The New Sideblog & Hashtag Test Day

Renee -- January 16th, 2009

You may have noticed the new combined feeds, in the right sidebar of the hburgnews homepage, called the “sideblog”. I wanted to give a quick run-down of what our intentions are with the sideblog and get some feedback from you all.

For now, the sideblog has posts in the following categories:

  • hburgnews_fyi_16-copy hburginfo – A twitter account where we post helpful “official” info for Harrisonburg City residents, like links to upcoming City Council agendas, police alerts, road closings, city school closings, city-wide events like parades, and automated weather forecasts. Once the city gets more RSS feeds going for official announcements, we’ll add them here. Right now we manually add everything except the weather, so if we miss something you think should be posted here, use our “Submit a News Tip” link at the top left of the page and let us know.
  • Flickr and YouTube updates – when you add public images to the hburgnews Flickr pool, or the hburgnews YouTube channel is updated with a new video, an alert should show up in the feed. If more than one Flickr photo is added in a day, only one alert will be displayed. (New hburgnews Flickr photos will still show up in the left sidebar.)


So, what information do you want to see (or don’t want to see) in the “Sideblog” in the right sidebar?

Is “official” information like special trash pickup days, weather forecasts, police news releases, etc. helpful to have on hburgnews blog homepage, or do you think it just “clutters up” the sidebar since you can also get that information on other websites?

Have we missed any information sources that you’d like to see added to the Sideblog?

Do you want the right sidebar to show up on every page, or only on the homepage like it does now?

Let us know in the comments below!

P.S. I’m officially declaring today, Friday January 16, 2009, “#hburgnews Hashtag Test Day”. If you’ve ever been afraid to try out posting a hashtag news alert on twitter, today’s a free-for-all! Don’t worry about “messing up” the feed. Go ahead, try it out! I’ll go first.

Edit: Jeremy had the great idea of putting something fun into the hashtag tests – future headline predictions! So, when you post your headline test, add your name and something indicating it’s a future prediction so no one will think crazy things are actually happening in the ‘burg, like “[Your Name]’s Future #Hburgnews Headline: [Headline]”

3 Responses to “The New Sideblog & Hashtag Test Day”

  1. Jeremy Aldrich says:

    I would like to suggest that testers “spice up” hashtag test day by predicting a future hburgnews headline. Something like “Future headline: Developers to pave Paradise City, put up a parking lot. #hburgnews”

    Renee, you’re doing awesome work here!

  2. Renee says:

    Jeremy, I’m usually asleep at this hour but I couldn’t stay asleep so I checked in here… only to see your *Genius* idea! How fun! I’m going to add it to the post now.

  3. Renee says:

    Well as you all can see from the multiple posts that got created, *I* broke the hashtag feed. Brent fixed it for now, so keep on sending those test headlines, even if you read this tomorrow and it’s no longer the official Hashtag test day!

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