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TES: Social networking and personalisation

One of the best-known brands in the education sector – the Times Educational Supplement – has relaunched its website, encompassing not only the traditional mix of job opportunities, forums and peer to peer resource sharing, but also the latest in Web 2.0 features, including social networking and personalisation.

Encouraging user participation

Despite the popularity of the old site – its one million visitors a month were a clear testimony to this – TSL (Times Supplements Limited, owner of TES) was convinced there were untapped opportunities.

Edward Griffith, Project Director, TES:

“The main reason to visit the site was the job ads. Only 16% used the resources section and 20% the community area: there was virtually no ‘cross-pollination’ across the site. Quite simply visitors were not interacting with the site. And this became the main focus of our plans for the new site: we wanted to encourage active user engagement and create awareness of the benefits that the site could offer, whilst at the same time maintaining and building an audience that would protect (or even increase) the advertising revenue.”

Delivering results

Abacus built the new TES website using Webvision. The Recruitment advertising was managed by Abacus’ Jobs Marketplace module, and Abacus used IDOL, the world-leading enterprise search software from Autonomy, to generate the key integration of the various forms of editorial, user-generated content and job advertising. When teachers visit the new TES site – reading articles, touring the resources or posting to the forums – IDOL serves relevant and related content and vacancies held in this integrated solution.

The combination of Abacus’ Webvision and Autonomy’s IDOL engines perform a critical role in providing a powerful and robust backbone for the site, and ensuring performance and availability to the huge number of visitors to the site.

AOP Award- Best Business Website

In June 2009 the TES connect website won two AOP awards– Best Digital Publisher and Best Business Website.

The judges commented: “A vibrant and optimistic site which empowers its users. With high-quality UGC at its heart, TES Connect has harnessed the power of the community in a slick and professional way, and is clearly respected and valued by its users.  With fantastic design and usability, it has enabled teachers to make a beneficial impact on the lives of their peers.”


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