260 is an impressive number if we say so ourselves. It represents five full years of weekly e-newsletters issued by the oos—260 consecutive weeks without ever missing a publication date. From the first issue that kicked things off on January 13, 2009, we have strived to inform, amuse, anger and generally incite reactions from our subscribers. And judging by the volume of email we get after each Sunday edition, it is fair to say that we have accomplished that goal and more.
The oos e-newsletter had a subscriber base of less than 4,000 when it was launched five years ago. #260 is being sent to nearly 7,000 people, an increase of almost 75 percent. The typical open rate for a oos e-newsletter is a full eight percentage points higher than the industry average for electronic newsletters. As Sally Field would say, “You like us, you really like us.”
Perhaps the best way to provide a feel for the range of topics we have covered over the years is to list a few random e-newsletter titles:
Per Se or Prima Facie (#6)
Dealing with Rental Car Companies (#13)
A Different Kind of Distracted Driving (#32)
Life in the Fast Lane (#62)
NHTSA Overreaction (#73)
School Bus Stop Laws (#96)
Ethanol Mandate Under Fire (#101)
Roundabouts – Love ‘em or Hate ‘em (#114)
TSA Turns to Nation’s Highways (#149)
We Need Federal Yellow-Light Timing Standards Now (#202)
Connecting with Lawmakers – Tips from an Insider (#215)
Latest SCOTUS Decision has Profound Implications (#230)
The Myth of No-Point Violations (#242)
Multiply this list of titles by twenty and imagine just about any topic of interest to motorists and you’ll come close to covering the five-year arc of the oos e-newsletter.
But you don’t have to use your memory or imagination in order to document the long list of oos e-newsletters. Some time ago we established an archive site—http://alerts.motorists.org—to do just that for you. Entries are in reverse chronological order which can make for a daunting research task if you are looking for references to a specific topic.
There is a very efficient method of identifying past oos e-newsletters and alerts by topic, one that allows you to create a single link (URL) that puts all of those related documents at your fingertips in a single link (URL). You can use this “packaging” feature to let others know what the oos is all about and to encourage them to join our organization.
That link is
where “keyword” is a descriptive word or short phrase of interest. Insert “blackbox” (no spaces) as the keyword and you’ll have a link to the four oos e-newsletters that refer to that topic. Keyword = “distracteddriving” will yield a link with 16 past e-newsletters and five action alerts.
One more example is in order. Let’s say that you have a friend with whom you’d like to share oos newsletters and alerts that mention California. This will do the trick:
http://alerts.motorists.org/tag/california/ (and keep him/her busy for awhile).
We encourage you to share individual e-newsletters with friends and colleagues, or to do the same using the special keyword URL method. And most of all, keep those comments coming, whether praiseworthy, critical, or simply of a different point-of-view. Your reaction to our e-newsletters is one of the most effective means we have to measure the pulse of oos followers.