Repost: “Sideblog” Feedback

Renee -- January 29th, 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!

5 Responses to “Repost: “Sideblog” Feedback”

  1. Thanh says:

    I think the twitter side bar is great. Thanks for all of your work on that!

    Personally, I think that trash pick up and weather clogs up the sidebar. But I’m not opposed to having it and wouldn’t press the issue if others liked it.

    As for the Police Reports, City and County Council Agendas, I think those are great for the tweets. I know a lot of items get sent to the hburgbloggers group email, and if there was a way to tweet those press releases (linking to a website, etc) then I would encourage that.

    I also like it when others link to stories in local papers or magazines that they find interesting in the tweets. Or when there is an announcement, like “school closings” or “i saw the pedstrian signal on court square is working!”.

  2. Renee says:

    Thanks for the feedback, Thanh!

    Everyone, please give your 2 cents on the sidebar. I re-posted this since we didn’t get any replies last time. Your feedback will be listened to and appreciated! :)

  3. Josh says:

    If there’s enough interest in maintaining some sort of weather information, maybe it could come in the form of a single line at the top of the blog with a current Hburg temperature and short forecast? Or maybe in it’s own sidebar widget?

    The flickr widget may be something we can look into getting rid of as it’s features overlap with the lifestream widget.

  4. I’d like to see less weather forecasts, and more participation from Twitter and Flickr users.

    IMO, blogs are sort of 2007. That is to say, we need to look at new ways of sharing and posting information, and Facebook and Twitter are currently the leaders, not blogs. Lifestream “social network-ifies” the blog, and I think it’s a move in the right direction.

    We need more readers to participate there.

  5. Renee says:

    I’m seeing a common theme that we don’t need weather in the sidebar (though it can maybe be implemented some other way on the site) and I was kind of leaning that way, too. So for now, I’ll remove the weather feed.

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