The Bulletin has been available on the World Wide Web since 1997, and its popularity as a source of information continues to increase. Visitors to the web site downloaded 4.5 times more pages in 1999 than they did in 1998, and we expect this trend to continue. Therefore, we will continue to "reconstruct" the web site to make it even easier to use and more useful in your everyday business.|
Probably the most important asset of the Bulletin on the Web is its availability shortly after the authors write the articles and the editor compiles the current issue. Articles for the Bulletin are due in the editor's office on Wednesday morning. After the editing and formatting processes, the Bulletin is sent for printing, and it's usually mailed on Friday. Therefore, those of you who get the printed version don't receive it until Saturday or, in many cases, Monday of the following week. However, the most current issue of the Bulletin is usually available for viewing on the Web some time on Thursday. So you can read the freshest information well before the weekend.
In an effort to make the information in the Bulletin even more timely this year, we have added an "Updates" feature to the web site, something I have written about before but we haven't accomplished until now. Specialists on campus will be able to provide information between issues of the Bulletin, a feature that may prove very valuable in times of crisis or with fast-breaking stories. If an update is added to the Web version of the Bulletin in between issues, you will notice a bright orange button labeled "Updates" just below the "Search" button on the menu bar after you enter the site. Clicking on this button takes you to the recent updates, which may be in the form of text and tables or may be audio clips. As we make use of this new feature this year, we will seek feedback to determine which you prefer.
The updates will disappear automatically as soon as the new issue of the Bulletin is posted, just to make certain old news doesn't stay around too long. We also will be working on a way for those of you who voluntarily subscribe (no cost; just a way to add you to our e-mail list) to be informed that updates have been added.
We will be offering several more videos this year, and we want your feedback on these, too. We have a video about baiting for wireworms in this week's issue, so let us know what you think.
If you have any questions about our web site, or if you run into difficulties as you navigate through the site, let us know. In addition, if you have suggestions for improvement, don't hesitate to contact any of us. The beauty of the web site is that changes are relatively easy to implement, and we are prepared to adapt as new technologies evolve.--Kevin Steffey