Site by Instinct


SPIE Newsroom (online from February 2006)

Until 2006, optical engineering society SPIE had been publishing a monthly technical magazine plus a number of specialist newsletters, such as one on Nanotechnology. Then, in collaboration with Form and Content, they decided to switch to a less-technical members-only quarterly called SPIE Professional, and a web-based technical news service called SPIE Newsroom. We provide most of the content for Newsroom using our bespoke technology, our network of editors, and by keeping in close contact with the society's experts.

SPIE has been pretty happy with this right from the start. Dr Gloria Putnam of the Eastman Kodak Company and SPIE Newsroom's Editorial Board Chair, said "When I first saw the news service go online, I was thrilled… Form and Content's system has worked really well for us."

The society was even happier when SPIE Newsroom was awarded the Society of National Association Publishing Bronze EXCEL Award for Website Editorial Content in 2007, and then the Silver award in 2008. Form and Content's CEO, Sunny Bains, attended the banquet in Washington, DC, to pick up the 2007 prize. "It means a lot to me that SPIE Newsroom was honored in this way," she said. "Other award winners included the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the American Meteorological Society, so we're in excellent company."

SPIE has also put its money where its mouth is. In early 2006, SPIE Director of Publications said he was pleased with our, "efficient development and delivery of excellent content." At the end of 2007, he demonstrated that he was truly happy with our work by giving us another two-year contract. Today the contract renews automatically.

SPE Plastics Research Online (online from June 2009)

The Society of Plastics Engineers has been working hard to improve its online presence, and they came to us to produce articles about the latest research in the field. We worked with them to create Plastics Research Online, which has already developed a respectable readership. Once it's been integrated by SPE into their other sites (an ongoing project) it's expected to pick up even more followers.

According to Susan Oderwald, Executive Director of the SPE, "Working with Form and Content Media has been one of the best decisions our organization has made during my tenure.  Their professionalism, commitment to quality and excellent communication skills has made the development and deployment of our new web-based article service one of our most valued member benefits. Dr. Bains and her team have been a pleasure to work with, and I recommend them to others without reservation."

PerAda Magazine and Awareness (online from October 2008)

The European Commission's Future and Emerging Technologies Programme funded a group of projects related to pervasive and adaptive computation (PerAda). Its coordinators wanted to be able to inform and inspire the researchers involved, the wider technical community, and the general public, so we built PerAda Magazine to do just that. We edited the articles to provide wider accessibility than our other projects, but at the same time made sure that there was some technical meat in every one.

Jeremy Pitt of Imperial College London is the chair of the publication's Editorial Board and the person who brought us in to work on it. He says that, "Form and Content are the ideal partner for providing an online magazine that combined academic rigour with public engagement. The excellent look-and-feel of the site combined with the well-edited and well-presented articles gives the magazine immediate impact and a highly positive response. Throughout, Form and Content were fast, informed and professional in delivering the product, while their toolset makes it straightforward to maintain the site and retain editorial control. I'd recommend Form and Content for anyone trying to reach a broad audience with novel scientific content."

Pitt is also pleased that he's already had positive feedback from the European Commission: PerAda's project officer, Wide Hogenhout, has described the site as "really great" and "very well done".

We know that they were genuinely happy with what we did because when the research program ended, they commissioned us to do the magazine for their next project—Awareness: Self-Awareness in Autonomic Systems—which went online at the end of 2011.

The Neuromorphic Engineer (online from November 2007)

The Institute of Neuromorphic Engineering serves a relatively small and close-knit but geographically spread-out group. They work to make electronics smarter and more efficient by looking at the structure of biological information processors: neurons. Because they are a very interdisciplinary bunch—from neuroscientists and biologists to electrical engineers and roboticists—it's crucial that they have editors to define jargon and add context to technical articles so that the whole community can get something from it.

After producing their newsletter for three years, we suggested that a news website might make a better information channel, and that the immediacy of the e-mail and RSS feeds that we could offer would serve their constituency better. They agreed and, in November 2007, we launched the electronic version of The Neuromorphic Engineer complete with reformatted versions of all the issues from their newsletter archive.

Though the entire service is hosted, commissioned, edited, administered and managed by us, Institute participants can feed in ideas and materials directly when required. This, according to Institute Director Ralph Etienne Cummings, is exactly what they needed. He said, "The INE has been waiting for a long time for a versatile, continuously updated, and stylish newsletter. This is exactly what we have here! It is full of material relevant for the Neuromorphic Engineering community and very eye catching. It will be the main portal for disseminating information to our community..."