The secret to Red Room's success, what makes it different from other online communities, is that it's a home created especially for writers. When you're part of a group of people who care about good writing, and who often make their livings doing it, you know the quality of what you read is going to be much better than what you'll find on most of the web.
As homepage editor, it's my privilege to share some of the best blog posts, videos, podcasts, original articles, book reviews, and so on with visitors to redroom.com. But it's tough to pick from the hundreds of pieces of great content our authors and member upload each week, and with the way site's been put together, it's been all too easy for some great work not to get the attention it deserves.
Well, we've been working on solutions to make it easier and more fun to navigate redroom.com so that everyone's work gets noticed. A few months age, we launched better "landing pages" for authors and members, and then we added an articles directory for all the great original essays, reports, op-eds, and image galleries we've featured. Now we've taken the next step and introduced similar pages for two of our most popular types of content: blogs (where you'll find some of the most interesting conversations in the comments), and books (which were, after all, probably what brought you to Red Room in the first place).
The Blogs Page
Here's an example of the top part of the Books Page looks like—click here for the full view.
On this new page, you can see every new entry that appears ("New Blog Posts"), which blogs get the most views ("Popular Blog Posts"), and the ones that Red Room's editors pick as being particularly noteworthy ("Red Room Editors' Picks" and "Featured Blog Posts"). We're also shining a light on a few of the newest members of the community who have just begun to blog ("Welcome New Blogger"); passing along a memorable quote ("Overheard in the Red Room"); sharing blog posts by Red Room employees ("Staff Blogs"); and showing the most recent comments ("Latest Blog Post Comments").
You can even choose to read blogs written just by authors, just by members, or by both authors and members. (Here's a brief explanation of the difference.) Simply click on any of the three tabs at the top of the page:
If you prefer the old way of just seeing a list of blog entries as they're posted, go to the bottom of the New Blogs section and click "View All." And see where it says "Previous" and "Next" next to some arrows?
Click "Next" to see another group of new or chosen blog entries, and "Previous" to go back to the group you just saw.
Here's an example of the top of half of the Books Page—click here for the full view.
As you can see, there are several similarities to the Blogs Page: the newest books added to redroom.com, as well as the most popular, are here, as well as titles we picked as being noteworthy. Again, click "Previous" and "Next" to scroll from one section to the next, and "View All" to see a longer list.
One difference here is the "Published Review" and "User Review" sections. Published Reviews are reviews of books that originally appeared elsewhere, and which Red Room authors have excerpted on their Author Pages. User Reviews are written here on Red Room by going to any Author Page and then going to the individual book's page. Both of these sections show the newest reviews added.
You can refresh either the Blogs Page or the Books Page by clicking "Refresh" on your browser. I hope you enjoy these new features—we welcome suggestions to make them even better. Please click Contact above, or write email@example.com. As always, your contributions are what make this community succeed, and we appreciate the quality of content you share with everyone here.
–Huntington W. Sharp, Editor, Red Room