This space for free

As an experiment, we are offering the postage-stamp sized box in the upper-right of our webpage, for advertising scientific conferences relevant to the topics on The Astronomer’s Telegram.

To use this space, you should:

  • represent the organizing committee of such a conference
  • provide either text (140 characters or fewer) or a static gif or jpeg (no larger than 135 pixels wide by 90 pixels high)
  • provide a link to the relevant webpage for the conference
  • suggest a start and end date for the advertisement to run.

The color scheme of the image should not dramatically clash with the webpage.

Regarding the audience: In a typical month, astronomerstelegram.org receives approximately 10,000 visits; 5,500 unique visitors, of whom 2,200 return multiple times over the month.   In order of decreasing frequency, the top ten countries from which our visitors hail are the USA, Japan, Italy, Germany, UK, Russia, Netherlands, France, India and Spain (followed closely by Canada, Australia and China).

Advertisements may be accepted or rejected, run for the full requested period or part of the requested period, at the discretion of the Editors.

Interested parties should send their proposed advertising text or image, along with the desired dates, to the Editor-in-Chief, Robert Rutledge (rrutledge@astronomerstelegram.org).

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New Corrections Policy

We have set a policy about what a correction must include.  Check it out here, and tell us what you think!

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ATels now coming through on your Facebook Stream

We’re now using IfThisThenThat (ifttt.com) to publish new ATels directly to your Facebook stream.   Just “like” the Astronomer’s Telegram page on Facebook, and they’ll start appearing, with a typical delay of a few minutes.

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What Should ATel’s New Year’s Resolution be?

As 2011 approaches a close, we reach out to take your temperature: what should ATel’s resolution for 2012 be?  How should we improve ATel to make it more useful to the transient observer community?

In 2010, we heard that our site was getting slow, sluggish, not as responsive.  In 2011, we turned around, and deployed a re-write of the entire behind-the-scenes engine. Now, it’s zippy! (And we’re always looking for new speed advantages).

In 2010, we heard that people wanted ATels XML-compliant. In 2011, we addressed this somewhat by making all ATels available as XML-formatted documents through an http link, like http://www.astronomerstelegram.org/?rss+3011 (although, to make ATels truly XML compliant, we’d have to enforce XML compliance on all submissions, which we haven’t yet done, and has some implications, like reserved characters, which not all of our authors like).

In 2010, we heard that we needed a service for delivering fully XML compliant alerts — so that observers can automatically submit alerts of their own format and making at the port level, and we instantly redistribute them at the port level.  In 2011, we brought you ATELstream, which does precisely this, and while it’s still growing, we’re excited about the discoveries it will enable in the future.

So, what should we be doing in 2012?  You can tweet it, comment below, send us a personal email!  Contact us any way you like!  We promise to respond, and maybe we’ll make your suggestion our main focus going into the new year!

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