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Marist Bulletin - Number 339


“Marist News” to replace “Marist Bulletin” and “Update”

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Revising and Updating Electronic News Reports

At its winter meetings, the General Council decided to reorganize the digital news reports which are sent by the Communications Office to various audiences. The decision was based on practical and technical reasons.
At the start of the year consideration was given to the criteria used in selecting and sending reports from the General Council to the Institute. Two such reports are sent digitally: (1) “Update” intended for Brothers and their communities, and (2) “Marist Bulletin” targeting anyone who has an interest in things Marist. To the two preceding kinds of news reports, one must add other communications which appear regularly on the Marist website.
Among the written reports issued by the Communications Office was also “Marist Echoes,” a publication for Marist laity alone. “Marist Echoes” reached issue nº 49. Then, a consultation among the Provincials and their Councils as well as other interested persons led to the conclusion that the publication would not be especially missed. Consequently, the publication was discontinued. An abundance of information, surveys and documents coming from the Laity Bureau has compensated for “Marist Echoes.”
The changes made on the technical, digital side are the consequence of evaluation and feedback from both the target audience and the providers of the digital services. Present-day realities suggest that we ought not to make a differentiation between target audiences; what goes out to the Brothers and what goes out to laity have become quite similar and sometimes are exactly the same. Besides, we have at our disposal the means to personalize the news reports such that they go individually to the recipients.

New technology at the service of communication

Present considerations of a technical type also led to the decision to redesign the information services issued by the Communications Office. First, given the numerous news reports that we send out on the web, we had reached the memory limit of the server for the annual fee which we were paying to “2-metri” (the company with which we were dealing for sending Institute news). We needed more space to be able to increase the quantity of information we provide in service to the Institute.
This meant that we had to find another server with a capacity superior to that of the server we had; the change also implies a new fee. In addition, the services of the company “2-metri” were not proving satisfactory from the capacity point of view and even from the angle of expert service. Having the server outside the Generalate brought some advantages, but they were accompanied by a series of limitations.

The preceding reasons, technical and financial, brought about the decision to purchase our own server to be installed at the Generalate and managed by the Generalate staff. The server which was purchased is “Windows Server 2003 R2, Enterprise edition.”

A new idea: Marist News

All the changes will have two effects directly impinging upon our readers. First, we hope that the information sent from the Communications Office to the audience will reach our readers directly. Second, the news reports will be received in PDF format under the title “Marist News.”
Up to now, « Update » was sent to the Provincials and to Provincial Secretaries who then sent it to communities or to Brothers. From now on we will attempt to send the material directly to the personal email addresses of our readership: Brothers, communities, lay people, people who have an interest in things Marist - such as those who used to get the “Marist Bulletin.” In order to do so, we have worked up a data base for our audience. This work is being carried on by our web master so as to reformulate the present data base without causing our users any problems or work.
To review: the update of our news service is being limited to the electronic editions and taking the form of a news report called “Marist News,” published in PDF, digital format. “Marist News” will be published in color once a week and comprise four to six A4 pages. Sent directly to everyone on the mailing list, the report will give news of what the General Council and its Secretariats are doing. “Marist News” will therefore replace “Update” and “Marist Bulletin,” two publications which will no longer be issued.
That is the last issue of “Update”. The first number of “Marist News” will appear on May 20th, birthday of Marcellin Champagnat.

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