LoveSmallTownAmerica.com proudly introduces exciting new features to add an additional level of personalization and flair to community websites.Community webpages now include an eye-catching header image and premium level members have additional custom options designed to make a bold impression on visitors. Continue reading
Instead of browsing the internet, checking websites for updates and new content, wouldn’t it be great if you could instantly access the latest from your favorite sites? RSS (Often believed to stand for “Really Simple Syndication”) is technology that delivers up-to-date information from your favorite websites directly to you – in a format that saves you time and is saved for you to review at your leisure. Think of it is a subscription version of a news feed.
Using RSS feeds can not only make your internet browsing experience more fun – you can use them with Love Small Town America to keep up-to-date on important things like:
- Updates to community calendars – know if the time of an event is changed!
- New events on community calendars
- To receive the latest from our blog about small town life and new LSTA opportunities
How to Use RSS
Depending on what type of computer and internet browser you’re using to surf the web, there are a few different ways of using RSS.
Get an RSS Reader – A variety of free “reader” programs exist online to aggregate the content you desire. Bloglines is a popular option, but there are many programs to try (search for “RSS Reader”). Using a reader allows you to “subscribe” to feeds from your favorite websites. New, unread content from the sites you’ve subscribed to will show up in your reader with bold headings. You can read all your content within the reader, instead of going to dozens of different websites, or click through to visit the site. It’s easy to track what you’ve read and notifications of new content is instant.
Use Your Internet Browser – Many internet browsers now have built-in RSS capability. You can use the “in-browser” reader directly through your browser, or you can use your browser preferences to designate an alternate RSS reader program (see above). If your browser visits a website with an RSS feed, the address bar will often display a “reader” graphic or another designation that lets you know that page has a feed. You can add content to your RSS reader by clicking the graphics during your web surfing session and read the marked content later.
Deliver Straight to E-mail: Many websites also allow you to subscribe to RSS feeds via e-mail, if you don’t want to use an RSS reader. By subscribing via e-mail, you can get a daily summary of latest posts delivered straight to your inbox. Not all RSS feeds are available this way, but it can be a great way to get digests of information in a convenient format.
We’re excited to announce that several new features are fully operational throughout our site! If you’ve visited recently, you may have noticed some new buttons at the top of each page.
Visitors to any of Love Small Town America’s community and business pages can now share specific content on a variety of networks. The above screen capture shows the options available on the community calendar page. You can share events on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more — AND you can even subscribe to receive updates via RSS feed. That means that residents of Quinter, for example, could subscribe to the Quinter calendar, and then be notified instantly each time an event in their community is added or changed.
On the far right, the iCal button allows visitors to add events directly to their Apple iCal, making it easy for everyone to stay in synch. Imagine you’re at the grocery store, and your iPhone buzzes, letting you know your son’s baseball game this weekend was canceled in time for you to pick up extra snacks for him and his friends – who you now know will be hanging around the house! With these new features – that’s a real possibility!
Or, the new sharing options make it a breeze to share, remember, or promote anything on our site. You could pin photos of a small town that you’d like to visit to your Pinterest “Vacations” board. Or, maybe you saw a job posting that would be perfect for someone you know. With a click, you can e-mail it straight to them, or post it on their Facebook page.
These are just a few of the things that you can do with our new features. We designed these with our members in mind, but they give our visitors just as many options. What do you think?
Some of you may have heard this before, but we want to make sure EVERYONE hears the news today. Rural Opportunity Zones – those 50 Kansas counties offering awesome “recruitment bonuses” to qualifying new residents – are eligible for an absolutely FREE Love Small Town America website*. This is no gimmick – the Kansas Department of Commerce is actually paying for scholarships that provide webpages to ROZ counties or communities within ROZ counties so that they can help leverage the nationwide interest in these fantastic Kansas counties.
Did you know?
More than 600 people have already applied for the ROZ incentives. The ROZ program is working. Imagine if all these counties had full-featured webpages with all the information new residents wanted to know in one, easy-to-navigate spot. That’s what Love Small Town America provides. ROZ counties can plug into a dynamic network that showcases what their communities has to offer and opens the door to affordable webpages for local businesses, free promotion, and more. Signing up is easy, it’s quick, it’s free. There’s no reason not to take advantage of this opportunity! Scholarship applications are due Feb. 6, 2013.
How Can you Take Advantage of this Offer?
If you live in a ROZ county or town – share this information with your local economic development director, chamber director, or other community leader and let them know you want to see your community on Love Small Town America. Even if your community already has a website, being a part of LSTA gets your community listed in a vibrant network of small towns across the country and provides free publicity for town events, businesses, and more.
If you’re a local economic development director, chamber director, or other community leader, you’re in the right place! Contact us today to learn more and to get help filling out your community’s scholarship application. Hurry – applications are due Feb. 6, 2013 and there are a limited number of scholarships available.
Luke Mahin, Sales
*Package C: $225 value
Thanks to the continued support and enthusiasm for what Love Small Town America has to offer, we have recently expanded our team. Jenny Russell and Luke Mahin of JenRus Freelance have joined the other six members of the Love Small Town America core group to bring a heightened focus to serving Love Small Town America’s members and helping more small towns join the network and access an affordable web presence. Continue reading