One of the great advantages of being an electronic publication is that Slate can publish stories very quickly. When the president makes an important speech, our political correspondent's analysis can be live before the janitors have cleaned the auditorium. When the stock market rallies after the tragic death of a senator, our financial writer can break down the phenomenon just hours after the event.
But we've never had a way to signal the arrival of that fresh new content and breaking news the way the thud of the newspaper on the porch or the arrival of a magazine in the mailbox does. Until now.
Using MSN Alerts, you can now be notified as soon as we've published an article by your favorite authors or in your favorite departments. Users of "The Fray," Slate's discussion forum, can also sign up to receive an alert when someone responds to their posts. You can select how you'd like to be notified: via Messenger, e-mail, even mobile device, or some mix-and-match combination. You can even set "quiet times," when you'd rather not be bothered with alerts (though they'll be compiled on a page where you can review them up to 24 hours later).
To get started, go to this page to choose which authors and departments you want to hear about. Some departments are not available yet, but we'll be adding more, so keep checking back. (You'll need a .NET Passport to use MSN Alerts. You already have a Passport if you have a Hotmail or MSN account, or are able to sign in to MSN Messenger or Windows Messenger. If you do need to sign up for a Passport, you can do it here.)
If you want to be notified when someone replies to your posts in The Fray, just check the box on the Alerts sign-up page. To post in The Fray, you must sign in to Passport. For more information, read this note from the Fray Editor.
In other news:Slate recently won an Online Journalism Association award in the category of "most creative use of the medium" for the "Enron Blame Game." Congratulations to author David Plotz, Slate's Design Director Kathleen Kincaid, and Interactive Designer Josh Payton.