Friday, August 29, 2014

Extension News is Accessible Lots of Different Ways, Just Not as Often on this Blog After Today

Contact: David Burton
Tel: (417) 881-8909

One thing a person can accurately say about the Southwest Region News Service is that it has changed a lot in the past 13 years. When I first began my job with University of Missouri Extension, a majority of our media releases were sent by mail or fax. Now, we send no content out using either of those methods.

Instead, we now have a mix of electronic methods that have shown results. For many years, I have made changes and accommodations to this news service after receiving feedback from various journalists and users of our weekly content.

In the case of this week's announcement, the changes are being made because of staff reductions and the need to save some time by eliminating some steps in the process. 

This blog is going mostly silent as of today. From time to time some special stories may get posted here. As a result, the weekly email blast and social media posts will be linked to the news stories posted on the Agricultural Electronic Bulletin Board (AgEbb) at AgEbb is maintained by University of Missouri Extension.

Many of you are aware of the AgEbb resource. Some have told me they prefer it because the articles posted on AgEbb are in a .txt format and more easily copied and pasted for use in publications.

The articles on AgEbb remain posted for 90 days. The first 30 days are visible on the main page, and the other 60 are archived under a separately identified link. The content for Southwest Region News Service appears under the Cooperative Media Group link. The direct link to content from southwest Missouri is .

The regional news service page ( also has the option of subscribing to the RSS Feed which will result in you getting an email of any media release once it is loaded to the AgEbb page. This works best if you are using Microsoft products like Internet Explorer and Outlook. The subscription details for an RSS Feed is as follows: On , you’ll see an orange and white square in the top left hand corner. Click on that logo, and it will take you to the RSS feed for Southwest News. To subscribe to the feed, there is a link that has be clicked on in the yellow box, at the top of the page that reads “Subscribe to this feed” and you are ready to go with email. If you want to add the feed to your website you will need these additional steps after clicking “subscribe to this feed”: place the RSS feed link in the designated area they prefer for the information to appear, and hit Subscribe.

Of course, some prefer to receive the weekly news blast that we send out once a week as a listserv. (Information about subscribing to the news listserv is posted here: As a time savings, that email blast is changing too. The blast will no longer contain a link to each headline with a summary sentence. Instead, it will contain a list of the headlines for the week and then one link to our regional news service on AgEbb. Readers can still click on the stories they want to read once they are on the AgEbb news page.

This listserv is the tool/format that is provided to our office free-of-charge. I do realize it is a little old-fashioned and some folks have trouble with the unsubscribe option. And yes, I do realize that Constant Contact and Mail Chimp are both great services for emailed news however money is tight in our office after a 90% budget cut and funds for these tools simply is not available.

If you wish to receive the individual media releases, subscribing to the RSS feed is a good option. I will also continue to email media releases to media outlets in the area where the story should be of most interest. Although these emails will contain a story headline and the first sentence, they will now also contain a link back to the story on AgEbb.

As a journalist, if none of these options meet your needs but you still want to easily access our weekly content, there is one final option. I can email the original Word documents to you each week under the subject heading of “For posting to AgEbb (SW Region News Service Word documents for the week).” Simply send me an email identifying the media outlet that employs you and let me know you would like to receive the Word documents weekly.

Maybe this is more information than you need. The main point is to be sure you know that there remain several ways to access, copy, use and share news content posted by MU Extension in southwest Missouri.

Your input remains important and you are invited to take our news service survey online at:

If you have additional feedback, please email me at


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