Lemme Update Ya: The Life

by Rachel on January 6, 2012

As I mentioned earlier this week, my goal for 2012 is to really push myself to be a better writer and to get my blog on the level I want it to be. I had a Skype session with a graphic designer on Wednesday night, and I’m excited about all the ideas she has for improving the visual direction and making it represent my style more. I feel good about the content I’ve started writing and brainstorming. But there is another change I made this week that I want to share.

I’ve wanted to have some sort of community area/bulletin board on my blog for a couple years now. There are times when I feel like I have little bits content I want to share with you: links, videos, upcoming events, some food pictures or workouts, announcements (like this one), Project Tasteless, reviews/giveaways, etc. The content feels homeless; to me, it’s distracting and possibly unprofessional as part of the main page . Further, from what I’ve seen, you all might like some sort of “open thread” area to interact with each other without worrying about getting off topic or “hijacking he comments” (your words, not mine). You can also ask me those questions or leave me those comments that you worry are apropos nothing. This was extra apparent after my post on Wednesday about making female friends; a bunch of meetups started to get organized in the comments and I realized that there really needs to be a place for that sort of thing.

A logical option would be a Facebook page, but then I remembered that I had one of those until I changed my blog’s name. At that point, Facebook wouldn’t let me change my page name and I got pissed off and just said “fuck it.” If I were to ever change my blog’s name again (like, for example, if I changed my name), I’d be screwed. So yeah. No thanks, Facebook.

I thought about putting some kind of forum on my blog, but I tried that once with Hollaback and nearly destroyed both HBH and my blog in the process. Not messing with that again.

This week, I found a way to achieve this and I don’t think will interfere with my goal of posting the type of solid mindcasting I want to make sure is populating my homepage.

At the top of my blog, you’ll now find a menu item called The Life. All the content I just described will appear there. (If you click it right now, you’ll find that type of content from as far back as May 2011 appearing there; the rest will be added in time.) For now, I’ll update that section twice a week — right now, I’m planning to do Wet Wednesdays there and then post additional content there on Fridays, when I’ll also turn it into an open thread where you guys can interact however you please. And I’ll hang out there too; I love relaxing and reading blogs on Friday nights! I’ll post the first open thread this evening to give you a better idea of how it will look, so be sure to check back later if you’re interested.

The thing I want you to know is that while there will be more content in “The Life,” that content won’t appear on the main page.

What this means for you.

If you read my blog via RSS reader:

  • Nothing will really change. However, if you don’t like the kind of content I’m putting in “The Life,” (I know some people find it boring) there isn’t a way to unsubscribe from just those posts at this time. I’m working on it. Until then, I’d suggest simply marking those posts as read; I won’t be offended, I swear.

If you see my latest posts via Facebook or Twitter:

  • Nothing will really change. However, if you don’t like the content that is going in “The Life,” I’d suggest not clicking through when I post those links.

If you read my blog by randomly checking it to see if there are new posts:

  • Something will have changed. It’s possible that, twice a week, there will be a new post up but it won’t be appearing on the homepage. I’d like to have some sort of notification on the “The Life” tab or some kind of widget that shows you that there is new content there, but I am not sure how to do it yet. Until then, you would, theoretically, have to remember to click that tab on Wednesdays and Fridays to check for new content. I apologize for adding a second click in there because I know it’s inconvenient, but I am working to find a solution to that.

I think this is a good solution for posting higher-quality content on my blog but still being able to share the lifecasting posts that some people want. The homeless content has a home and you can opt out of reading it if it’s not your thing. Most important, it’s a way to let what I think is a really fun group of likeminded women talk as much as they please about whatever they want and get to know each other, because I can see a lot of you want to (or already are!). I’m excited to hear what you guys think and see how it works!

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mel January 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm

FTW !!

Reply

2 Rachel January 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Heh… I thought you’d like this!

Reply

3 kate January 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm

I’m liking this direction that your blog is taking. I think I will like “The Life” and I’m happy to hear that those posts will show up in my reader! At first, I was concerned they wouldn’t. but yay!

ps. The Pioneer Women has different sections of her website that you can subscribe to. I got severely annoyed by most of her posts but appreciate a few recipes and garden peeks. Looks like that’s on WordPress too.

Reply

4 Rachel January 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Oooh, thanks for letting me know! I’ll hunt around on her site and see if I can figure out how she does it.

Reply

5 Heather January 6, 2012 at 4:53 pm

im in the process of setting up a few “non-home-page” content spaces, too! HOORAY (i’m so glad you are adopting this plan as well)

It’s actually an idea I got after the GOMI forum lessons and THS reader survey. One of the questions I asked in the survey was what kinds of posts were the readers favorites, and which ones did they like the least. It was interesting [and somewhat encouraging!] to see that some people LOVED the same stuff that other people HATED and, obviously, some people HATED what other people LOVED. When I was talking to Nick about this, he suggested splitting up what I was talking about somehow – which I remembered that Katy Widrick has an option wit her blog of subscribing to individual feeds for categories! [I subscribe to her social media posts on the work account because they are fitting, so this was PERFECT for that!]

Still brain storming on how exactly I want to split up the subjects on THS, and since I’m in the middle of the redesign as well, I figured I should probably launch as many things”new” at the same time.

All this rambling about my own experience and I’ve yet to say:

I’m really excited for RW: The Life [yes, I gave it a short cut name] because your blog is one of about 5 I read often who have really really REALLY great comment sections. [if you are a reader of Rachel’s and reading this, you should take note that the comments you are leaving are GREAT CONTENT. Good job, stranger!]

And with that – Happy Weekend, my friend!

Reply

6 Mel January 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Totally agree! I find myself thumbing through the contents of the comments on almost every post because there is such interesting/ intriguing/ fun insight from other readers. I definitely don’t find that on every blog and think RW in particular attracts a strong-minded yet diverse readership.

Reply

7 Rachel January 6, 2012 at 7:46 pm

“It was interesting [and somewhat encouraging!] to see that some people LOVED the same stuff that other people HATED and, obviously, some people HATED what other people LOVED.” YUP. I learned that much from GOMI as well. I realized that rather than try to please everyone, I could make it a bit more customizable. I feel like that’s the way the Internet/world is going. We want to read our content where we want it (phone, tablet, etc.) and we want to be able to filter. Sooo…time to create a workaround!

I also noticed you had been mentioning a lot of stuff happening on the THS Facebook page and that kind of tipped me off that maybe that’s where this should happen. After that clicked, everything else fell into place. Sooo…thanks for that!!

Reply

8 deva @ deva by definition January 6, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Rock on – I love how open you are about wanting to eliminate the second click if possible. I wonder if there is a widget that would work like the notifications on iPhone apps – and just pop up a number or change the color of the link when there is new content.

Reply

9 Rachel January 6, 2012 at 7:43 pm

I’m thinking I’ll have to solve the RSS problem first…most likely any plugin or anything would use RSS. But I’m sure there’s something!

Reply

10 Rachel January 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Great idea Rach. You are such a girl’s girl and it makes perfect sense to add this type of forum to your blog. It can be a great way to chitchat, discuss, share, confide and connect with other readers. I love all your new ideas and goals…very creative!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: