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Friday, December 26, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 45.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Paper
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2008. Twitter, anyone?

The cover of this issue resembles a Twitter page, which in turn represents the rolling revolution in personal communications. Smart phones, Facebook - the devices of interconnectedness proliferate, and the world changes as we watch. In this last issue of 2008 we review some of the other trends and events of the year nearly past from a variety of perspectives. (There will be one more issue of Isthmus appearing before the new year. The Jan. 2, 2009, edition will hit the streets Wednesday, Dec. 31.)

Right up front Brian Strassburg gives his annual graphic review with his year-end, half-page rendering of Mad City. (A report from our digital toilers on what went down on the this year will appear on the website, proving the adage that what happens on the website stays on the website. As you shall read, there will be more happening on the website in the future.)

The opinion purveyors weigh in, with David Blaska throwing darts from the right while satirist Tom Tomorrow endeavors to skewer right-wing dart throwers. And then comes the annual centerpiece of our retrospective lineup, Cheap Shots. This is Bill Lueders' labor of, mostly, loathe entitled "Payback Time." And that's what it does.

An entire pack of critics pulls down the year in arts and entertainment, dissecting it for their, and your, enjoyment. Rich Albertoni has local music all to himself, but he shares it with you. Meanwhile, Linda Falkenstein keeps track of who came and went in the world of restaurants during 2008.

We are taking advantage of the natural slowdown that accompanies the flipping of the calendar to make some changes in the paper. First of all, personal ads will no longer be running in the paper. They will be online only, though the "I Saw You" and "One to One" categories will still run in the classified section. Adhering to a national movement, all personals activity will now occur on TDP in a new format. Get ready for Love Lab and Lust Lab. In another big change, all classified ads will now appear online for free, but you must submit them online. Classified rates are changing to a per-word rather than per-line format in the paper.

All of these adjustments should be completed by the time we emerge from the holiday gauntlet. By then it will be 2009.

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