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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Daily e-mail newswire aims to inform

    What some students might consider annoying spam, the UA hopes will become an indispensable service.

    Last month, the Office of University Communications began sending out UANow, a daily compilation of stories giving insight into the workings of faculty, staff and students on campus, said Paul Allvin, associate vice president of communications.

    UA employees began receiving UANow in December.

    “”When you don’t know what’s happening on the other side of campus, you don’t feel connected,”” Allvin said. “”The more information people have, and understanding of their place in the community, the more connected people feel.””

    The office decided to automatically register everyone with an .edu e-mail address suffix because it felt it would be too hard to advertise the service any other way, Allvin said.

    To unsubscribe, one can click on a list at the bottom of each e-mail to join a “”blacklist”” and prevent getting accidentally signed up again, he said.

    The office sent out 46,507 emails Thursday night, and, to date, only 1,228 receivers have opted out.

    “”We’ve had a lower number of ‘opt-outs’ than I would have expected,”” Allvin said. “”We try to make it as easy as possible for them to opt out.””

    “”We wanted to not waste people’s time, not insult their intelligence and not flood their inbox,”” Allvin said.

    The e-mails offer links to the main UANews Web site for more information on each story.

    The UANews site offers the same content, as well as video segments and weekly podcasts.

    The Office of University Communications generates the UANews service and works with academic departments to

    “”harvest”” content and help them tell their story, Allvin said.

    The office then picks the best stories for students to receive through UANow.

    Last year, UANews posted about 2,500 stories on its Web site, and Allvin is confident there will be enough news to send an e-mail every day.

    He said he hopes UANow will help employee and student morale, and retention. His ambition down the road is to have different “”newswires”” targeted to different audiences, such as students, alumni and parents.

    Allvin called the initial feedback for UANow “”tremendous.”” He said he received e-mails from people who weren’t interested and wanted to be removed, but has also learned that students enjoy the daily updates.

    Pre-pharmacy freshman Stacy Bushong said she didn’t really want the e-mails, and because she doesn’t check her school account all the time, they begin to stack up.

    “”I just think they’re kind of annoying,”” Bushong said.

    English junior Katie Greene has her homepage set to the UA web site, www.arizona.edu, and doesn’t think the service is any different.

    She said she might get more out of UANow if it included bulletins on events and clubs she might be interested in, instead of just news.

    Naomi Bishop, a senior majoring in German and political science, said she could understand the school sending out mass e-mails about pressing issues, not simply daily news.

    Bishop said she might better enjoy UANow if it was sent out weekly or monthly.

    In the future, Allvin said he hopes to structure the program around student feedback so he can tailor it to fit students’ lives and provide them with news in a way that suits them.

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