Active Rain August 29, 2010

That Tiny Little Blog Tab: Get More Wet in the Rain

Blog Home TabEvery so often, I have a nice comment or email from someone who read my blog. Sometimes they stick around and visit often, other times we are like two ships that passed in the rain. Sometimes, it is the other way around. When I first started on Active Rain, I would often “bookmark” a post I liked or found interesting, but sometimes I didn’t read that author again for a long while. If they appeared on the feature dashboard I’d get reminded, but early on the experience was random- not by choice, but because I didn’t have all the tools.

The “Blog” tab at the top right of the header is there so you can start your day with your faves whenever they update. Just block on the tab circled in the picture, and you’ll be taken to your “blog home.”

Blog Home Page

On the column to the right is your subscriptionsTo Subscribe to a blog, simply check that blogger’s top right sidebar where you’ll see a “subscribe” button right underneath their contact information (hint: if the button says “unsubscribe,” you already subscribed to them!). Anytime they update their blog, their smiling face goes to the top of your subscription dashboard.

Blog Stream FilterOn the left of the blog home page is the stream of all blog posts, which can be filtered. You can filter the blog stream based on a number of criteria shown here. You can read posts by type, such as those geared toward consumers only, or professional focus only, or even read the blog most recently commented on. It is very customizable.

The best part of the whole design is that you have the perfect marriage of your regular subscriptions on the right and complete and utter random serendipity on the left. Just in writing this post I got sidetracked on three different postings which caught my eye.

As you might notice from my subscriptions, I love to read intellectual hotties, people I feel that, if brain power were a body, they’d resemble Jayne Mansfield. Or The Rock (Ok, I’m better with the chick metaphor). You might like people who gear their content more toward consumers, your local market area, humor, or war stories. There are thousands of flavors. Regardless of what your bag is, understanding the value of that little blog link will never let you lose a good one again and enrich your experience here.