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Wired-GOV - a Victim of our Own Success

The evolvement of two factors over the last year have persuaded us that we need to consider some minor changes to the way we deliver both the alert system emails and the WG Plus newsletter, both driven by our success in increasing our scope of operations.
 
The first factor arose from our response to the government’s press operations going into ‘purdah’ in the run up to the election in May 2010.
 
Faced with a drastically reduced flow of press releases from government sources, our editorial team ‘scoured’ the internet for alternative sources of items, including Think Tanks, Third Sector and other organisations (published in the Newswire section), whose ‘output’ was mainly centered on the public sector and was thus of interest to our subscribers. These included the following:
 

Think Tanks
 
 
 
International Inst. for Strategic Studies  
Centre for Social Justice
Policy Exchange
Demos
Inst. for Public Policy Research
King’s Fund
The Work Foundation
Adam Smith Inst.
New Local Government Network
Inst. of Economic Affairs
Inst. for Fiscal Studies
Chatham House
Royal United Services Institute
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
The Work Foundation
Civitas
Newswire Section
 
 
 
Information Commissioner’s Office
TUC
Patients Association
WWF
British Heart Foundation
CBI
Age UK
Unicef
NHS Confederation
Diabetes UK
Cancer UK
RoSPA

 
In addition, our editorial team monitored the press output from the Europa press site for selected items that they consider would be of interest to our subscribers.
 
Although the ‘purdah’ ended following the formation of the coalition government we found that the content from these new sources had been so well received we decided to continue publishing selected items from them.

By the time government departments started to resume a more ‘normal’ output level it was felt that these new sources had become something that our subscribers expected to see contributions from and should therefore continue.  
 
This means that in recent months we have been regularly publishing between 50 to 60+ news items per day, an increase of more than 50% on the same period last year. We have also seen a significant increase in our subscriber base in recent months mainly due to the addition of new channels and sustained marketing and promotion of the service. As a direct consequence, our alert system now sends out in excess of 50,000 requested email feeds per day, 100% increase in 12 months.
 
The second factor is that above activity has impacted directly on the size of the WG Plus newsletter, which has naturally increased in size to reflect the increase in breadth of news coverage. To be frank, our senior editor wants stop spending an ever increasing proportion of his weekends preparing the much expanded newsletter for publication on Mondays.
 
In addition to which, one of the main functions of the newsletter is to ensure that any document (report, consultation, etc.) referred to in an item is linked to directly to save our subscribers time and effort when such links are either not live or do not appear in the original press releases posted by our content partners.
 
Currently subscribers therefore have to wait anything up to a week for these value added, researched links to appear in the newsletter, which we appreciate can be frustrating to subscribers.
 
 
Forthcoming Changes
 
Assuming that there are relatively few subscribers who actually read their weekly alert when it arrives between 5.00 – 5.30 on a Friday evening, It is proposed that we will change the system to send the weekly alerts on Saturday lunchtime. The weekly alert will therefore be able to include more content from late Friday and early Saturday as start to publish more content to the system over the weekend.
 
As far as the newsletter is concerned, in future it will normally be published twice per week around Monday lunchtime (covering the previous Wednesday to Friday) and Wednesday evenings (covering the previous Saturday to Tuesday).
 
Subscribers who are unable to access the full website version of the newsletter whilst live (due to readers’ holidays, etc.) should note that previous archived editions are only a click away, so you can always catch up on recent news items – click on Newsletter Archive to access.
 
When will the changes happen?
We will be introducing the improvements during April 2011.
 
If you have any comments or queries, or wish to suggest further changes and possible enhancements to the Wired-GOV service please email us at: info@wired-gov.org
 
 
Are you getting the most out of Wired-Gov?
Subscribers who signed up some time ago, might like to consider increasing their email alert selection to include the Think Tanks, Third Sector and other organisations (published in the Newswire section) as a source of more general and broader information and thought pieces, over & above their specific requirements.
 
Other new sources with their own category include National Ombudsmen, Europa and Parliamentary Committees.
 
Subscribers might also like to note from the following link that Wired-GOV is now the only available archive of all government announcements prior to May 12th 2010 and previously archived by COI’s Newswire Distribution Service (NDS) NDS Website Content
 
In conclusion
The Wired-Gov team would like to thank subscribers for their continued support and positive feedback over the last year and confirm our commitment to provide what we consider is the UK's No. 1 government and public sector news alerting service.


Please note Wired-Gov.net does not receive any direct central government funding
 

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