thanks to an influx of interns.

The culmination of the summer came this week with the publication of the paper’s annual “Insiders Edition,” which seeks to give people who just moved to the area a crash course in everything Arlington. Given that the Arlington Connection has a barely-functional web site, however — the top “News” story is a one-sentence article from March — we were wondering how many people actually read it, either in print or online.

  • ArlNow fan

    I will, however, admit to reading the Arlington Connection much more than the Washington Exameaneeer. And, well, since that rag the Sun-Gazette doesn’t deliver to most of South Arlington I don’t read that either. So of the three I read the Arlington Connection the most.

    Which explains why I read the ArlNow and gosh darn it, love it.

  • Ray

    We get both this paper and the Gazette delievered to our mailboxes. I assumed everyone got them, but many of our neighbors say they don’t get them. So, I’m not sure why we receive them (we never signed up or paid for them) but I do read each of them.

  • Bluemontsince1961

    I used to get the Connection and Gazette delivered; never asked for them, signed up for them, or paid for them, they just showed up every week in the mail or in the drive way. All I used them for was to increase the pile of newspapers for recycling. Eventually they stopped. Last week out of the blue, a copy of the latest Gazette was in my mail for the first time in several years. Weird.

  • charlie

    get them both.
    prefer days when they both come because neither has enough content to read while in the library. need to read both to make it worthwhile.

  • CrystalMikey

    I’ve never even see it. Must not distro in S. Arl.

  • Arlwhenever

    Love Ed Fendley’s picture inserted into James Lander’s bio in the Insider’s Edition “Who’s In Charge?” section. Tell me, how can that get mixed up by any but the clueless? The other Scott will be gleeful.

  • CW

    Never miss a chance to trash anything that could be construed as competition…stay classy…

    • Josh S

      *rolling eyes*
      Never construed it that way. ARLnow is so mild-mannered, it’s hard to imagine this was the motivation.
      Also, how is a monthly newspaper competition for a blog?

      • CW

        The newspaper has a website, which this article also trashes.

        I guess I’m just old-school, from back when the journalistic style was to out-scoop and out-write your compeition, rather than get into these petty MSNBC vs. FOX on-air feuds.

    • Hutch

      This was my thought – the blurb leading to the poll is mildly disparaging (and certainly condescending) to the Arlington Connection.

      • It is what it is. Had the blurb been perceived as mildly complimentary, I’m sure we’d be accused of being shills for Connection Newspapers.

        Anyhow, we’ve criticized other web sites (including Arlington County sites) for lack of usability in the past, so that’s nothing new. Also, we’ve been publicly discussing our crash-prone web server over the past week, so it’s not like we’re immune to our own criticism.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          ARLnow, you do great work. Keep it up!

          • KARLington

            +1000 for ARLnow!

            Never heard of the Connection, unless it’s the paper they throw in my driveway that I recycle without looking at it.

        • Arlwhenever

          As the poll answers suggest, most are not even aware the Connection exists — any publicity is good publicity for them, raises the curiousity quotient.

    • They’re indirect competition (for local ads) at best at this point. If we were truly trying to gain competitive advantage, we simply wouldn’t mention them at all.

      • CW

        Frankly, I think the way to gain competitive advantage is to provide a better product (which you do). But this is probably the 5th or 6th article at least implicitly poking fun at another publication (Patch, Fairfax Times, and Arlington Magazine come to mind).

        Wasting time engaging in what could be construed as petty arguments, mockery of other publications, and fight-picking like Fairfax Quotegate just drags you down into the mud in the humble opinion of this one (avid) reader. Rise above it and don’t stoop to their level.

        • Two points…

          Our previous poll in no way criticized or poked fun at Arlington Magazine.

          The Fairfax Times plagiarized a quote, pure and simple. Pointing that out is the only way for a small publication to fight back.

          That all said, we’re going to rise above this and move on to the next article…

  • Aaron

    I know one neighborhood restaurant that stocks it, usually between the CityPaper and OnTap. If I can’t immediately be seated, I will occasionally take the 30 seconds necessary to page through the Arlington Connection. The thing has less content than the USA Weekend/Parade insert tossed into a real newspaper.

  • JamesE

    The only print publication I read is The Onion.

  • Michael H.

    Beating up on the competition? LOL

    Actually the Connection website seems to have more current articles, though they aren’t listed in the News category. The piece about Crystal City has a dateline from last week.

    I don’t know if I’ve ever heard of it before reading this blog post. I guess I’ve passed by a box on the street with some copies. But I don’t remember ever reading it. The Crystal City article looks interesting.

    But I noticed an error on their list of the best places to run in Arlington. They mentioned most of the major trails (W&OD, Custis, Four Mile Run) but then they skipped the Mt. Vernon Trail. That should be number one on the list. If they didn’t have the space for five listings, they should have skipped the Potomac Heritage Trail. The MVT is by far the most scenic of the trails, in Arlington and in the entire DC area. Great views of the monuments from across the river in a peaceful setting that is easily accessible from Rosslyn and Crystal City.

  • Janet

    I read The Citizen, which arrives in the mail. Easy-to-read with interesting and relevant articles.

  • Bemused bystander

    The Connection’s best feature is its listing of real estate sales. Great way to keep track of the fortunes of one’s neighborhood.

    • CW

      I saw that too on the online version. Pretty cool. Sometimes it’s just nice to see “curated” content like that. Information overload is cool and all, but reading through that list is nice and easy in my opinion compared to looking at the map on Zillow.

  • liked the Connection

    The Connection used to be delivered and I enjoyed reading it for local news, but it stopped coming and I have no idea where to get it now. I’d read it if they delivered it again.

  • Stan

    I use to read them a little – but the frequency to noise ratio was rather low (I got little useful content out of pages of advertisements and semi pointless real estate articles). Now with ARLNOW and other social media sources, I dont bother to read the Connection or the Gazette at all. They both need to buy a clue and develop a social media business plan. Perhaps ARLNOW can buy what is left of them (I assume with the way print media is going, ARLNOW could buy them in exchange for a pot-belly sandwich)

  • Mike O

    I don’t get the Connection at home but pick it up around Arlington. My kids like the high school sports coverage. And the web site is just horrible!

    • Bemused bystander

      High school sports … now there’s a real growth sector for Arlnow to tackle. If you think the comments can get out of hand now …

  • Mosprott

    Neither paper can be bothered with S. Arlington, which I find hugely insulting.

  • Arlingtonian

    I didn’t realize the Connection had beefed up its content. I’ll have to pick up a copy sometime and see if it’s worth reading now. It really didn’t have enough content before and I started ignoring it even when I saw it on the Pike (where you can find copies in the stretch of the Pike that has the Drafthouse and Attilla’s).
    Rarely see the Sun Gazette anywhere around here (I live on the Pike). Maybe I’m missing it.
    I definitely prefer the Citizen (the free publication that Arlington County puts out and places in everyone’s mailboxes) to either of these newspapers at this point. And of course, ARLnow is just awesome.

  • LPS4DL

    You should poll your readers about their other reading habits. The current poll shows most of them don’t read the Connection but it’s probable that most of your readers don’t read any newspapers. The Connection is what a local newspaper should be unlike the ridiculous, divisive, organ of the Chamber of commerce Gazette.

  • Except for the library, the only place I’ve seen Arlington Connection is inside the Subway shop. Why is that she asked rhetorically.

  • John Andre

    I don’t recall having seen boxes for the Arlington Connection…but I read the Falls Church News-Press every week. One more item…has anybody noticed that the County radio station AM 1700 was NOT broadcasting Saturday and Sunday during Hurricane Irene??? This seems to defeat the idea of having a radio station available during emergency periods!


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