As a new resident of the Region three years ago, I found many gems through The Times’ Best of the Region guide.

The guide had just been published, and the winners, based on readers’ votes, were standouts.

It’s never easy winning a category in Best of the Region, but it’s great recognition and visibility every year.

And voting for 2017 Best of the Region begins today in eight main categories and more than 120 subcategories.

The main categories are beauty and wellness, education and instruction, entertainment, food and dining, health care, living, services and shopping.

Last year, nearly 133,000 votes were cast. This year, we’re off and running. Vote at http://nwitimes.com/bestof/ until March 31.

Looking ahead, a special section featuring the winners will be published May 21. Good luck.

The Times on Facebook

For the last month, you may have noticed more activity on The Times’ many Facebook pages.

We were holding an internal contest to see which page could get the most likes in a four-week period.

Each of our communities is unique. We treat them that way, which is why each of our community Facebook pages is handled by a different reporter or editor.

We have one for most cities and towns, including Crown Point, Highland, Munster, Portage, Schererville, Valparaiso and many more.

In four weeks, we added nearly 3,500 likes to our Facebook pages. Thank you to the readers who liked us, especially Michigan City, which saw the highest gain.

Among our various themed pages, NWI Times Workplace gained the most, as some readers may have seen it for the first time.

Our main page can be found at facebook.com/nwitimes. Be sure to not only like us, but also, under the “following” button, hit “see first” to make sure you don’t miss anything.

If you’re on Twitter, we invite you to follow our reporters and editors. Our main account is @nwi, and you can find all our staff at https://twitter.com/nwi/lists/nwi-com-staff.

App update

Last week, I encouraged use of our growing nwi.com app. It’s really the best way to keep up with the fast-paced news cycle.

Most of our app users come in by the phone, but a few use the tablet version of the app. They will soon find it’s out of service.

We’ve discontinued the iPad-only app remaining in the Apple App store. We’re encouraging users to move to the newer, more up-to-date app, which works on both iPhone and iPad interchangeably.

Thanks for reading us. Please contact me with any questions about The Times or our many publications.

Bob Heisse is editor of The Times Media Co. He can be reached at (219) 933-3327 or bob.heisse@nwi.com.

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Bob is editor of The Times Media Co. He started in Northwest Indiana in April 2014 following stints as executive editor of The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill., and The Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa.