Monday, August 18, 2008

Part II: Organic Journey Online Visitor's Tour

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Certified Blog Navigator

with Organic Journey Online's

Visitor's Tour

Welcome back to my blog tour. Today we'll have some fun playing with my toys. Just to the right of the headline above, in the narrow column we call a sidebar, you'll see an orange square with curved lines in it and the words "Subscribe to my feed". This is the RSS icon, which stands for Really Simple Syndication. If you have already set up an RSS Reader, you know how much this widget can help you. RSS Readers are internet tools that bring a synopsis of your own selected news, blogs, and web content right to your e-mail each day. No more typing in website addresses or looking through your favorites for the links. We'll call these commercials for news because they just give you a couple of lines to tell you enough to know whether you want to read the rest. You simply click to expand the post and read it. I've written a post on how to set this up at Free and Easy Subscribing to Organic Journey Online. Just click this link and follow my instructions. It takes about 10 minutes or so to set up, and then you can explore what else you'd like to receive in your Reader, or come back and do this later. Everyone should do this; it is so awesome!

Below the RSS icon are some more widgets, and I'll be adding more as time goes along. There are more that should be there, but not enough time to get it all set up. You're patient, right? Since this tour is for beginners, I'll simply explain the Blog Catalog button. This is another search engine, which only searches blogs, for whatever content you ask for. They can crawl the web finding eco-friendly, environment and green blogs, or any other theme or subject you happen to be interested in. Clicking this button will take you there to search for whatever you're looking for in a blog. You should test it sometime to see what you can turn up. Surely there is something you're interested in, and no doubt there is someone writing a blog about that topic. It is a great way to get information and ask questions from someone with experience in your particular interest.

If you're involved with Technorati or Digg (news/social networks), you'll know what to do with these buttons. If not, don't worry about them. Underneath them is the blog author identification--my profile (About Me)--which just tells you a tidbit or two about me. No mysteries here, except maybe my age. I don't want any comments about that. Got it?!

Underneath my profile is another widget called the Eat Well Guide. I love this one because it does a lot in just a few seconds. Type your zip code in the white box and click submit. You'll be given a list of organic stores, farmers markets, restaurants, caterers, etc. in your immediate area within seconds. If you like this and want to send it to a friend, just click the little envelope icon underneath it and you can type in their e-mail address.

My Blog List is pretty self explanatory. Each listing is a blog--duh--and a link. Click the link to visit that blog. Under the link is the title of the most recent post on that blog. This title will give you a hint as to the theme of the blog, although I think you already know they are all organic and green themes. Some are a bit more techhie than I need, but I always find some sort of fun gadget to learn about, so they're sort of like playtime to visit. This is what I do when I'm tired of writing and researching. My true Blog List is in my RSS Reader and it is much longer, so I suppose I should put some more of those in this list. After all, you deserve to see what I'm reading that might interest you. I'll put that on my To Do List....for January. Meanwhile, each time you stop in, try to find a minute to peruse this Blog List to see what's playing. Sometimes I see something I've been meaning to look up and I save a lot of time in sorting through searches. Try it now if you have time.

Now you get to have some fun. Under My Blog List is a bank of videos (they rotate occasionally), provided by Youtube on organic and green topics. Just point your mouse at the video and you'll be able to view the title clearly. I get a kick out of the guy in the Organic A to Z video on apples. For those of you who know me personally, you know I have the worlds' largest collection of apples. Gregory Shafer makes organic videos and shows you how to cook a couple of recipes on each video he does. He is highly energetic; some of you might turn him off while watching because of that, but he is rather funny.

To watch a video, simply click and your video viewer will load it and play. The videos aren't long, and you can click the "I'm done watching this" button anytime you are ready. I'm working on getting a video in here that talks about organic farmers, farming and such. The farmer gives the presentation and I love to hear his simple, down-to-earth explanation of the whole process. I suppose I'll get it on there eventually. I think that is on my February To Do List.

The next item in the sidebar is my Recommended Reading list. These are books I have read or have purchased and plan to read soon, soon being relative to the infamous To Do List. My favorite is The Hundred Year Lie, by R. Fitzgerald. This book will enlighten you to my cause and give you plenty of motivation to join in the journey.It's a quick and smooth read--not too techhie--and you'll learn a TON. Put that on YOUR To Do List.

Just two more elements and we're done. This next item is the Archive of my previously written posts. The easiest way to access a topic you'd like to hear more about is to use the next and final element in the sidebar, the Label list. Labels are alphabetized, and are links that will take you to posts that include that topic. Just click and it will locate a post on your chosen subject and bring it up on the screen in the post column. Cool, huh? The number in the parentheses tells you how many posts have this topic.

Before I wrap up I want to include a typical posting schedule (Monday-Friday), as promised in Part I of the tour:

  • Mondays: Misceallaneous organic and green topics and blog stuff (like this tour)
  • Tuesdays: Organic food tips
  • Wednesdays: Woofing Wednesday opens with a photo of one of my furry family members and a link to a particularly worthy website that I'd like to share with you.
  • Thursdays: Green Tip-Toes ae simple, 10-minute things that you can do to live greener.
  • Fridays: Food Fridays are just that--all about organic food

If you've read this whole post and tried the various widgets and buttons, subscribed to Organic Journey Online on your Reader, then you are officially a Certified Blog Navigator. Congratulations! If you have any questions about any of this, no matter how minor, PLEASE write to me and ask. Just click that COMMENT button just under this post and leave me a message. I'll be happy to explain anything that didn't make sense. Remember, every time you leave a comment, your name is placed in a drawing for a free Chicobag reusable shopping bag. So think up a question or simply introduce yourself and fire away. I look forward to hearing from you.

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