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The first Reader Engagement Editor

Once, an ombudsperson investigated the paper on readers’ behalf. Now, the readers’ editor will suck you in to the content.

We get memos — this one from the Star Tribune managing editor Rene Sanchez and editor Will Tacy:

We are very pleased to announce that Rhonda Prast will become our first Reader Engagement Editor.

Rhonda’s brief will be broad — working with teams and departments across the room to better connect with and involve readers in print, on the web and on mobile. Some of these efforts will involve reverse-published reader contributions. Some will involve online community efforts and social networking. At the heart of all will be the ongoing need to remain as relevant and useful as possible for our entire audience.

Rhonda’s first assignment will be working with many of you to build a unique web presence capturing the voices and views of some of the area’s most interesting and insightful residents. You’ll hear more about that — and about how you can help make it a success — in the weeks to come. Today, please join us in congratulation Rhonda.

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Rene and Will

Given how promiscuously I use social networks like Twitter, it’s probably not a lousy idea to have someone in the corporate shop who “gets” the medium. (The Strib lags well behind the PiPress in this regard, near as I can tell.)

Of course, Twitter’s market share is still puny, but it and other social sites are growing, which is not a word you hear in the media biz that often anymore.

Prast is currently a Strib Projects and Planning Team Leader. And it’s nice to know the Strib is still hiring, though one hopes the body count doesn’t shift too far away from lunchbucket reporting.