Good Practice Tip:
Make Regular Announcements or Add Interesting Content via Forum Discussions:
Do you make regular announcements on your site? Or, do you add Forum Discussions with interesting content for your site members and visitors? If no is the answer, "Wake up and smell the coffee."
Get busy! ;-)
Adding regular blog posts to your Blog is a great way to add interesting and fresh content. But, this tip pertains to organizing Ning Forum Discussions
.Jen's Discovery: (a blonde moment...)
In an effort to make announcements, and report Social Networking and Social Media Industry News, I add "my
" most recent Forum Discussions and Blog Posts to the home page. I bold "my" to bring attention to - - this tip applies to Ning Network Creators and Administrators, and the Forum Discussions we create.
Today I realized my announcements are not as up-to-date and dynamic as I would like - - just in the past week or so. My excuse: I just don't have enough hours in a day, LOL. But, who does? Fortunately, I've managed to keep Jen's Video Reflection of the Week fresh and interesting. So, with all that said, I decided it was time to stop everything else, and make this work more efficiently.
This is what I'm calling my "blonde moment", and how it hit me: "Good grief Jen, this is what you do
, and you are adding HTML links individually and by hand?" Okay, so how do I fix this?Organization:
Ning is lacking somewhat in the field of organization - - well, actually, a lot. But, I do have confidence this will get better and better as the platform continues to mature.So, how do you organize your Network Announcements and All Forum Discussions?
You may be doing this already. I was for the most part. But, I missed my opportunity (until now) to utilize a special Category just for Admins. and to make Announcements. I've created one so far, and named it: Announcements
. Now, when I add a special Announcement via a Forum Discussion, I can assign it to this Category.
My excuse is: I have focused on the Forum Discussions to accommodate Social Network Creators, a place for Site Visitors to find awesome Social Networks Discussions, and much more.Bottom Line:
Utilize the Forum Discussion Categories. Go to Manage/Discussion Forum, and add Categories that are appropriate for your Ning Network. The interface to add Categories is fairly intuitive. If you have a problem, pop me an email, or even better - - respond to this discussion. There are two types of Categories you can add:
- Categories that only Administrators can use for Forum Discussions.
- Categories that your Members can use.
Once you get all of your Categories added, you can even go back to existing Forum Discussions and change or add to a Category you created. I was a little concerned about the URL changing on existing Discussions. But, so far, so good. I did not see any URL change. Ning get a good job on this, from what I see.
After you have your Discussions organized, you can start adding those special Announcements.
How to Add a Special Category and It's Discussions to Your Home Page - - via RSS Feed?
- Add a RSS Feed Box to your home page, via Manage/Features.
- Go to your Forum Discussions listed by Category via: http://yoursite.ning.com/forum/category/listByTitle.
- Locate your special Category in left column, and click on link.
- In bottom left of the page, locate the RSS icon. Click on it. Note: See example below.
- Grab that feed URL, and copy/paste into your new RSS box on your home page.
BTW, don't look for my Announcement RSS just yet. You will continue to find the latest Announcements listed directly under the Video of the Week. I'm still working on the "Latest Happenings..." HTML, and getting my announcement links moved to the RSS.
Or you can find the latest announcements here:
New Latest Announcement Category and in my Blog.