We are pleased to announce that following years of dealing with out-of-date technology and increasing competition, the BioNews website and the free BioNews by email service have been overhauled. We will still have the same high quality content with which you are familiar but the new website and newsletter will allow the editorial team - Dr Jess Buxton, Dr Kirsty Horsey and Ailsa Stevens - greater flexibility in terms of style, content, layout and presentation.
As a BioNews subscriber you should have received an email on Thursday 23 July providing you with your login details for the new website (if you did not receive this email, please email email@example.com for help). If you have not logged in to change your settings then you will be reading the default HTML alert version of BioNews by email. If you wish to receive either the HTML abstract version or the plain text version, please log in at www.bionews.org.uk and click on the big blue button in the top right corner of the page. The new website also has an RSS feed - something which was requested by the subscribers who responded to our survey last year.
The new BioNews website went live on Thursday 24 July and lots of you have already looked at it. The website contains the BioNews archive which we hope is now easier to search and with better results. Because of different technology now underpinning the site, the news items and comment pieces are now capable of being picked up by Google and other search engines, so we hope that many new readers will find us that way, something which is important for our long term future. Another exciting feature we have added is the ability (when registered and logged in) to read and post comments on our articles - we hope that this will stimulate discussion on the issues we cover. Please join the debate! Your views will help us to identify 'hot topics' and to shape our public engagement programme.
The new events section of the website already lists 100 events related to assisted conception, genetics, stem cell research and embryology. You can find events either by looking at them by date or by organiser. We started reviewing books some time ago as we believed this to be of interest to our readers - but didn't really have anywhere appropriate on the old site to house these. There is now a reviews section of the website and the newsletter which we would very much like to expand - all suggestions welcome! You will see that we have branched out from books already: this week's review section contains a film review by Nisha Satkunarajah.
At the end of the day we are still a small charity and, despite the generous help we have received, still need to make BioNews pay for itself. With this in mind, we can now carry advertisements which should help us to bring in some extra revenue - would you like to be the first to advertise? Please contact me to find out more. Our jobs and opportunities section will now be listed on the BioNews website as well as in BioNews by email - for the same price - so remember BioNews as the place to advertise when you have a vacancy. The new website also allows you to generate funds for the Progress Educational Trust (PET), by clicking through to either Amazon UK or Amazon US every time you buy a book or film we review or feature. In fact, if you click through the link in the right hand bar 'in association with Amazon' every time you make a purchase for anything from Amazon we will benefit whatever you buy.
We are continuing to develop and add features to the new BioNews website and newsletter throughout 2009, and we can do an even better job of this with your input. Please contact us and let us know what you think of the new website, if you encounter any problems or difficulties with it, and if you have any suggestions for how it might be improved. Thanks to all of you have already sent feedback to us and - please - keep it coming!
Finally - none of this would have been possible without constant positive feedback and encouragement from our subscribers, generous support from the UK Government's Department of Health and Wellcome Trust, technical assistance from Face to Face and Thunder Design or a grand job steering it all and overseeing the relaunch from Sandy Starr - we at BioNews are very grateful to them all.