What About Bob? is a 1991 film starring Richard Dreyfuss as a psychiatrist named Leo Marvin and Bill Murray as an absurdly needy patient named Bob. The running gag is that Bob won't leave Leo alone. He stalks the therapist -- following him home, to lunch, to appointments, etc. Bob even wriggles his way into the Marvin family's vacation. Everywhere Leo turns, there's Bob. By the end of the movie, the therapist is crazier than the patient.
I can relate.
You see, since mid-March, those of us in the editorial departments around Contemporary Media, Inc. have had our own Bob. And he too is relentless in his need for attention. Bob, you see, is our internal name for the revamped MemphisFlyer.com. We originally called him Bob as a shorthand way to make it clear to everyone in the company that MemphisFlyer.com was a totally new "publication" -- one that would demand contributions from all of our editorial staffs, including those of Memphis magazine and Memphis Parent.
But then Bob became, well, Bob. And Bob needs attention six or seven times a day -- fresh, newsy, gossipy, sporty, quirky attention. Every editorial staffer now has to post a few items on MemphisFlyer.com every week. And every staffer has learned to expect periodic e-mails from me with such cute titles as: Bob needs love; Bob is hungry; Bob's cupboard is bare, etc.
But, all in all, it's been well worth the effort. MemphisFlyer.com page-views have more than quintupled in less than three months. And it's not just because readers can now get the latest snark on Justin Timberlake or David Gest. Bob's best feature is that he has searchable listings, which means if you want Caribbean cuisine, you can just click the appropriate header and it will list all your local options -- with a link to a description of each restaurant. If you want to hear, say, alt-country music on June 6th, you can find out with a click of a mouse who's playing that angst-ridden white-boy stuff and where. In short, you can search by date, venue, type of cuisine, type of music, etc. It's way cool.
Go visit Bob. You'll be glad you did.
Bruce VanWyngarden, Editor
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