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Let’s focus people!

An on-going discussion during IMA Blog team meetings is how to sort or categorize content for our readers without stripping you of the right to stumble on to something unexpected.  The end result of that discussion is always the same…someone ends up saying, “anyone can already sort by category.”  Then we move on to other more pressing things, like how to make the blog feel flawlessly cohesive and spontaneous.  (BTW, how do you think we are doing on that one?)

IMA Blog Categories

IMA Blog Categories

So, instead of making an elaborate design-based effort that would no doubt involve too many hours of Matt Gipson’s time, we thought it might be useful to show you how you can already customize your blog reading experience and see how that goes.

I am going to cover a couple of basic things here…RSS feeds and news readers or aggregators.  For some of you this may be old hat.  My feelings on the subject are best captured by a well-traveled flight attendant beginning a safety lecture to a plane full of impatient flyers…”Listen carefully, or at least be quiet.  It is always the first time for somebody.”  And so it is…so, if you’re a blog readin’ aficionado, then you might as well go back to your reader…that is if you ever clicked through…

For those of you who are now on the edge of your seat, let’ press on.

First thing to know about is the IMA Blog’s categories.  Each post we write has at least one category attached.  Most have several.

This is a feature that easily allows you to focus on what you want to read.  When you land on the IMA Blog page…notice that there is a list of categories to the right. (You see them pictured above.)  You can click in to that category page and bookmark it.  Voila! You have just created your own horticulture-only blog, or whatever category you selected.

My Blogs on Bloglines

My Blogs on Bloglines

Another option is to click that inviting orange RSS icon.  It beckons to you from the far right.  Click on it to be directed to a new page that allows you to sign up for a feed.  You can choose from a plethora of news-readers.  My personal fav is Bloglines.

I find it easy to use and has no weirdness when you move between Mac and PC worlds as I do.  News readers allow you to sign up for a nearly endless stream of content.  You can go out onto the internet and start clicking your little heart out wherever you see that orange icon and amass quite a list of things you just can’t live without reading.  Then your news reader sorts it into a list, shows you what has been recently updated and allows you to preview bits from any feed.

When I discovered the ease and joy of the news reader it was my new BFF for at least a week (which is at least a month in “online time,” it works like dog years), so I hope that you will feel the same way.

And of course, you can just visit the IMA Blog the “old-fashioned way.”  Don’t you think it is funny that there is already an old-fashioned way to read a blog?  Pretty cool in my opinion.

Filed under: New Media, Technology

3 Responses to “Let’s focus people!”

  • avatar
    C. Lilian Says:

    I totally dig the IMA blog, and I visit it the “old fashioned” way, and I have it on my Bloglines too. The only thing I would want to add is along with categories and recent posts, perhaps (if there is room, and if this idea is even worth thinking about) is a list of the bloggers, so I could read all of yours Despi, or all of Daniel’s, etc. I know there is a way to get to that, but it’d be cool if it were right there on the front page. That’s just my two cents… But keep up the great work, I’m a big fan!

  • avatar
    Robby Says:

    I really like this blog. Is there a way to become a member and have a blog myself? A public blog? I would like to start a blog myself about Indianpolis. I’m new to the area and would like to talk about things around Indianapolis and get comments and feedback. Thx.

  • avatar
    Despi Says:

    Thanks for reading our blog! If you want to start your own, you can create one by visiting http://www.wordpress.com (what the IMA blog uses) or http://www.blogspot.com and set up one for yourself. It is easy and free for the basics…wordpress wants you to pay for some premium features, but both sites allow you to create a personalized blog using your pick of templates. Have fun!

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