Re: Alerting users to news items

Subject: Re: Alerting users to news items
From: Beth Agnew <beth -dot- agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 08:58:28 -0500

Why not try a podcast instead? You can create either your news or a news alert in audio and post it. Get users to subscribe rather than log in. If that is too avant garde for your user group, an RSS feed for text would also work. Once they've subscribed to the feed, they'll be alerted every time there's new content, and they can have the content pushed to them. No passwords to remember, no flopping fish necessary. Alternatively, make it a blog instead, and use RSS for subscriptions. Blog software can also notify readers when new content is posted.


Presenting "Podcasting & Vidcasting, the Future of TechComm" at the STC Conference, Las Vegas NV, 2 p.m. May 10, 2006.

julie -dot- harrison -at- holset -dot- com wrote:

Hi everyone,

We have a web application used internally, and we created a news area to
inform users of changes to the system, scheduled downtime, new features,
improved help, etc.
Previously we emailed everyone, but received complaints such as "I get
loads of email everyday, how am I expected to read it all", and as we are a
large organisation maintaining the list was a nightmare too.

So we have a login page on the intranet now, there's not much on it, login,
news and 3 links, 1 for help, 1 forgotten password and 1 to contact us.
I thought we'd done well, we've included a search for the news, the date is
big and bold, the text is short and sweet with links if they want to read

We've just received moans and groans that people aren't reading it, it's
too hard to remember to check to see if it's changed, apparently.

Now we're trying to find ways of ensuring users read the news, or are at
least alerted to it. (someone suggested a wet fish popping out of the
screen, but the boss said no, shame)

Ideas so far:

1. Have the date 'blink' for the first 3 days that the news item is new.
2. Have the news item as a popup, so the user has to click 'I've read it'.
3. Dancing penguins, or some other alert for a new item.
4. Change the colour for each item.

We're having a bit of a brainstorm next week, so I'd be interested in any
ideas any of you may have.
Have any of you come across similar problems.

Thanks in advance

Beth Agnew
Professor, Technical Communication
Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology
Toronto, ON 416.491.5050 x3133


WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word features support for every major Help
format plus PDF, HTML and more. Flexible, precise, and efficient content delivery. Try it today!.
Doc-To-Help includes a one-click RoboHelp project converter. It's that easy. Watch the demo at

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- infoinfocus -dot- com -dot-
To unsubscribe send a blank email to techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Alerting users to news items: From: julie . harrison

Previous by Author: Re: How to Convince Development Dept to Provide External and Internal Design Specs?
Next by Author: RE: Acronyms, abbreviations and initalisms
Previous by Thread: Alerting users to news items?
Next by Thread: Re: Alerting users to news items

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads