/ NEWS: How You Can Support UKC and UKH
This seems to be a really odd request, or at least a poorly explained one.
How exactly does subscribing to and opening the newsletter help UKC?
I log into UKC daily (as I'm sure many other users do) and read pretty much all of the articles and stories. I can therefore see no reason to subscribe to a newsletter which gives just me a summary of things I've already read.
Surely accessing the site directly is an equally valid way of getting all the latest news, so why the desperate cry for everyone to subscribe to a newsletter as well? It has the feel of someone trying to justify their job (of producing the newsletter).
How does reading the newsletter support the site any more than accessing directly?
On an slightly related matter: "we won't use the email address for any purpose other than the weekly newsletters" does this mean you won't send us email notifications if we win competitions? I'd always assumed I'd be notified if I ever won and therefore wouldn't need to remember to check the results pages after each one closes.
Sorry you feel it isn't clear.
You seem to be looking at it from a 'how does this benefit me' point of view though. What we want people to know is that it really does benefit us if you are subscribed and open the newsletters, so that is why we are keen for you to do it. Even if you just see stuff you already knew about, it is a way you can help the site.
The reason it benefits us is that it means we can tell the advertisers that support the site that people are receiving the newsletter and the proportion that are opening it. These figures are obviously important to an advertiser who has paid for a position in the newsletter.
> On an slightly related matter: "we won't use the email address for any purpose other than the weekly newsletters" does this mean you won't send us email notifications if we win competitions? I'd always assumed I'd be notified if I ever won and therefore wouldn't need to remember to check the results pages after each one closes.
No it doesn't mean that. Perhaps that isn't clear since obviously we already have your email address. What that should say is "we won't use this subscribed list to send you anything other than the weekly newsletter.
Can you not use the statistics about the number of articles read and discussed online in much the same way?
> Can you not use the statistics about the number of articles read and discussed online in much the same way?
Of course we do, and they are very impressive. But the newsletter has become a very important and popular way to contact our readers, so it is the specific stats surrounding this that are of crucial importance.
The majority of people who read the newsletter are probably occasional visitors who find it useful and probably won't be reading this thread. The main aim of this news item is to appeal to those regular users who have unsubscribed and to ask them to consider subscribing.
It doesn't seem to be a big ask to me.
its not a big ask, but you need to explain why - isn't this the 2nd thread on this topic? clearly your message isn't being understood (I think I'm now signed up for the newsletter follwing your previous explanation)
What's unclear? Seems pretty simple to me: the more people that can be shown to read the newsletter the more attractive it is to advertisers, just like the higher a magazine's circulation or the more viewers a TV show has the more people want to advertise and the more they are willing to pay. If that helps to keep the site going and free to us, the users, Alan's request seems a pretty reasonable one.
This is an EU law coming in very soon (end of May I believe) that the UK is fully in agreement with, its affecting the way that pretty much any company you can think of is treating your data, and comes with a massive fine if they are deemed to be misusing this (it pre-dates the recent FB scandal). So no, this isn’t a weird request, if you’re unsure I recommend you google GDPR. The approach being used UKC seems to be the normal method that companies who store your email address are using, they are simply trying to protect themselves (and therefore you as a customer) and seem to be doing it by the book
News letters to email seem a pretty outdated form of communication these days (at least to me). Surely the likes of Facebook have replaced these? A weekly news letter is typically going to be days behind the Facebook UKC feed surely?
I have now subscribed without any issue at all. Particularly given Alan's explanation - as well [obviously] as a "cheers" for supporting my series of interviews.
But some of us don't use Facebook (for recent, obvious, reasons) and so value a newsletter.
This is an interesting one and quite poignant too Facebook's current spotlight. In short, just because you've got 30,000 of people following you on Facebook doesn't mean that 30,000 people see your message - if they did Facebook wouldn't be making the money it is today. The reality is that only a fraction of people see whatever you publish (aka. your 'organic reach') and after that you've basically got to dip your hand into your pocket and pay Zuckerberg some money. The more money you pay, the more people see your message. This is a slight oversimplification, but it gives you the idea - you don't get anything for free!
When it comes to our Newsletter, it is a direct communication with no outside interference: if we send it to 50,000 people, it reaches 50,000 people (whether or not these people choose to open it is something that Alan has covered, so I won't go into that here). From my perspective the Newsletter is far easier to digest than a Facebook timeline/feed, insofar as it is a single 'greatest hits' email - not an endless timeline. It's also worth remembering that there are members of the human race NOT on Facebook
My final word is on a note of personal assurance to everyone: we're not going to spam you. There's no plans to change from our one a week policy and we put a lot of time and effort into choosing the articles we include. The advertising is clear (i.e. it's apparent it's advertising, not fudged in/amongst the editorial) and there if you want it, but the priority is very much on the top three articles from the past week.
If there's any feedback we're always happy to take things on board.
Thanks to everyone that's subscribed so far too.
Quite funny that this week's newsletter headlines with a story asking us to subscribe to the newsletter if we're not already...
How can you tell if we have opened the email?
We register the amount of times a tracking image in the email is loaded from the server.
Supposing we've got our mail clients configured to read plain text or not allow remote content by default?
> Supposing we've got our mail clients configured to read plain text or not allow remote content by default?
Which is the default configuration for Thunderbird, for example - precisely to prevent such intrusive snooping by the senders of email.
> Quite funny that this week's newsletter headlines with a story asking us to subscribe to the newsletter if we're not already...
I think you get it by default now, if you don’t subscribe, you won’t get it after the GDPR comes in to force.
> I think you get it by default now, if you don’t subscribe, you won’t get it after the GDPR comes in to force.
Correct. We are still using the old database which we have been building up since... well 1997 I guess! The subscription confirmation you make now is for a new field in the database which we will start using after May 25 although I did hear that this date might be moved on.
GDPR is going to be the bane of most IT companies lives for quite a while.
Its full of so many holes its like one of my string vests.
Someone who is banned asks for you to delete all their identifying data - which you have to do for Right to be forgotten. As you now have no record of the email address that was banned - they are no longer banned.
And that's just one of the many ill conceived GDPR directives.
If the company sends an email to someone who's not opt-ed in (unlike at present someone who's not opt-ed out) then that will be illegal. A painful process but at least it will generally stop companies selling their email lists. If the email is not there it can't be sent to (in IT terms or legally). Just image what the National Trust will have to do through.
The person could opt back in via the website f they change their mind.
I use Thunderbird but to read the article you have to click through to the website. I'm all in favour of useful & interesting free websites.
(I'll now take my anorak off)
> GDPR is going to be the bane of most IT companies lives for quite a while.
Potentially great for the rest of us though. I'm bored of hearing about personal data being stolen from companies due to sloppy (/no) data encryption and these companies then somehow being portrayed as victims of theft in the general press.
Signed a non-IT worker ;-)
> Someone who is banned asks for you to delete all their identifying data - which you have to do for Right to be forgotten. As you now have no record of the email address that was banned - they are no longer banned.
Could you not just keep a list of banned email addresses in a text file?
As I understand it, you are not automatically required to delete all of someone's data when there's a valid reason for keeping it (e.g. providing a warranty, or ensuring tax compliance).
I'd have thought that keeping a list of banned email addresses would be fine on this basis, as long as you don't also keep other data about that person without good reason.
But I could be wrong!
> Could you not just keep a list of banned email addresses in a text file?
> ... but I'd have thought that keeping it in a text file, rather than a password-protected document or an encrypted database, would fall foul of GDPR.
Sorry not clear of me. It could easily be password protected, I meant a text file that you compared to an email when the previously-banned user tried to log in again.
> As I understand it, you are not automatically required to delete all of someone's data when there's a valid reason for keeping it (e.g. providing a warranty, or ensuring tax compliance).
I wonder if 'being an arse on a forum' counts?
> I'd have thought that keeping a list of banned email addresses would be fine on this basis, as long as you don't also keep other data about that person without good reason.
Yeah that is what I am thinking. We have tried to look into it but not found anything definitive yet.
I work in quite a different industry from yours, but we do process a lot of customer data and depend on being able to market promotions to our customers, contact them for various other reasons, and keep a record of orders for some time.
The right to be erasure isn't absolute - and I'd expect you'd be OK on this one:
The advice we've been getting is that people are panicking a bit too much, and that it's still mostly about being sensible, identifying all the risk areas, doing what you reasonably can to cover or improve them, and continuing to review and sort other problems as they come up. It is unlikely that companies that can demonstrate they're taking it seriously and doing their best will have the book thrown at them - that's expected to be for those who don't bother, or who are really careless with people's data (or deliberately abuse it).
Obviously actual legal advice trumps what I think, but that's how we're dealing with it for now.
Then we won't be able to track the open in that case... obviously?
Yes, that was my point!
The majority of inboxes only block images for messages in the SPAM folder.
> As you now have no record of the email address that was banned - they are no longer banned.
1) when you ban someone, you delete their account completely.
2) when you ban someone, you retain all their information (including their email address), only you stop them from posting.
Whilst we're on the subject of GPDR and how UKC complies, how securely stored is the information you have on us? and where does it reside? (just curious)
> News letters to email seem a pretty outdated form of communication these days (at least to me).
the opposite is true, on Facebook they own your audience and you have to pay to grow it and reach it.
Support independent specialist media like UKC by re-subscribing to their newsletter.
Ok yes I agree largely with what Rob said above from a company perspective. I think the two are quite different though upon reflection. FB is effectively latest news, and if you miss the latest news then there's the next latest news. The newsletter as Rob says is a 'greatest hits' email of what has gone prior, so probably attracts a different group of readers. Maybe those that frequent the site less? I probably already spend arguably too much time on UKC. There's no point getting the greatest hits album if you've already got all the albums and B sides released prior. Good luck to UKC to getting back to the previous mailer figures though.
> There's no point getting the greatest hits album if you've already got all the albums and B sides released prior. Good luck to UKC to getting back to the previous mailer figures though.
Ok, but this is looking at it from the point of view of what UKC can do for you. We just want to turn that around here and ask you to do something for us - ie. subscribe. Unlike the greatest hits album, it doesn't cost you anything other than a few seconds to glance at the email every now and then.
I would have imagined that one of the world's biggest climbing websites would have thought quite a lot about all of these issues before issuing such a blatant public request. It seems quite simple to me: if you like UKC and want to help it grow (income, content, database etc) then do as they ask; if you don't, don't! I would have thought most people in the climbing and hill walking world would like to see UKC (or most other websites for that matter) do well.
I think traditionally there was a bit of dislike from the climbing community that one company had such a monopoly on crag databases, but let's face it, it's best in one place, they do it superbly, it costs us nowt, and they're hardly coca-cola.
I can see buttons to unsubscribe but nothing about subscribing...
> The majority of inboxes only block images for messages in the SPAM folder.
I'm sure that most advertisers are shrewd enough to know the ,assive flaws in this type of tracking.
Some people will have their inboxes configured to block image downlaofs all the time and others will have them configured to automatically download images with the email even if they never open or read the message.
Some of us may have been known to work out how the tracking has been done and bombard the person trying to track us with a shedload of false data ;)
> Newsletters to email seem a pretty outdated form of communication these days (at least to me). Surely the likes of Facebook have replaced these?
Erm no. Following anything on Facebook is a near impossible task for anyone who doesn't have an account. In fact, I still haven't worked out how to do so. That's because FB go out of their way to make it difficult for people to follow people on there. The so-called 'Social Network' is actually extremely antisocial.
The replacement for email newsletters I'd have thought would be plain old RSS. Free, simple and open to everyone.
I opted in after you explained what it did for, having previously opted out. Yesterday I received the UKH newsletter nine times.
> I opted in after you explained what it did for, having previously opted out. Yesterday I received the UKH newsletter nine times.
Ah, not great. I’ll get Paul to have a look.
Hi Alan, out of curiosity do you get additional revenue from visitors clicking adverts (cost per mile)?
> Hi Alan, out of curiosity do you get additional revenue from visitors clicking adverts (cost per mile)?
We don't operate any pay-per-click systems on the web site anywhere, including the newsletter. We do track if people click but not who they are or where they go.
We do have a thing called SkimLinks which is a clever system where by certain retailers (big non-climbing-outdoor ones mainly) get recommended on the forums by user posting links with links, and they pay us a commission if the clicks go through to a sale. These links though are mostly for bike parts from Chain Reaction and the odd other retailer, and are user-placed only.
Pay-pre-click is not very beneficial for us since our selling point is general awareness and not necessarily being the place people go through when they are buying. People advertise on UKC not to get direct sales, but to get the sales when they do want to buy and put a specific product into Google and get a load of retailers returned. They then click on the familiar one because of that retailer's presence on UKC but there is no way of tracking that kind of sales benefit.
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