Breaking news! Govt website does email alerts!

Looks like I wasn’t dreaming, first thing this morning. Five Live really did lead on a government website offering an email alerting service. (Shame they weren’t interested when I launched the first government website to do so, back in – er – 1998.) So how totally ridiculous is it that, even at 2pm – as the lunchtime traffic peak ends, after such staggeringly good mainstream media coverage, all the MI5 website can manage is:

E-mail alerts of changes to the national Threat Level and updates on the Security Service website will be available in the near future. This will enable subscribers to keep informed of major developments in national security affairs. You will be able to subscribe via a form on the Security Service website. We will publish an update shortly giving the address of the subscription form.

Utterly, utterly depressing. The least they could have done is publicise it tomorrow, once the damn thing had launched. What would have been nice would have been a desktop widget to slot into either/both the Mac dashboard and the Vista sidebar, as well as things like Konfabulator (now Yahoo Widgets). But I suspect the geek community may have that covered. And I presume I don’t need to mention RSS.