New Web site to reduce spam

A new Web site and general communication system will be put into effect March 16 in an effort to reduce the number of irrelevant e-mails students receive from Ball State University.

University Marketing and Communications has been working for 18 months to conceptualize a three-part system, Tony Proudfoot, associate vice president of marketing and communications, said. Components include a communications Web site, twice weekly newsletter via e-mail and subscriptions to additional e-mails.

"The idea for the Web site came from an SGA slate a couple years ago," Proudfoot said. "A committee of faculty, staff and students worked on the initial ideas and established the overarching philosophy and policies."

Senior Hillary Tribbett, a member of the Student Media Team, helped generate lists to keep track of publishers who would be generating content and helped with usability testing for the Web site. It was constructed by UMC employees, she said.

The URL for the communication Web site, the first component, is It will be a "one-stop-shop" for all campus goings on, according to a press release.

The second component is the Ball State Digest, a twice weekly newsletter that will be e-mailed to students on Mondays and Thursdays. The digest will include all the events and information students need to know, replacing the ALLBSU e-mail listing option.

"We've had some difficulty with students not utilizing their BSU e-mail," Proudfoot said. "When they use Google Apps, they mark BSU e-mails as spam and it gets blacklisted."

Senior Sarah Henry said she thinks the twice weekly e-mail will have certain strengths and weaknesses.

"Sometimes if I hadn't seen e-mails about certain events, I wouldn't ever have known about them. I think this could be a good thing, but I might not look at it if it's really long," Henry said.

The content is generated by the faculty and staff and is published by the department heads, Gail Werner, administrator of the Web site, and UMC News Center Editor, said.

"We don't know how much content will be generated in the first few weeks, but there are opportunities for postings in over 100 areas," Werner said.

Werner also said there will be a section for student postings on the Campus Bulletin Board, such as buying and selling under the "For Sale or Lease" category.

"It may seem like a lot to take in, but it'll make more sense once the site is launched," Werner said.

Besides the Communications Center Web site and biweekly digest, students may subscribe to any additional e-mails they would like to receive. They can manage their accounts from the Communications Center Web site, Werner said.

Some students like the idea of one mass e-mail.

"I like the idea of subscribing to the types of information you want," sophomore James Ailstock said. "I'm getting a lot of e-mails now that don't pertain to me because they're outside of my major."

The communication system will not eliminate messages Proudfoot calls "business critical." E-mails including bursar statements, information about academic standings and university policies will still be sent to students, he said.

"This initiative will result in a dramatic reduction of unsolicited e-mail, that of which will be defined over time," Proudfoot said.


More from The Daily

Loading Recent Classifieds...