Today we mailed out 394 letters to former and future bloggers in prison whom we'd been introduced to over the last 6 months, inviting them to start writing for us again. This is Between the Bars' largest mailing yet - and it was a great learning experience. We decided to make use of MIT's Mail Services and their fancy machines for folding and stuffing the envelopes - and also learned, the hard way, that they required that the 2000 pages we provided for the mailing be uncollated. :) As we grow, we may make heavier use of the mail stuffing robots to handle our outgoing correspondence.
With that out of the way, we now have a tentative date for relaunching Between the Bars: April 1! As soon as we start getting mail and blog posts back from people in prison, we'll bring the site online again.
We're also taking the opportunity to do some upgrades to the software. One major new feature is support for profile pages. Profiles on Between the Bars will be a single 8.5x11 scanned page that can include any photos, drawings, addresses, or any other info the blogger wants to include, and can also be transcribed like blog posts. Unlike blog posts, they won't enter the blog roll or RSS feeds, and will remain in place until the author changes them.