Afterword

ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

(Don't) Contact Us by Email

Ministry of Education prefers face-to-face communication
Websites of organizations are an important tool for communicating with their audience. The "Contact Us" webpage (or the bottom margin of the homepage) allows website visitors to further communicate with the organization behind the website. For those surfing the web, it is often very convenient to send an email. Hence, including a contact email address is a must.
Quite a few websites in Bhutan lack contact emails: MOIC, MOH and NSB have Contact Us pages that only list a postal mailing address, phone and fax numbers. NEC lists the same at the bottom of their homepage. For Kunesel, I could not find any contact information beyond a form to fill. The Ministry of Education only gives a map (in the Organizational Chart page).

The choice of email address to use for "contact us" purposes should be carefully considered. Typical email addresses are info@organization-name.com, contact@organization-name.org, etc. For example, the Druk Air website uses reservationparo@drukair.com.bt, Business Bhutan lists editor@businessbhutan.bt, and BOB uses customer.care@bob.bt. Such email addresses allow channeling emails to the right person in the organization.

What if an organization uses email addresses of individuals in the organization for "contact us" purposes? For example, the National Statistics Bureau GIS project page requests "Please support us by reporting any broken links to pema@nsb.gov.bt." I tried this email address and unfortunately it bounced. For whatever reason, this email address is no longer functional (maybe Pema left NSB, maybe s/he is no longer the webmaster, perhaps his/her email address changed, and so on). The JDWNRH Contact Us page lists ngawangtenzin@jdwnrh.gov.bt as the main Hospital Staff contact address, and the webmaster address is purna@jdwnrh.gov.bt. If and when new people staff these roles, the website will require updating. Also, records of emails sent to these addresses will be lost.