Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Are You New to the Blogosphere?

Web site...blog...e-mail...the Internets...

So, I know that for some of you, our addition of a Web log to our communications program might be intimidating. You're OK with a Web site, but those "blogs" are for other people.

Forget that. Think of NA Books Daily as your daily newspaper with just a few items. If you miss a day, it will still be there, just lower down the page.

If I didn't think it would drive you away, I'd send you an e-mail every day with news and views. But after a little while, many of you would grow tired of that and either ignore it or remove yourself from our list (only about 25% of you still bother to open our e-mails now, down from 50% - that's still better than average, but it creates "I Didn't Know" situations).

The blog is great for that kind of communication. You can catch up at your leisure (although you might miss announcements and deadlines) or read it everyday.

A blog is interactive, too. Note that at the bottom of each posting is a place for comments. Click on "comments" and read what others have contributed. You, too, can comment (or ask questions) anonymously or as a registered blogger. It's easy and safe. And more importantly, we welcome your contributions.

And if you want to stay completely up-to-date and receive them by subscription, click on the Rocket icon in the left panel, or go to the absolute bottom of the main page and click Posts (Atom) where you can subscribe to a feed and get the postings as they go up. That will allow you to aggregate all your favorite blog reading in one place and see what's new.

You can also e-mail these posts, even to yourself, if you run across an item of interest.

We're excited that Random House and HarperCollins are making their books browsable, too, and if it's available, we'll try to get those "widgets" included. We've been warned of some technical disconnects with Blogger and these widgets, but so far, with hard work, we've been able to make them work. You do need to click once on the icon to activate it, then again to open the book-browsing feature in a separate window.

Where it's useful, we'll link to news items and reviews or to the publisher's Web site, but we can't promise that always.

The marquee, which now reads "Just In...or Back in Stock" is something that should be fairly current, too. We've put up three lists so far without stretching. These are books I've been waiting on and have picked especially for you. As they come in, I'll note them, but if you see one you like, you can always find it in our archives of earlier postings.

Finally, we're trying to make each mini-review also available in audio, either to listen to directly online, or to download as an .mp3 to listen to at your leisure on your computer or portable listening device. Those are also available in our NA Books Daily podcast (all the postings together as a "show") at http://odeo.com/channel/317793/view, where you can also subscribe in iTunes, RSS, and other arcane formats.

Please let us know, by e-mail or by direct comment, what you like and don't like, and what you'd like to see. It really hasn't been a newsy month of March, yet, but as news comes in, I'll be doing more commentary on items such as the controversy over the Newbery Award winner The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron. You may have read our earlier e-mail regarding the censorship being applied (by librarians, but by some stores) because the 9-year-old heroine of the book recounts how a dog was bitten on his scrotum, and going on to wonder about that word.

Just so they won't get lost when you come back to find them, we'll add a pigtail to the daily postings so you can find that book you saw in the marquee last week. Here are Monday's "Just Ins":
The Gospel of Food: Everything You Think You Know About Food is Wrong
Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the shaping of Christianity by Elaine Pagels
The Jesus Family Tomb (Jacobovici/Pellegrino)
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
The Long Road Home by Martha Radaatz of ABC News
Barbaro: A Nation's Love Story (Derby winner's saga)

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or download NewToTheBlogosphere.mp3

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