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Bulletin and Abstract tweaks

Our News Services Group has been hard at work tweaking the Bulletin and our new science blog, Abstract, and I thought everyone would be interested in some of the changes.  Here are a few comments from Keith Nichols about what’s happening with Bulletin and Abstract.

We made a couple of changes last week that give us new ways to reach our audiences.  And before going any further, thanks to the web team for the technical and design help.

The biggest change is that the Bulletin now has a real home, which will allow us to update the site daily.  It also gives us some additional flexibility and options in our story treatments.  This is new enough to us that we’re still working out some processes – like what happens to the idea of our weekly email outreach to faculty and staff alerting them to the newest edition.  Your suggestions on that point are welcome, as are story ideas.

Here’s a more detailed report from David Hunt (David and D’Lyn Ford are our e-newsletters editors:)

The Bulletin is rolling out a fresh look and tone to more effectively engage the NC State community. You can expect to see more multimedia features such as video, audio and photo galleries. We also opened up comments on each page to encourage a two-way conversation with our visitors.

To augment the new look, we’re moving to a more conversational tone, presenting shorter, brighter features and news items.

Another option we’re excited about is an e-mail update system that visitors can opt into. The system automatically sends an update once a day to subscribers. That gives us an incentive to update the site more often, moving away from the once-a-week schedule to an open-ended system that allows us to respond to news as it happens.

We posted our first “daily” Bulletin on Thursday, complete with the ability to comment on the stories (thanks again to the web team for that).  If you haven’t visited yet, please do. http://www.ncsu.edu/faculty-and-staff/bulletin/

Also, for some time, we’ve kicked around the idea of a science blog, which launched last week at http://web.ncsu.edu/abstract/.

Here’s an explanation, courtesy of Mick Kulikowski:

The Abstract is the official research blog of the NC State Newsroom. Our goal is to make our readers say, “I didn’t know NC State did that,” “Gee whiz” or “Wow,” and then to smile (not necessarily in that order.)

We’ll update the blog at least three times per week – maybe more during the academic year and a bit less in the summer. We’ll write short pieces about research efforts large and small, but always interesting. We’ll bring you cool photos. In fact, there may be occasions when the photo is the most stimulating part of the entry, and we use the copy around it to explain the photo.

As with much of our research writing, entries will be written for the non-expert audience.

You can help us by giving us ideas on what you find interesting, and sending us leads on promising research you hear about, even if we’ve missed the paper or presentation’s release date. Or let us know if you hear a faculty member’s take on an important scientific or research issue that you think would be of interest to The Abstract readers.

These two additions give us a chance to rethink some of the ways we work.  We won’t necessarily be as tied to deadlines, since theoretically we can update the Bulletin and the Abstract in real time, so to speak.  Take a look and let us know what you think.


Keith Nichols

Passion Rules!

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