Big changes soon on the BeeHive
Sorry to bother you with this one, itís not strictly about pensions this time, but about the BeeHive itself.† Iím pleased to be able to tell you that we will soon be upgrading the BeeHive so it can do more for you and carry even more information.† It will also be easier for you to search out topics and to sort BeeLines into groups where you are looking for information on a certain pension issue.† I mean how goodís that?† The BeeHiveís about to get really whizzy and become much easier to use at the same time.
Now, as youíll probably already know, thereís a lot more to running a website like this than just churning out the English translations of legislative gibberish.† Thatís my part of the job, but weíve got a whole army of people working to keep the thing running day in and day out.† That includes, of course, Maureen, Jamie, James, Caroline and Julie Ė our Pensions Technical Support Unit in Edinburgh, who do a fabulous job of making sure every single one of the many e-mail queries that come into the BeeHive are answered.† I know many of you really value that part of the service we provide, but you might be surprised to know just how few people we actually have doing that.† Theyíre real stars and really know their stuff.† Itís a great effort all year round and something else weíre keen to build on as we develop things this year.† Also, the amount of traffic we get on the BeeHive now is phenomenal (and thanks very much to all of you for that.† I really do appreciate it) and this has made it even more urgent that we update the technology running things.†
For the last few months weíve been busy behind the scenes copying all of the existing stuff from the current site to the test version of the new whizzy one, and thatís going to go on for a few more weeks yet.† (Mainly because Iíve written so much stuff in the two years this thing has been up and running.† But as I said to the guys whoíve been working weekends to move all the BeeLines over, hard as that task is, you know, you should try writing them!)
Anyway, Iím pleased to say that we are now mirroring the BeeHive with the prototype new site and making sure that all is well before we release it into the world.† Itís looking good and I hope to be letting you know soon when weíre ready to pull the switch to launch the new BeeHive and turn off the lights on the old one.
We will be changing things a bit as we modernise the site, and some of the old things (like the dancing Steve and the moving bee on the home page) will not be included on the new BeeHive.† (Anyone whoís gutted to hear that, Iím sorry, but youíve still got a few weeks left before the changes kick in, so make the most of it!)† The new things weíre going to get, though, will more than compensate for the loss and Iím sure that youíll warm to the new site just as we have as weíve been putting it all together.† There will be some new features that I just know youíll love!
But Iíve got one worry.† The new site will come with a new web address and those of you who have the old address bookmarked and access the site that way will have to change that if you want to get to the new one.† Obviously we will make that as easy as possible for you when we get to the changeover by putting links from the old address to the new one for a while and giving you the URL to copy etc.† Iíve made it pretty clear to everyone working on the project that I donít want us to lose even one regular user of the site because of this changeover, so you can be sure weíll do everything we can to make the transition work for you.† Iíve also said that I donít want anyone inconvenienced either.† No-oneís forced to use the BeeHive and we donít take your support for granted.† Never will, in fact.† And I know things like that are easy to say, but I do hope you know that I really do mean it.
Many of you are registered with the BeeHive and as far as you are concerned there will be nothing that you will need to do when we move to the new BeeHive.† Things will just carry on as at present and you will get an e-mail from us every time something is added to the site the same as you do now.
Anyone who hasnít registered for updates, by the way, but wants to can do so by following the link to†BeeHive Registration†and giving us their e-mail address.† Itís all been set up in a non-threatening way (in case youíre worried about things like that) and is something Iíve insisted on from the outset.† The BeeHive is set up outside of our firewall and is effectively in the public domain.† There is no need for passwords, or anything like that, and anyone registered will never be contacted by us for any other reason than being e-mailed to let them know a BeeLine has been added to the site.† We will not use the list of those registered for any other purpose, nor will we share the list with any other body or individual.† Registering is just a way of making sure you donít miss something we put on the site, thatís all.† Itís not a way of us building up a database for other reasons.
Anyway, thatís the advert over.† I hope you have a good weekend and that when the BeeHive revamp goes live in a few weeks time youíll continue to support it and hopefully get even more use out of it than has been possible so far.
Normal service will resume next week when Iíll try to translate some of the piles of new pension stuff on my desk that Iím dying to tell you about Ė and I know you just canít wait!
Ciao for nowÖ
4 March 2005