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Opening the BS&T Mailbag

In the same way that movie moguls check out the overnight box office receipts, television executives pore over Nielsen reports and Red Sox fans monitor their blood pressure, I have made it a daily habit to check out our Web statistics.

In addition to my regular writing responsibilities for Bank Systems & Technology, I also take an active role in our Web efforts at Banktech.com. In the same way that movie moguls check out the overnight box office receipts, television executives pore over Nielsen reports and Red Sox fans monitor their blood pressure, I have made it a daily habit to check out our Web statistics.

As a result, I know which articles are popular and which ones are not. For instance, Banktech.com users frequently read about VoIP and Check 21. And for some inexplicable reason, very few people read this column online.

But that doesn't jibe with my personal experience. Most of my e-mail feedback contains comments such as:

"You can always be counted on to have an intriguing opinion!"

-Lorraine from Dayton, Ohio.

"You ARE a Legend in your own mind."

-Richard from Charlotte, N.C.

"Thanks for your ideas. They made me think!!"

-Jon from Charlotte, N.C.

"You scare me." -William from Spring City, Pa.

"Nice job. However, you're missing a few things. Why not mention what you did and how much you ate?"

-Uncle David (responding to last month's column that mentioned my summer job in his employ some 20 years ago), Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Very little and quite a bit, thank you very much, Uncle David. Keeping track of performance stats seems to be a family trait.

Anyway, there must be a better way to gauge the editorial preferences of BS&T subscribers than by monitoring the Web site. After all, our most important readers are the bona-fide bankers who comb through every page of the printed magazine. But it's difficult to get people to respond unless they're really fired up about something.

Hmm ... I think I can manage that.

Next month, this column will endorse one of the presidential candidates. Which one? That's entirely up to you! Just send me an e-mail describing what you like the most and least about BS&T, and name your candidate. This is the most important election in American history, so make your voice heard!

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