December 8, 2008

Walking Off the Big Apple: A Reader's Guide (Updated)

Occasionally, it strikes me as a good idea to jump into the flow of things on Walking Off the Big Apple and talk about new features on the site. As I'm one for experimentation, I sometimes rearrange page elements, try different styles and fonts, and add new items to the sidebar. There will be times when you may read the site and you'll notice I've added something weird, but then a few hours later it will be gone. I'm very particular about how the site looks in addition to the substance of the posts. Too many websites, even prominent mainstream ones, are ugly and cluttered, in my opinion, too busy with pop-up ads and other business. I don't want WOTBA to be ugly. When I'm ugly, I prefer to be offline.

NEW FEATURES ON WOTBA

• The list of selected self-guided themed walks in the sidebar was getting so unwieldy that I decided to break up the party. Now, please see the special themed walks grouped under broader categories - literary walks, art walks, architecture walks, and so forth.

• You may have already noticed that on the left-hand side of the bottom of the page I've built in colorful image links to the site's most popular lists - Fall 2008 Museum Exhibitions, Affordable Accommodations, Classic New York Walk & Map, and Central Park Walks.

• I have provided a couple of links to the WOTBA holiday gift shop. Where else can you get a lovely tile coaster with a picture of Tribeca's most tripped-out vista and that costs only $5.19 (plus shipping and handling)? I hold out my fingerless gloves and await your kind support.

• You can easily find related posts to the one you happen to be reading by clicking on the labels following each post. One of the best ways to browse WOTBA is by exploring the labels. As an example, here are all the posts that mention New York artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel. (If you haven't seen Morley Safer's 60 minutes interview with "the ego the size of Manhattan," then I direct you here.)

• Please take advantage of the different ways to share an item - Email this, Digg This!, Share on Facebook and more, following each post.

• New York Transit Advisories. I bring you this sidebar widget to inform those in the city of any potential delays on the buses and trains, but also to present some imagined drama when someone requires medical assistance or there's an ongoing switching problem.

• I often learn of important NYC news on the WOTBA NYC Newsreel. I present a selection of categories for your perusal.

• If you are a subscriber and read WOTBA in a feed, also know that I write something new every morning in the sidebar.

• To learn about the history of the 18-months-old Walking Off the Big Apple (but so mature for her age), please see the earlier Reader's Guide from April of this year.

• There's much more here to explain, but I'd prefer that you explore the site for yourself. I don't always like to follow a map.

Thank you. Enjoy.

(I'm interested in font colors. I've recently noticed that almost all major news sites such as this one and this one and this one use a shade of blue for their individual news headlines. I tried that shade for the last couple of weeks on WOTBA, but now I've gone with a classic dark navy blue.)

Image: Strolling Fifth Avenue, December 2008.

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