Welcome to the new face of Being Cancer! Well, it’s not as complete as I had planned – I am still struggling to place a photo image in the “header” or top section of every blog page. But if you look closely at the same header, you will notice some changes. The 2010 iteration of this website includes a shift in wording in the blog title. Being Cancer has evolved into Being Cancer Network. The word networking in the subtitle has been dropped, leaving People Transformed by Cancer.
Why the change? I want this year’s focus to be more on our blogging community than on me. I want to target the idea of cancer community more directly, emphasizing sharing ideas, posts, readership and enabling more discussion and dialogue. My own health status remains solidly in remission – not so much to write about there. Though I naturally cringe at saying out loud (bad luck?) that I am doing well as far as cancer goes, I do need to say it. I am down to transplant clinic visits only every three months. And, except for the occasional short hospitalization, I only have to deal with a persistent proclivity to viral infections.
I spent this weekend continuing in my naive struggle to learn programming languages – HTML, CSS, and PHP – in order to have more control over the look and functions of the website. I did manage to successfully add some “widgets” to my left sidebar. First is the colorful “Translate” widget that enables the Global Translator plugin to translate posts into a variety of languages. It is always fun to view my familiar home page in Dutch, German, or Swedish. I also expanded the “Categories” widget to include the number of posts in each category.
Next is a new box called Top Ten Commentators. This feature ranks folks who have offered comment based on the number of comments. Hopefully it might encourage more participation. The names on the list are hotlinks back to those blogs. There is also a new countdown widget, displaying how long it has been since my stem cell transplant. This might offer hope and optimism to those considering a transplant. In the Askimet box, you can see how busy the spammers have been. We are now at 31,000 legitimate visits. I want to add a visit counter to the page in the future. Finally, just for fun, you can see how many people are on the website at any given time. This is supposed to include a world map page but I haven’t gotten it to work.
I have added some navigation features to the Cancer Resources page and hope to do the same with Book Club, Book List, and Reviews. The next thing I have planned is a different publishing schedule to emphasize the new community focus. I plan five posts a week. Monday will remain devoted to cancer books, either a review or the book club. Tuesday and Thursday will feature Guest Posts. As much as anything, this feature seems to strengthen the community. I don’t want readers to miss out on great writing so I am doubling the number of weekly guest offerings. Wednesday will center on a descriptive review of a selected cancer resource. Friday will be either cancer news, a healthcare reform topic, or another cancer resource review. I will continue to write reflections and articles occasionally.
Hopefully you have noticed the new Honor Roll page. This is an Honor Roll for Excellence in Cancer Writing. Again this is designed to highlight the great writing and wisdom to be found in personal cancer blogs. Cancer Blogs remains our most popular and unique offering. I will be adding to and expanding it, including descriptive modifiers on diagnosis, child survivors, inactivity, and other relevant bits. I will be separating out Hodgkin’s bloggers as a distinct group from the other (non-Hodgkin) lymphoma survivors.
Please, please let me know about any new blogs you have found, any new cancer resources that you use, and any links that no longer work. We are all in this together. We are the Being Cancer Network.