Explaining the Sidebar, Part 1

12 04 2010

I think that the sidebar is a very integral part of “Marshall and the Movies.”  It has not come to my attention that anyone has had any problems with it, but nonetheless I felt like it deserved some ‘splainin (Lucy and Ricky style).

So, in this three-part series, I will dissect the sidebar and how you, the reader, can optimize your experience by using it.

The "Search" Box

Pretty self-explanatory, I think.  Type in anything you want, and you’ll find anything that has ever appeared on the site with those words.  For example, if you want to find all the times that I have talked about “Avatar,” just type it in.  You’ll find my review and plenty of other posts where I referenced it.

But say you want to find the last movie I described as dreadful.  Type in dreadful, and you will see my review of “Clash of the Titans.”  The word is hidden somewhere in the post; from there on it becomes a seek-and-find on your part.  (NOTE: The search tool doesn’t pick up negation, so I could have said “Clash of the Titans” was not dreadful.  I didn’t, but it could happen for some other movie.)

The "Subscribe" Button

The subscribe button is a relatively new addition to the sidebar; I added it on the suggestion of other bloggers who say that it’s a great way to encourage traffic and reader loyalty.  It looks intimidating, but let me explain it for you as simply as possible.

Are you one of those people who so longs for an e-mail just so you can hear the ping?  Or to have that great feeling of importance of getting an e-mail?  Subscribe to “Marshall and the Movies,” and you can get that feeling all the time!  Because I publish a random factoid daily, you are guaranteed at least one e-mail a day.  And most days, I publish some additional content, so that’s up to two e-mails a day!  Are you feeling stoked yet?!  Just type in your e-mail address and hit “Yes! I want updates!”

The LAMB (Large Association of Movie Blogs)

To the normal reader, this strange photo is probably the biggest unknown on the sidebar.  What is it?  Should I click it?

Yes, I would LOVE for you to click it.  Here’s how it works: I’m a member of a very large conglomeration of movie blogs, called the LAMB.  It’s a nice community for movie bloggers, and I’ve been unfortunately limited in my interactions with them due to my hectic life.  However, by directing traffic to their site, you can put me on the “LAMB Leaderboard,” a prominently featured part of the site which would in turn bring flocks back to “Marshall and the Movies.”  It’s a win-win situation for clicking, so why not do it 7 or 8 times?

My note to every reader.

I have made no efforts to keep my commenting problems secret (taking the reverse Sandra Bullock approach, if you will).  So I have left any old reader a note imploring them to comment.

Please, non-blogging readers, I really NEED your comments!  Unlike most bloggers, I don’t write for the blogging community.  I write for the average moviegoer who deserves to hear an average person’s take on cinema.  So help me out here – please (yes, again with the nice manners).

Do you, as readers, have any suggestions on the sidebar?  In particular, I’d like to know what you think about the order that the boxes are arranged in.  Is it really as easy to use as it can be?


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4 responses

12 04 2010
Katie

Thanks to this post I’ve now joined The Lamb. Can’t believe I hadn’t heard of it sooner, thanks Marshall!

13 04 2010
Castor

Try to find something an RSS icon Marshall. It really helps people notice. Also make sure they have the opportunity to subscribe without getting email updates

13 04 2010
Marshall

Yeah, I’m still experimenting with the subscriptions. To be honest, I don’t even know how an RSS feed works.

13 04 2010
Castor

You need Feedburner so you can see how many people are subscribed

Here is how to set it up:
http://www.google.com/support/feedburner/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=78486

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