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Thread: How to handle news of the day.

  1. #1
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    How to handle news of the day.

    Every morning I scan the headlines and look for articles that may be of interest to our target members. Normally one or two if I'm really critical and avoid the stuff that is topping news everywhere - which I assume you get to hear anyway.

    But today there are 4 bubbling just under the surface - which makes me think we might want to handle news delivery a slightly different way.

    To give an idea of what I'm talking about - it certainly is not the Shaik appeal. The four I'm talking about are:

    SA slips in WEF competitiveness index
    SA unemployment rate dips slightly
    Focus on race as Solidarity slams equity reports
    Parly 'loses' R3m in assets

    Now what catches my eye in these stories is not necessarily what makes it newsworthy in the eyes of the media.

    For example - Solidarity taking a position against racial classification is no big surprise, but buried in that article is a deadline looming for an EE report with some pretty stiff penalties for non-compliance - And this is what business minded folk absolutely need to know.

    But it doesn't make the news headlines in the media, does it. In fact, it's rather easy to skim the headline and move on - without realising there is important information hidden in there.

    I know I damn nearly missed the increase in the UIF earnings ceiling. I received no notification from SARS or DoL and tripped across it as a sideline in a story a few days before the change. And it would peeve me no end to have to pay penalties and interest, not to mention the hassle of trying to get the records corrected, for no good reason other than no one told me.

    Then the other day I received an emailed missive that as a byline reminded me that VAT returns for this month were due on Monday 25th. But of course, Monday was a public holiday and the return was actually due on Friday 22nd. This little slip would have cost me 10% of the value of the VAT return - non tax deductable too, which means it would have cost me some income tax too. Shows what can happen if you don't pay attention to the details.

    So all that to make a few fairly short points.

    Do I simply post each of these items and highlight the little gem hidden in the story?

    Or is there value in putting together a simple little ezine that is distributed daily/weekly/whatever that pulls these little gems together?

    Your comments would be appreciated.
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  2. #2
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    Or is there value in putting together a simple little ezine that is distributed daily/weekly/whatever that pulls these little gems together?
    I think that is a really good idea - hard cold info that is crucial to business owners.

    How about a forum where we can dump any information like that that we come across and it can be dissemintated to the members on some regular basis?
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  3. #3
    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
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    This is great Dave - The volume of info out there is tremendous and to have some keys listed and pointers of stuff connecting the dots and highlighting hidden issues would be invaluable.

    I am sure we all see things happening and say .....hey that looks similar to that other issue - whats going on here or wish I had known about that earlier.

    The format I think is up to you - The easier the better. For me a listing or a forum area as Duncan suggests, would probably work better as there would be more interaction than an ezine. It would also allow some free thoughts and others direct input. An ezine sounds like a lot more work for you.

  4. #4
    Administrator I Robot's Avatar
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    Collecting important information is very much a major part of the forum.

    Sure, it's great to chat and be sociable too, and that's all part of the fun. But the value is in the content.

    If everyone stopped by every day and checked the boards, the idea of an ezine would be irrelevant. But the fact is they don't.

    We also forget things, so a reminder service has definite value. The fact that we know the info is here doesn't mean we'll remember to check the site at the right time. There is also no doubt that member visits pick up dramatically after each mail.

    I'm not too sure about setting aside a forum for news/articles specifically destined for an ezine. Perhaps better to make the post and then we collate it into the ezine. However, I think it's fair to say that high value articles deserve special treatment - recognition in the ezine, and perhaps advertising space in the ezine or even on the board.

    The fact that we publish regular reminders and special articles is of value in many ways - and from my side I can think of two straight off:
    • It adds value to signing up for membership
    • The ezine can be forwarded on - increasing awareness of the site
    This leads to more members, more contributions, more value for everyone.

  5. #5
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Two things to respond to there.

    1. A digest (emailed on some regular basis) is important component to disseminating the info
    2. I think for Dave/Admin's sanity it would be easier if we dumped the info in once place (which can be innocuous). It just means that creating the ezine/digest is quicker (which is really important to the sustainability of it)
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