Just thought I would write a quick post letting everybody know that I just got my first college
acceptance letter from University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. I also applied to Abilene Christian,
Howard Payne, and Concordia, but have not heard back from them. Once I get all the acceptance letters back I can start applying for scholarships and financial aid. How fun…
Put together a little slideshow for you all so you can get a little glimpse into what our Halloween was like this year. I dressed up as a Chinese soldier (?), Emily dressed up as a ballerina, Lizzy dressed up as a model, Josiah dressed up as John McCain, and Daniel dressed up as a Navy SEAL. Enjoy the pictures; I’ll upload more when I get them.
Hey there, thanks for stopping by! Today I am happy to announce that as of today, this new website you’re now on is live and open for business. I decided to make this site after seeing the way my mom’s site drew visitors and acted as an effective portal for communication with others. In addition, I really like web design and this is my first real attempt at a website - so feel free to let me know what you think by leaving a comment on this post (more on that later). I will be posting entries mostly about what’s happening in my life, but I will also be writing stories about different news items I find interesting. I think you’ll find it’s a pretty eclectic mix of content. I’m going to try to post on a regular basis, probably 2-3 times a week (much like my mom’s website). This is about the extent of the core functionality of the site (the posts), but there’s a few more really critical features that I’m excited to tell you about, so read on!
As we began the transition from the CaringBridge site to our new family site and this webpage, I began to think of ways we could improve the user experience over the CaringBridge site. The two drawbacks that really stood out to me were lack of customization and interactivity. As you will soon see, the customization part has already been taken care of. We are now able to embed videos, photos, and a multitude of other content - which means more fun things for you all to look at! The interactivity features are what I’m really excited about, so I’ll tell you about that now.
In the past, we used the guestbook on CaringBridge. It was great, but other than the journal posts to you the audience, there wasn’t really any other way we could reply to the kind notes of encouragement you left - and that kind of bothered me. At the same time, I knew that a true “guestbook” could not be replicated on any other site. So, we no longer have a “guestbook” per se, but we have a solution that works equally well. That solution is a comment system that is based on the Disqus platform. From now on, “guestbook” posting will be replaced by leaving comments on the blog post of your choice (usually the most recent one). It’s a little complicated to explain, but bear with me. Here’s how it works: if you see a post that you want to leave a comment on (and I hope that you do), first click the link to go to the individual post. On my site, there are two ways to do this:
1st Way - Click the post title of the one you want to comment on (for this one you would click the “New Beginning” headline)
2nd Way - Scroll to the bottom of the post and click the link that says “x number of comments” The 1st way is what I recommend doing.
Now that you’re onto the individual post’s page, it’s time to comment! Scroll down a bit and you’ll see the box where you write a comment, and a couple of other things. You can post anonymously, but I am going to ask that every commenter be registered with Disqus in order to comment. Go to this link: Signup For Disqus to sign up for a Disqus account - and please upload some sort of picture of yourself so that you are easily identifiable (your profile picture will show up next to your comment when you post it). The beauty of this system is that you only have to make one account on Disqus, and you can post comments on both this site and the family site. That way, I as the administrator can see who’s posting what on both sites, and we all can interact alot better with each other. The other cool thing is that instead of replying to the post itself, you can also reply to an individual comment. Just click the “reply” button on that individual comment. This will be really cool because the replies will show up as threaded conversations under the post - you’ll see what I mean when you do it. I also added another neat feature: if you have a webcam, just click the “Record Video Comment” button and the site will automatically recognize your webcam and you can record a message that will then show up under all the other comments on that post. Cool, huh? And when you mouse over the persons profile picture, you can see how many posts they made and some other neat stats.
Well, that about wraps it up. There’s some other goodies - like live chat and updates of my latest photos - but I’ll let you discover those on your own. In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting quite a bit. I’ll also be adding some features such as getting email notifications (like CaringBridge) and a browsable archive of posts, so stay tuned! There’s some other features I’ll talk about in a later post, but for now I’ll let you explore and maybe discover them. I really hope that you’ll sign up for an account an begin posting comments or even notes of encouragement, just try to make sure you have that profile picture, ok? There will be a similar update like this posted over at our family site that is tailored for that page, so be sure to go check that out too. I would love, love, LOVE to hear your feedback on the site because it helps me improve it - so leave me a comment or send me an email letting me know what you think. That way I can make the site easier and more fun to use, and then we all win! Be sure to ask me if you have any questions about signing up for commenting or anything like that as well. So, thanks for reading this and check back regularly for more posts, musings on life, and other fun stuff. See you out there in cyberspace!