If you look closely at my mug shot that runs with this column, you may be able to guess from my double chin that I enjoy a good milkshake. And, apparently, so do our readers.
Although the week isn’t over yet, a Tuesday story about a new gourmet milkshake franchise planned for The Waterfront Vancouver seems destined to become one of our most-read stories. At the rate it is going, it will probably end up being one of our most-read stories of the year. By Wednesday, it had already reached more than 170,000 people via our social media accounts. That’s more than a third of the county’s population reached in a little more than a day.
But just as milkshakes should only be an occasional part of a healthy diet, milkshake stories should only be part of a healthy news diet. That prompted an interesting conversation among the editors when the story placement was discussed for print.
In other words, is this a front-page story?
On one hand, a shake shop is hardly a driver of economic development compared with, say, a new technology business. And although this is The Yard’s first Northwest location, milkshakes are readily available around town. It’s not even like the grand opening of our first Walmart. (I covered it on Oct. 14, 1998; people showed up before dawn and cried tears of joy. Really. Email me if you want a copy of the story.)
And, as Features Editor Erin Middlewood pointed out, we already pay a lot of attention to what’s happening at the Waterfront. It’s an interesting and transformative project, but it’s a tiny slice of the community.