Monthly Archives: August 2011

WriteToReply is closing. Come get your data if you want it

An email which has just been sent out…


We’re writing to you because at some point in the last couple of years, you’ve been a registered user on WriteToReply. We have decided to close WriteToReply and all document sites will be taken down on the 30th September 2011. This is for two reasons: The generous donation of money towards funding from Eduserv will run out on that date and, frankly, we think the site has run its course.

We think WriteToReply has served its original purpose well and since we set up the site in February 2009, the landscape has changed a bit for the better. Central Gov depts have their WPMU sites for commentable documents, there’s, which we secured development funding for, and it offers much the same platform as version 3 was released a while back and is now mature code for anyone to download and set up their own commentable document. We continue to help with the development and testing of the plugin. Together with a number of people, we’ve helped show how commendable documents might be done and helped develop the software to do it. The number of incoming requests for hosting documents on WriteToReply has also significantly reduced over the last year, which has been welcome because hosting a growing WordPress network platform can get expensive.

If you have concerns about how to continue hosting your site, please contact us as soon as possible. If you don’t care, then feel free to ignore this email. We imagine that a lot of the sites served a specific purpose at a moment in time and can safely be taken down.

We know that the National Archive have archived our first hosted site for the Interim Digital Britain report.

We’re hoping that any other government sites we’ve hosted could be archived in a similar way. If you’re working in government, please consider looking into this.

You can always export your site via the WordPress Tools menu and import it into another WordPress site. However, this will not preserve the comments at the paragraph level. To do that, you’ll need the database tables, which we can provide to you if you request them. We can also export all comments to a spreadsheet so that a copy can be filed.

Thanks again for all your support and interest in WriteToReply. It’s been a lot of fun and we’ve learned a thing or two along the way, too. We’ll continue to host the WriteToReply blog at as it is a useful document of our processes over the lifetime of the site.


Joss and Tony