Thursday, 10 September 2009

More on the CWGC

Over the last day or so the fuss I reported on in the last two blog postings has subsided, but hasn't entirely gone away.

There has been little to report on, but today there was some contact between David Stacey of the CWGC and a member of the Great War Forum.

June Underwood of the GWF had reported to the CWGC that there had been a tacit agreement from the CWGC that they were happy for people to link to their site. That is the agreement referred to in his reply, which is quoted below:

"Dear Mrs Underwood
Thank you for your further email about the CWGC database. It is very helpful to have a copy of the attached correspondence of which I was unaware. I will be researching to see how many other similar agreements there might be. I note that your website is freely available, but I would be interested to know whether there are others that in fact charge for the same information.

I was pleased to see that you had participated in the original survey. Afterwards, although you were not chosen, a sample of people were asked more detailed questions about the website, at which point such issues might have been raised (but were not). The survey was sent to almost 5000 customers and we received back over 1500 responses. The customers contacted were those who had most recently contacted the Commission at the time the list was extracted, and represented a complete cross section of our customers from the new user (some of whom had never used our website) to the regular visitor, many of whom used our website for "work" purposes. Of those who replied, 821 said they were happy to be contacted again and a number were then randomly chosen for a more detailed telephone conversation. There were several demands for a better search facility, and we have attempted to accommodate some of these.

Before re-introducing the new database, I will look further into the issues raised by the direct links to it. As another correspondent has suggested, it may be possible to keep the functionality of the earlier version, together with the changes to the new. I am considering inviting various individuals to a meeting to put their view to the CWGC in order to inform the debate, and I may be in contact again.

Yours sincerely

David Stacey"

It is encouraging to note that they will look into a number of the issues which have been raised by several members of both the Great War Forum and WW2 Talk.

Now, here's hoping that perhaps they might actually improve the search facility rather than saying they will and adding nothing!

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