The Site Diary has been quiet for some time now, but there has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes to improve UsingEnglish.com and to build a base for the future. Here I will attempt to catalogue the key developments that have been made to the site over the last few months, and explain what they may mean for the future.
We've been working hard to database all of our text and article content. This will provide us with much more opportunity in the future to add functionality to the site to help you learn faster and find content of interest to you. We now have three fully databased articles areas:
Expect to see new features for our article content in the near future. There are many obvious next steps to make, such as enhancing the navigation of these sections by sorting and searching, displaying related articles and tagging. There will even be some surprises to come as a result of the databasing of these texts, but if you have any ideas and suggestions we'd love to hear from you. Post your comments below or send us a suggestion.
PDFs & Audio
We've completely redesigned and redeveloped the system we use for integrating PDFs into our site. As a result, we also now have the ability to add Audio clips to content. You can already see the new PDFs becoming available in our Teacher Lesson Plans section. Expect to see new Audio MP3 content added to site sections like our English Idioms in the near future!
User Contributors & Profiles
One of the major developments of the past few months has been the complete restructuring of the profiles area. We now not only list the individual profiles of our staff and site contributors, but we also provide you with the ability to access the content they have contributed to the site. Simply click on the Contributions tab from their profile to see a list of everything they have added to UsingEnglish.com.
We have been accepting user-submissions of content to the site for a while now, and we are very thankful for all of the hard work and time that some people have put into contributing their content to UsingEnglish.com. As a result, any site user who submits content to the site (such as idioms) now has a personal profile page which lists all of their contributions. Any entry contributed by one of our users is linked directly to their profile page in order to credit them for their work.
Expect to see the contributor profiles develop and mature over the next few months, with added functionality and enhanced navigation.
RSS News Feeds
What use would all of this wonderful new content be if nobody saw it?
That's exactly what we were thinking. Therefore, we are creating RSS feeds for as many types of content as possible, allowing you to subscribe to the sections of the site you are interested in and get updates as and when new content is added. We currently have the following feeds available (you can subscribe to them here):
- What's New - An all-in-one newsfeed of the latest content added to UsingEnglish.com over the last 28 days.
- English Idioms - The latest English idioms and idiomatic expressions
- English Phrasal Verbs - The latest English phrasal verbs
- ESL Handouts and Quizzes - The latest teacher handouts and online quizzes
- ESL Forum News - The latest posts in our ESL forum
- ESL Weblog News - The latest ESL Blog entries
- The Editor's Blog News - The latest posts from our Site Editor (Tdol) in his blog
- UsingEnglish.com Site News - The latest site news
Expect to see this list grow, with new feeds for more types of content such as articles, PDFs and more.
Still reading? Thanks for taking the time to get this far, and I hope you can see we've not been sleeping on the job.
We hope you enjoy these new features of the site as they continue to grow and get enhanced over time. We are committed to bringing you the best we can offer, and we dedicated to providing a site that suits the way you want to use it. Whether you are a teacher or student, we want to make UsingEnglish.com easy to use, helpful, informative and enjoyable.
So, now it's your turn. What do you think of these changes? What do you want to see UsingEnglish.com do in the future? Please add your comments and thoughts using the comment form at the bottom of this post.
Categories: Site Content