thinkBuddha is back!

Monday February 7, 2011

Well, that was a far bigger job than I thought it would be; but now thinkBuddha is more or less back in action with a new look, a new structure and a slightly new focus.

As many of you will know, this site started life as a blog in 2005; but after five years I came to the conclusion that it was time to make some changes. After some thought (and discussion with several friends and visitors), I decided to refashion the site as a repository of online writing and articles. This means that I’ll continue to add to the site – although perhaps less regularly than when it was a blog; but it also means that the content on the site is rather more focussed and less tangential. For matters tangential (like, for example, how to find a Chinese translation for the famous English dish known as Sussex Pond Pudding), I can direct you to my personal blog.

A New Structure

So how does the new-look site work? Well, the new top menu should fairly self-explanatory, but there’s one important distinction in how I’m organising content, and that is the distinction between News and Articles. So what’s the difference?

Well, News is for anything that is time-specific, anything with a short shelf-life, anything that may be of interest but is probably not of lasting substance (for example, this post). So, for example, if I happen to be giving a talk, or have published something that readers might be interested in, then I’ll put it in News. The news section is laid out in a fairly bloggy fashion.

Articles on the other hand are things that have more than fleeting interest. Usually this is where I put more sustained reflections and thoughts on the things that interest me. So the Articles are where the substantial content of this website is to be found. The problem with a blog is that substantial content often gets lost in the mists of time, so I’m hoping that the new structure should help you track down some of that buried content.

You will also notice that at the bottom of most pages on this site you will find three columns where all kinds of useful links and choice bits of information appear, depending on context. You can use these to navigate as well.

Tracking down articles

How, then, do you track down articles? There are several ways. The first is that the most recently posted article is featured on the front page in a nice big box, so that you can’t really miss it. And at the bottom of the front page there’s a list of other recent articles that may be of interest. Only articles (not news posts) are featured in this way.

But if you want to dig deep into the archive, on the articles menu link, you can find a way to rummage in other ways. You can either:

   Search by tag – all articles are tagged with keywords, and you can follow the threads of various tags from one article to another – there’s a simple tag box on the article page, but you can go to the complete tag list for a fuller look at all the keywords.

   Use the search box (which will, incidentally, search articles AND news items).

   View a complete archive of every article published on the site.

   Browse the featured, recent and popular articles listed at the bottom of the page.

Feed Fun

I think (I think!) that the feeds should now be properly set up so that you can subscribe to both news and articles on thinkBuddha with your favourite RSS reader (I use Vienna on my Mac, which is good). So when you sign up to the thinkBuddha RSS feed, it should be the case that whenever a new nugget of news or a new article is posted, you’ll be amongst the first to know.

Twitter Integration

Updates to the site – both news and articles – should also be posted to my twitter feed, so if you follow me on twitter, that is another handy way of keeping up with what is new here on the site.

The Unbearable Glitchiness of Being

From this point onwards, I’m considering as now being officially back in action. Thanks for all of your patience whilst I restructure everything over here. However, as this is all relatively new, there will inevitably be glitches. Do let me know if you come across any, and I’ll do my best to resolve them.

# · Pamela

I like that post.Thanks for sharing!

# · Jenny Removal

I think the site looks better than ever, it is good to change and to evolve as far as I am concerned! Keep on!

# · bianca

hi! i want to sign your RSS, but i dont know how. do you have the link to access it? thanks! :)

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