With all the new content and other changes going on at Chinese Medicine Central, it seems prudent to remind everybody about how you can stay in touch. Aside from the changes here, there are also a lot of new readers coming all the time. Further, our community has a higher than average tendency to be less comfortable with much of the technology used on the site.
While I’m not suggesting that everybody get a smartphone implanted in their heads, I do find that effective use of technology can increase connection and cut down on excess work! Let me show you how you can stay updated with Chinese Medicine Central’s content without having to manually visit the site every day.
Reading the Blog
The Chinese Medicine Central blog is a pretty amazing place. Years of archived content about Chinese Medicine, and more coming every day. But visiting every day, checking for new content, is inefficient. You may miss something, anyway! We can’t have that. You have two main ways to avoid this terrible fate.
1. Blog updates using an RSS reader
You do not need to know what RSS means. Just think of it like a digital subscription. All you need to do to get this subscription is use a little bit of technology that knows how to retrieve it. If you want to learn more about how this works, I suggest you read this article.
The simplest RSS reader available uses your Google Account, and it is called Google Reader. You can read all your favorite sites from a single webpage using this beauty. And, if you log in to a Gmail or Google+ account, you will be able to easily select Google Reader from within that interface. You can learn more about Google Reader here.
To add the Chinese Medicine Central blog to your Google Reader (or other software) just press that little orange button in the address bar. It’s pretty simple from there.
You can also use one of the many available apps on the market to access your Google Reader feeds, or subscribe to feeds directly. My favorite is Reeder on my Mac, iPhone and iPad. It’s beautiful and so easy to use.
Listening to the Podcast
I’m hard at work finding new folks to interview, and considering various ways to use audio to build community & engagement in our profession. That’s a backhanded way of saying that I’ve been a little slow in my podcast release over the last 4-5 weeks. That will soon be rectified. Regardless, there are 20+ archived episodes, from interviews with great Chinese medicine practitioners to my musings about database software for Chinese medicine students and practitioners. If you want to stay updated with the latest episodes, there’s are three main ways to do so.
1. Use the blog update methods above
Each time a new podcast goes up, a new blog article goes up. This is actually how podcasting works, though different websites implement it in different ways. Anyway – if you stay updated with the blog content, you can easily stay updated with the podcast content. However, you will have to listen to the blog episodes on the page, or download the audio file to your computer manually. For some of you, this is ok. It’s certainly functional.
2. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes and listen on computer or via manual transfer to a MP3 player (iPod or similar)
Our podcast is in the iTunes podcast directory, you can access the iTunes page by clicking this link. If you press the “View in iTunes” button on that page, it will open iTunes and subscribe you to the podcast. Depending on your settings in iTunes, you may keep the last few recent episodes, only one, or all of them. Regardless, all the episodes should be available to you.
You can then listen to them from within iTunes, or upload them to an iPod or other MP3 player. To learn more about how to do this, click this link. (You may want to Google instructions for your particular type of MP3 player).
3. Subscribe to the podcast using a “podcatcher” application on your Apple or Android device
If you have a smartphone or advanced MP3 player (like an iPod touch) you can use a podcatcher application. Apple makes their own. There are some for Android devices. But, I use one called Instacast on my iPhone. You simply follow the app’s instructions to add a particular podcast – most use centralized podcast directories to help you find the content you want. Every time you open the application, it updates your device with the latest episodes. So easy!
Watching our Videos
You may know that we just started releasing videos! That behavior is only going to continue – even escalate! We will, of course, be posting the videos on the blog, so being subscribed there may cover you. But, you can also subscribe to our channel at Youtube. It requires you have a Youtube account. However, since Youtube is now owned by Google, many of you will already have the beginnings of an account there.
Learning about Courses
The simplest way to stay updated about upcoming courses is to subscribe to the individual course email lists. Those lists are used to tell the stories of the courses, to help you understand the details, and to let you know when registration and other important events are taking place. They tend to be busy near registration times, and quiet for the rest of the time. You can unsubscribe at any time, there will always be an unsubscribe link in the email body.
We tend not to talk too much about courses on the blog, except in passing, so the email newsletters are really the best way to stay informed.
Getting weekly wrap-ups of all the content, with a few bonuses
Aside from the course related email lists, we also have a “main” newsletter. This delivers content to your inbox weekly. Usually, I try to find a common thread among the various posts, videos, podcasts, Tweets and Facebook posts in the prior 7-10 days, and tell a story with them. The emails are always informative, and occasionally entertaining. You’ll even get a free “Treatise on engaged, rooted Chinese medicine” that I wrote during the relaunch process for the site, just for signing up.
Note well, though, that you will not receive notification of ALL THE SITE CONTENT with this newsletter. You’ll miss stuff if you rely on the newsletter alone. Most people find being subscribed to the main newsletter and also using one of the RSS blog update options above to be the best strategy.
If you want to sign up for the main newsletter – simply use the form in the sidebar of the front page (and almost any page) or click this link to learn more.
I enjoy using social media, particularly Twitter. Chinese Medicine Central’s official Twitter account is actually also my personal account, so there’s a mix of information there. We have fun, though. The Chinese Medicine Central Facebook page is only for DH.com related information. We do post notifications of content there, but we also share other stuff from around the web that may be of interest to our readers.
It’s also a fantastic way to interact with me, and in the case of Facebook, with other Chinese Medicine Central contributors. Yet another way to bridge the distance between all of us. Please do come and connect with us.
Whatever you do – stay updated!
This has been a long, and likely boring, post. I hope you will make good use of it and stay updated with the site. We really cannot do it without you – it’s the interaction that keeps us going. So, watch for new content, leave comments, talk with us on Facebook and Twitter, and see how quickly new, informative content gets released. Thanks!
About Eric Grey
Hi - I'm the founder of this site and the primary master of all functions here. When I'm not writing, you can find me reaching out to the Chinese Medicine community across the web and in my own backyard. I currently teach Chinese herbs at my alma mater, the National College of Natural Medicine. Additionally, I'm the founder of Watershed Wellness, a thriving local clinic in Southeast Portland in Oregon. No matter where I'm working, you'll find my focus on the Classical approach to Chinese medicine laced throughout everything I do.