Blog Number 280

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 is a community that in some behaves like ours at 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).

Going Foreword

This leads me back to the main issue, how will I go forward with 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 and 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



Excellent approach to change Rick. I'm so glad you're looking at it in a positive light.

I'm excited too Rick. I have been trying to learn as much as I can about it. The search is completely awesome. I also like the "trust levels" that users earn from helpful participation. (it's fun to earn the badges). There's also something called "duplicate thread prevention", so if a topic has been already discusssed, it suggests you look at what's already been said. and if a discussion has a zillion replies, it has a "summarize" button, so you can quickly see the comments the community thought were most helpful in a short version.

That sounds great Marie. I must say when you mentioned you were studying discourse, I really wondered what kind of course that was!! Now I understand better, you were studying the new platform. haha!
I'll still find you Rick wherever you go though I am not too interested in RA and hope not to be soon. (sorry)

LOL Mari, I am not interested in RA either. Unfortunately it is interested in me. :) I will still do most of my writing for and about the diabetic community. Hopefully folks in the two communities will indulge my two issues however. Hmm thinking of issues, maybe I will start a lack of closet storage space blog as well?

I'm a little too tech-challenged to be excited yet---more, as Trudy expressed once, on edge. I don't have a smart phone and don't expect to. And this is the only place I blog and I try to take great care in my blogs, especially in the realm of the spirit and emotions.

Here is a quote from a New Yorker article (January 19)about the development of "devices" that will be able to read our emotions. The author focused on a company called Affectiva, founded by Rana el Kaliouby and this is the quote:

"I think that, ten years down the line, we won't remember what it was like when we couldn't just frown at our device, and our device would say, 'Oh, you didn't like that, did you?'"

I can't really wrap my mind around why anyone of sound mind would WANT that feature. Creepy, indeed.....Sigh....I'll do the best I can.....Judith in Portland

"Trust Levels" with badges. So being a contributor is now a competition somehow???

Judith, I am smiling at my smart phone and it has yet to even grin back. I fear it may need to be replaced? Ha, demonstrate your emotional detachment and I will trade you in. That will teach that so called smart phone.

Hi Judith. I'm surprised at how bad I really feel about the new platform and losing blogs, groups, photos and the easy way to make friends here. Making friends was important, and my writing was my major contribution to the site. TuDiabetes has been unique; that uniqueness will be gone. I do not expect to be on the site much anymore, and it will be a real loss for me. As for my poetry and blogs, I moved them to Microsoft Word, where they seem a bit disembodied! I don't think publishing another poetry book will be in the works by TuDiabetes. Enough complaining from me. And by the way, my smartphone has to content itself with phone calls; I'm going to continue to use my desktop for the internet...

at first I was a little wary of the trust level thing too, I thought, this is going to turn into a popularity contest. then I read more about it and saw how it could help us enormously in monitoring the site. It will cut down on spammers (and trolls). Those members who spend their time contributing to the site would be identified and rewarded. We can call the levels what ever we want, I saw one community that used these monikers: Visitor, Novice, Regular, Leader, Elder.

What makes our community a true community, a family, is the members who love TuDiabetes and the work that we do to improve people's lives. This will not change. Manny can leave the leadership role, and our ship will still steer in the direction of advocacy, education, fellowship, understanding and love.


I hope you at least try it out before you decide to not be on the site anymore. Your writing will still be a wonderful contribution to the site.

Give it a chance please.

As we always have, we are listening... looking for ways to make this work as best as possible.

Judith, amiga,
We are looking at renaming the badges to use language that is closer to the way we do things on TuDiabetes.

On an unrelated note, I would love to catch up with you on the phone! Can you please send me your phone number via email or private message?


I think Blogs are often heartfelt and I really appreciate them. I enjoyed the Blog feature and I did really pay attention when Trudy and Judith expressed their feelings. Sometimes the thoughts they expressed stuck with me. I will be sad to see this feature go.

Trudy---Like you, I write on Word---and that took me years to get used to--I had a favorite notebook style that I used to use--spiral and an odd size that I found comfortable, yellow paper, narrow ruled on one side of each page and graph paper on the other side, which I could use to map the spatial dimension of dance and theater pieces---and only with a #1 pencil. I had to order both notebook and pencil special by the dozen---when I would ask locally for #1s, their reference was always something like "oh like they use in kindergarten!" I wrote an entire evening length one-man-show for a friend that way.

Anyway, while I compose text on Word, once I copy and paste the text into my blog here, I spend time proofreading and editing in general. And then I pull in photos from my computer.

So I think I need to try to create a new blogs file on my computer and copy my TuD blogs back into my computer in their post-editing form. I at the very least need to salvage the ones that reference family themes that my daughter and much later, my grandson might like to reference. We've got the diabetes gene, after all!....We'll see...Blessings...

Judith and Trudy,

The content from our site will all be archived. If you want to save your blogs for your own sake, then go ahead. But rest assured that The TuD crew is working diligently to save your blogs, discussions, etc.

Hi all!

A word about archiving: indeed, we are archiving all the site content before we move to the new platform. I have asked Ning if, in addition to our own archiving, there is a way for members to archive their own content in advance, for their safe keeping. No dice. So if you are concerned that content could be lost (we'll do everything possible to ensure that it won't be, but of course people and technology are both fallible) I think it's a very good idea for you to copy and save any posts you are worried about on your own computers.