Fall changes on thegreenpages.ca network

Everyone here at thegreenpages.ca network really looks forward to the fall. People are slowly coming back online from their summer endeavours and students are eagerly starting the new school year. For me in particular, it is also a time where I have mostly finished some of the long-overdue refinements, tweaks, and bug fixes to some of our network web sites (and yes, I probably missed a spot….or two).

A locally flavoured new look

Each province and territory in Canada is uniquely different (Albertans are different, Ontario people think so too, the prairies have their own thing, you can really tell Maritimers apart, the people on the Rock, the people of Quebec, the territories, the lucky people in BC, et al.) and so we thought we would re-focus on that aspect for each of our portals.

New logo draft picsWhen we first started out, each portal had a unique logo/header. When Moneca helped create our new logo a few years back followed by a major overhaul of our web layout and CMS, the distinctions somehow got lost during the redesign foray. I’ve always meant to go back and fix that (along with my many other lists of things-to-do).

I originally had the idea to do this way back in 2007 when I sent a random inquiry email to Cynthia Frenette @ Hula la Designs. Two years later, I found that same email and asked Cynthia again (who is now at Green Couch Designs) if she would still be interested in helping us out (thank goodness she has a good memory). After a single email expressing our thoughts and heart-desires of what we wanted (check out one of the original sketches), Cynthia easily made it happen. Now, each of our portals have a unique logo with images we felt environmentally and symbolically represented each province/territory. Thanks Cynthia.

Navigation and layout

Some people might have noticed that even though the Canada portal had some radical changes over the years, the other portals were sadly lagging behind (in my world, when you change the look of one portal, you have to make the changes 13 more times). Our popular themes are now in a drop-down menu format and have we have standardized our submenus to focus on special shared content (our archives, work opportunities, social streams, what’s on? etc…).

The Latest Alternatives Journal issues has joined the fray, our Flickr group is integrated into our header (which is really a place holder for future ad placements and promotions), our Google site search bar is much more usable and inviting (we got some good stuff to be found), our Social Profiles are more prominent, and we also done away with some extra weight to make the pages more lighter and efficient (I wish it was that easy in real life).

LinkedIn Integration

I remember bugging my colleague Jesse about joining LinkedIn. This was around 2004 when Friendster and MySpace were making headlines. Of course, Jesse was reluctant to join another one of those “social networks” (he’s still not on it, I checked) and soon after that I haven’t given LinkedIn much thought ever since. However, with the rise of Facebook and “Facebook fatique”, LinkedIn is rapidly making a comeback as a professional alternative (or supplement) to FB.

linkedinnetwork_lg

On that note, we just started thegreenpages.ca environmental professionals LinkedIn group for our business contacts, mutual clients, and friends to connect and collaborate with each other on future related projects. LinkedIn is also integrated on thegreenmarket web site as well.

Tweeting this and Digging that
twitter-digg-logo We took a hard long wait-and-see approach regarding which social networking tool was really effective to further integrate with our shared content. Twitter was the obvious choice to date (and we only Tweet when we really have something important to say or not say), followed by Digg, which is a really neat concept when you think about it).

Our network widget
thegreenwidgetlogo Earlier in the year we slowly introduced our network widget powered by Widgetbox.com. This free widget enables anyone to embed our shared content (our news picks, shared videos, favourite photos, articles, etc.) onto their web site or blog. Think of it as a mini-thegreenpages.ca web site on your site.

What’s cooking?

In short, cryptic, in a nutshell…

  • We have some great shared content over the years and we’ll be updating and reposting them as well.
  • We’re taking another good hard look at how we are sharing events (to continue to use Yahoo! Upcoming or not).
  • thegreenmenu.ca is still cookin, thinking about asking fellow foodies to join the potluck.
  • Green Collar Jobs! More to come soon….
  • We are opening up an online store full of thegreenpages.ca gear and much more….

The recession is affecting us too!

  • thegreenbookstore.ca will eventually be closing up shop and merged onto thegreenpages.ca web site (sneak peak)
  • thegreenmarket.ca and thegreensearch.ca is on Cynthia’s makeover to-do list. thegreenmarket will also get some attention and perhaps will merge with thegreenpages.ca web site as well.

More to come…(I need to get outside more).

– R

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