First the bad news.
As many of you will have noticed, we experienced a nasty bug today which meant that email alerts were going out with only the format name and change note for each content item, without a title or summary.
We spotted it yesterday evening, fixed it this morning and deployed the fix to production this afternoon. All content that was published between those times will have been affected.
We’re very sorry for the hiccup. It was caused by unforeseen conflicts between apps following an upgrade to the version of Rails we’re using on the main whitehall app. We’ll do a post mortem and make sure we learn from the mistake.
Now the good news.
As of today, email alerts will now be going out at around 4pm each day to subscribers who have chosen to receive daily alerts, and at around 4pm on Sundays to those who have opted for weekly alerts. (Immediate alerts continue to be immediate, natch).
Previously the daily digest alerts were hitting inboxes in the morning which meant the information (from the previous 24 hours) was already fairly stale.
A 4pm delivery time is optimal according to the wisdom and experience of those good folks who ran the former info4local service. Sending the messages at 4pm means information lands in people’s inboxes in time to read it on their commute home, and it includes all of the same day’s updates up until the moment the email went out.