Release Notes: More prominent newsletter promotion

Release Notes: More prominent newsletter promotion

Come help us hack on our weekly Hack Night project at Code for Boston

Edited by JPat Brown

Last week, we made it easier to register for our newsletter and pushed a small fix on a landing page.

For previous site improvements, check out all of MuckRock’s release notes, and if you’d like to get a list of site improvements every Tuesday - along with ways to help contribute to the site’s development yourself - subscribe to our developer newsletter here.

Site Updates

Newsletter registration more prominent on news pages

Last week we launched a new subscription widget for our main newsletter. It only appears on news pages, and only for logged out users. We’ll be seeing how much of an impact it has, as well as experimenting with other ways of highlighting how to stay in touch. If you run into issues, please let us know.

Also, you can check out our full list of FOIA newsletters.

Updated landing page year

You’re very unlikely to hit this page, but just to keep it consistent, we’ve updated the year on our landing page to always display the current year.

Come hack on MuckRock

If you’re the kind of person who gets excited about building cool, impactful open source software, you might also be interested in our Tuesday meetups in Cambridge, Massachusetts or our other open source efforts.

Right now, we’re working on a website that scans government websites to check on how well they’re doing on a number of important factors, ranging from mobile friendliness and accessibility to ease of contacting them.

Checking into the details of agency websites can be incredibly valuable. For example, recent ProPublica sleuthing of Intuit’s website turned up the fact that the company was deliberately hiding its free-to-file program from search engines. We’re interested in doing similar investigations at scale by parsing as many government websites as possible.

A screenshot of Intuit source code that hid their free filing program from public view

Check out the source code for this project here, and then join us Tuesday.

There are also a number of ways to help us continue to improve the core MuckRock site experience. We have a project and a weekly newsletter, “Release Notes,” that highlights everything we’re working on. Register to get a summary of site updates each week and details on open issues you can help with.

Check out some of our issues labeled “help wanted” for ideas on where’s good to start, or just pop into our Slack’s #Developers channel.

Subscribers to the weekly newsletter get exclusive data sets, FOIA-related scripts, and other transparency hacker tidbits exclusively for subscribers. You can subscribe to the newsletter at the top or bottom of this page.

If you spot a bug or have a feature request, you can also help by opening an issue on GitHub.

If you do, please search open issues first to make sure it hasn’t already been reported. If it has been reported previously, please leave an additional comment letting us know it’s an issue for you, particularly if you can provide more details about when it crops up or what you think is causing the problem.

In addition to the new newsletter, we have a developer channel on the MuckRock Slack.

Image via Wikimedia Commons