Early this morning, we released a new user-interface (UI) at www.blogtalkradio.com. We’ve been working hard behind-the-scenes to create a UI with enhanced functionality and user-friendly navigation to make your BlogTalkRadio experience even better, and we’re excited to share our new look and features with our community.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled this quick guide outlining the major changes you will see in and around BlogTalkRadio.
BlogTalkRadio Learning Center: In our new Learning Center, listeners and hosts alike will have a place to go to find comprehensive guides for everything you need to know about BlogTalkRadio. You’ll find the Learning Center in the ‘Help/FAQ’ section of our site. We’ve included new FAQ’s, BlogTalkRadio 101 with several screencast tutorials, tips for marketing your shows on Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, and much more. If we haven’t covered a topic in our FAQ, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to go to our Learning Center.
The Forum: We welcome you to join our new forum by going to the ‘Forum’ link on our site. In our forum, you can interact with other listeners, hosts, and BlogTalkRadio staff to learn how to market your show, increase your listeners, and expand your Internet radio voice. You can access the forum by clicking here.
New terminology: Instead of Host Profiles, Segments and Stations, we now use Show, Episodes, and Branded Networks. We can relate it to the television show Friends. Friends is the show (determined by your Show Page), it airs on NBC (Your Branded Network or BlogTalkRadio as a whole) and every week, it produced an Episode (The One Where Ross and Rachel Hosted a BlogTalkRadio Show).
Introducing My BlogTalkRadio: When you login to your BlogTalkRadio account, you’ll notice a new area called ‘My BlogTalkRadio’ located in the top left hand corner of any page on the site. Clicking this link will take you to the ‘My BlogTalkRadio’ portal where you will find everything you need to navigate your account in one central place.
To read more about our new UI, click here.
Customizing Your Show Page: In the ‘My BlogTalkRadio’ portal, under the ‘My Account’ section, you can control how your new Show Page looks. One major change is that we no longer allow HTML in Profile Page Descriptions. Instead, under the ‘Show Information’ tab within the ‘Edit My Account’ area of your ‘My BlogTalkRadio’ portal, you have Show Notes. In the ‘Show Notes’ section, you can add HTML there, and that will display on your Show Page, just under your Profile Description area.
Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace: Another addition to the BlogTalkRadio platform is space for you to enter your MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook links on your Show Page so that your listeners can follow you on these social networking platforms. To add these links, go to ‘My BlogTalkRadio’ and click on ‘Edit my Twitter, Facebook and MySpace links.’
Chat Listing: On the right-hand side of each page in BlogTalkRadio, you’ll see the option to Live Chat with hosts who are live on-air. We added this feature to give you the ability to interact live with hosts and listeners from anywhere on our site.
Google Calendar and Outlook Reminders: In your ‘My BlogTalkRadio’ portal, we’ve enabled Google Calendar and Outlook Reminders so you can set notification reminders for your upcoming hosted shows and for shows you want to listen to. You’ll find this option by going to ‘My BlogTalkRadio,’ ‘Edit my account,’ and under the tab ‘Notifications.’
Enhanced Search functionality: Our search functionality has been enhanced to provide you with more refined results based on your search criteria. For example, if you search the name Obama, the results offered will be broken down by ‘Show,’ ‘On demand,’ and ‘On air/upcoming.’ Furthermore, with enhanced Search Engine Optimization all across BlogTalkRadio, including the mandatory 5 tags you will need to enter to schedule a new episode, it will be easier than ever for listeners to find shows they love, and for the hosts to get the Google juice about their shows.
iTunes and RSS: iTunes has never been easier to use with BlogTalkRadio. With iTunes installed on your computer, you can click on the iTunes icon anywhere on our site to subscribe to keywords, tags, shows, and more. You’ll also see the option to subscribe to RSS feeds throughout our entire site using popular feed readers. You can find the screencast describing how to use Itunes here in our Learning Center.
Featured Shows: To submit a feature request in our new site, go to ‘My BlogTalkRadio’ and click on ‘Feature my show.’ We have expanded the space for features on our new site. If you have a very special guest, please submit a request to be featured on our homepage. Homepage features rotate regularly throughout the day and are determined by our Editorial Team. On the home page and on each page of our site, a Features Box will display with three tabs, two of which you can submit for features consideration. The ‘Today’s Picks’ tab showcases the top content broadcasting live on BlogTalkRadio that day. The ‘Weekly Best’ tab showcases episodes from the previous week. Please submit your archived episodes for consideration to add to this lineup of the week’s best shows. You’ll still be able to submit features to the ‘Best of BTR’ and within ‘Categories’ by using the ‘Feature my show’ form.
Updating Profile Page HTML: One thing you may notice with the transition to the new site is that your HTML that you had previously posted on your Profile Page in the old site doesn’t fit quite right in the new site. You will need to copy, remove and save the HTML from the fields in your My BlogTalkRadio/Edit my Account/Options area, and then replace them in order for them to render correctly. All images should be 400 pixels wide or less or they will override the margins of the page.
Show Image Size: To be featured on BlogTalkRadio and iTunes, we are asking that you change your Show Image to 300 by 300 pixels instead of the previous size of 200 x 200. If you haven’t uploaded a new image by January 12th at 300 by 300 pixels, we will upload a generic BlogTalkRadio graphic in your Show Image’s place that you can update at any time in the future.
Show Page and Blog: With our prior site design, you were able to choose to have your profile page be displayed as Shows Only or Shows and Blog. With the new UI, you may only select Shows and Blog. If you choose not to write blog posts, then your show page will be without blog posts. If you do write blog posts, they will fall in chronological order within your show page between shows.
New Enhanced Media Player: You’ll see that the player has changed as well. The new player has a brighter look and feel with new features including a scrolling description of your episode through the play area of the player.
Show Listings: You will notice that all show listings have changed as well, as you can see in the Home Page and On Air Guides and throughout our site. Now, listeners have the ability to click ‘Description’ to learn more about the host or show. Throughout the site, you can click the play button to play the archived episode inline or click on the show title to go to the episode page to listen to archived content.
Promote this Show: Within Show Pages throughout the site, you will see a graphic on the right-hand side about half way down the page that says ‘Promote This Show.’ When you click on this graphic, you’ll find HTML code that both hosts and listeners can embed for each version of the new enhanced Media Player as well as new promotional buttons.
As you can see, our new site has many features to improve the user experience of BlogTalkRadio listeners and hosts. If you have any questions, please contact us at email@example.com, and we will be glad to help you out.