Over the last couple of years we have been trialing an online community. We wanted to use it to engage with our online users and to gather feedback on our products and services, and we hoped that readers and researchers would also use it to discuss the matters that were important to them.
After a successful pilot, we opened up the community to everyone. Unfortunately, we had to close registration to new members soon afterwards due to excessive spamming, which saw valuable feedback overwhelmed by irrelevant and inappropriate comments. We have spent a lot of time and resource to try to prevent this but it has proved insurmountable. We have therefore reluctantly decided to close the community.
We are still committed to engaging with our online audiences, now more than ever before. We really want to hear your thoughts and ideas on how we can improve our online services. We need your help to gain a better understanding of how and why people use our website, how your needs change and how we can make it better.
We’ve listed a few ways below for you to keep in touch, but we’d also be really interested to hear about other channels you use and your thoughts on other ways we can discuss research, services and our plans.
If you would be willing to help us test our products and services before everyone else, please sign up to our newsletter and tick the market research box. You will receive invitations to a variety of testing sessions, with no obligation to take part.
Join us on Facebook and Twitter
We have a Facebook page and a Twitter profile where we answer enquiries and share news, events, blogs and record releases.
We also host Twitter discussions and Q&A sessions. In our last Twitter chat we discussed history months and diversity in archives. If there are any topics you think would make good discussion topics, please drop us a message in the comments below.
For those who visit our reading rooms at Kew we also hold regular User Forum sessions. Open to all, they provide the opportunity to keep up to date with developments at The National Archives. The forums consist of open discussions and updates from our management team and cover a wide variety of subjects.
Find out when the next User Forum is happening.
Connecting with other researchers
At our last Meet the Keeper session, one person suggested that we should provide a space for people to share details about their research, and to help researchers connect with each other. We think this sounds like a great idea, and Twitter thought so too. We’d love to know what you think, and what you would expect as part of such a service. We could look to do this on site and online if possible – which would you use?
We’d like to thank everyone who took part in the community – from feedback on Discovery to your thoughts on the commemoration of the First World War, your contributions were invaluable. We hope we’ll still have these conversations, only in different ways and on different platforms.