No. 1 Article 1/March 18, 2004

A New Look for the Bulletin on the Web

At last, the Pest Management & Crop Development Bulletin has morphed into the Bulletin--pest management and crop development information for Illinois, at least on the Web. For at least three years, I have indicated that the Bulletin on the Web was being revised, and finally all of the pieces have fallen into place, giving rise to a new look and improved features. Subscribers who receive the Pest Management & Crop Development Bulletin in the U.S. mail will see the same format we have used for several years. And the content of the printed and Web versions of the newsletter will be the same for the most part (at least the text in the articles). However, the Web version will have additional features, and more features undoubtedly will evolve over time.

The Web version of the Bulletin has been incorporated into the Department of Crop Sciences' IPM Web site-- will be located on a new server. For the time being, past electronic issues of the Pest Management & Crop Development Bulletin will be housed on a different server. We will provide access to past issues with a direct link. However, throughout the course of 2004, the past issues will be moved to our server and will be reformatted using the new design.

As in the past, you will be able to subscribe to receive e-mail notification of the availability of the newest issue of the Bulletin on the Web, which usually is posted on Thursday afternoons. The "subscription" is free, and completing the subscription form takes only a couple of minutes. The e-mail notification provides thumbnail summaries of each article in the new issue.

Clicking on the "Current Issue" tab takes you to a page that includes a list of article titles (on the right), each with a thumbnail summary. You also will find a button "PDF: Print-Friendly Version" that will enable you to print the entire issue. On the same page, you will see "Feature" within an orange box (on the left). We will use this to spotlight a new feature of the Bulletin, other educational materials or events, or articles that should stand the test of time. A "Feature" likely will remain posted for more than one week.

Clicking on the "Resources" tab takes you to a page from which other useful resources can be accessed (e.g., other states' newsletters, the Agronomy Handbook, the current issue of the Illinois Agricultural Pest Management Handbook). As we learn about other resources, we will add them to the page. Don't hesitate to contact us if you encounter a resource that readers of the Bulletin might find useful.

We also will have a "Search" function that actually works. Only the 2004 issues will be searchable for a while, but after the past issues are moved to the new server, they also will be searchable--by author, by subject area, by keyword, and by a word or words in the text.

On the home page on occasion, you will encounter "Attention" in an orange box, which indicates an article focusing on a hot topic with a distinct need for timeliness. For example, some of the articles we wrote during the soybean aphid outbreak in 2003 would have qualified for "Attention." On occasion, these articles are published in between print versions of the Bulletin.

Please provide us with feedback on the new look and behavior of the Bulletin online. We expect it to evolve over time, and you can help shape that evolution by letting us know what works, what doesn't work, what features you like, and what features you don't. We intend to make the Bulletin as user-friendly as possible, and your input will help steer us in the right direction.

Starting with the next issue of the Bulletin (issue no. 2, April 2), we will publish weekly issues through mid-August, with a team of Extension specialists and educators writing articles to keep you informed of pest situations and crop development throughout the state. On behalf of all of the authors who contribute to the Bulletin, I thank you for your continued support of our efforts and your interest in the information we provide. We look forward to hearing from you (reports from the field are most welcome), working with you, and providing the most current and useful information possible. Let's all hope that we have a terrific growing season in 2004.--Kevin Steffey

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