Blog Number 280
Wow what an exciting time for our community!! Emily’s post on January 20’th lets us know how the community will go forward using the new discourse backbone. It is also an exciting time for me personally so I thought this morning I would combine the two pieces of good news in one post. It is estimated that a complete change over made in Mid-March of 2015. Discourse (the new platform) will be such a big improvement for our site and I trust it will serve our needs for many years, just as Ning has been a faithful service provider in the past. This is Emily’s post:
If you missed Emily’s post please read it over and examine the cool new features we will have when the changeover is complete.
A couple of words are appropriate about the Ning site. Until this year I have believed that Ning was still serving our needs fairly well. Yes there are shortcomings, but those shortcomings had been outweighed by the familiarity of the platform. This year I changed my opinion and I along with many of our more experienced users expressed the feeling that the Ning platform was no longer serviceable for our needs. Thus a change was investigated.
In announcing the change Emily told us to expect difference in functionality. These will include better mobile integration, improved search function and a better user friendly environment. Using the Discourse backbone will make our community viable in the age of mobile devices and of particular interest is the search function simply awful with the Ning environment. If you question why we need extra smart phone capabilities consider this item from Wired Magazine:
“In 2009, roughly 5 percent of the global population owned a smartphone. Before 2015 is out, that number is expected to hit 35 percent, or 2.5 billion people—approximately the populations of China and India combined. Considering the ever-quickening pace of technological innovation and the shrinking cost of processors and chipsets, it does not take a particularly fertile imagination to picture the day when, perhaps as soon as 2017, half the world will be hooked up to the small screen of a smartphone” (Shaer, 2014, pp. 179 - 185)
When you consider the ramifications of the increasing use of smart phones, we see why it is necessary to change how we present the web site. We have no choice but to change how we connect to the larger world. We are likely behind the curve already so changing is important and the sooner the better.
As Emily explained another change will include how we deal with Blogs. My sense is we will still honor the best blogs of the Diabetes online community (A nice change) and reward new and small blogging efforts here on TUDiabets. I have been asked to help the blogging transition and I am looking forward to figuring out exactly how we can balance the needs of both types of bloggers
My feelings about the change
So one might think I am upset, or angry about the change in how we do blogging, I will say it moves me out of my comfort zone. Still I remain comfortable that we will figure out a good way to do our blogs.
I have also made changes. This past month, I was approved as a bloggers for CreakyJoints.org. CreakyJoints.org is a community that in some behaves like ours at TUDiabetes.org except it is dedicated to people who have arthritis. They are interested in patient advocacy and information related to Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am not for certain how much of the CreakyJoints community you can see without being a member, (I think quite a lot), but maybe not, at any rate if you are interested in my blogging efforts with CreakyJoints look at it at this web address:
To be a blogger for CreakyJoints, I have committed to prepare 12 blogs starting in January. The 12 blogs will be published at least monthly so I am working on content and getting things ready to start that effort. The overarching subject of the blogs will live with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Diabetes. This is great territory for me to delve into. I named the new blog RAD (Rheumatoid Arthritis and Diabetes).
This leads me back to the main issue, how will I go forward with TUDiabetes.org. For the near term, there will be no changes. I intend to honor my commitment of writing 100 blogs this year. This is blog number 80 so I need to pick up the pace a little.
In addition I intend to open an independent blog site that will be a duplication of my efforts on TUDiabetes.org and CreakyJoints.org. I intend to call it RAD (thanks Marie for the great title Idea) and at first not do a lot with it. When my site is fully realized I want it to be visually appealing, functionally useable and easy to maneuver. I also want it to be expandable, (I am thinking movie reviews at some point), but only if I can generate an audience and who knows if I can.
Someday I hope you will find RAD in your search results, but not until I finish my commitment to TUDiabetes. As for my involvement on TUD; I don’t see you getting rid of me soon. I still have responsibilities here apart from blogging and I intend to keep those . I will keep you (whoever reads my dribble) apprised, just as I have since April 2013 when I blogged.
Shaer, M. (2014). The secret world of stolen smartphones, where business is booming. Wired. Retrieved January 21, 2015, from http://www.wired.com/2014/12/where-stolen-smart-phones-go/