Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ready, Set, Fly!

There's a new kid in town. It's a little e-newspaper called InkStain'D.

To go back a bit, the Flying Furballs blog was born out of my need to share all kinds of things that go on in my life. I have shared posts about living with Type 1 Diabetes and it gave me a platform to be a diabetes advocate. I've also shared my husband Larry's accessibility 'adventures' as he lives with blindness caused by congenital glaucoma. He also lives with Type 2 diabetes which has, over the last few years, given me more insight into the diabetes 'world'.

But still, I kept wondering, how could I possibly add something to an amazing blogging community which has already done such a great job. Sure, I do have something to say, and Flying Furballs is still a perfect forum through which I can share, but due to limited time, I've been struggling with how to best serve the community and beyond.

InkStain'D is born

Read all about it, in InkStain'D
InkStain'D is an e-newspaper that I've been playing with for a while. It had humble beginnings (starting as the JamieNa Journal which morphed into the JamieAnna Journal), and I've had a few mis-steps to be sure. I've learned the ropes and now I can say I am the publisher and curator of this little paper. It proudly sports a new URL ( and it will be published at least 2 days per week, assuming life doesn't get too much in the way.

InkStain'D is another way to access information - a kind of one-stop shopping. Because people prefer to access information in different ways. This e-newspaper format hopefully will bring information to more people, and hopefully introduce other people to the diabetes community. Essentially, it is another way to reach out to people - providing them with information in an interesting and entertaining way.

For those of you already familiar with it, the focus will be the same, but it now features some new stuff too. Not only will it have news and views from the diabetes and accessibility communities, it will also share so much more with readers, including:
  • Posts from bloggers of all stripes, from within the diabetes and accessibility communities, and "beyond"
  • Featured videos - educational, funny, creative and inspirational
  • Photos and drawings of all kinds - interesting, funny, and cute photos that have been shared
  • Technological advancements
  • scientific discoveries, and
  • other cool whatnots

What makes InkStain'D different?

InkStain'D was created, in part, to be an interactive forum for the community. Whether you are a blogger or "just" a person trying to raise funds in your community - whoever and wherever you are - you can use this forum to get your message out into the world. If you have a blog, just write about it, and it can be part of InkStain'D. If you don't have a blog, just write something up and InkStain'D (along with some space located on Flying Furball) will help you share your message.

What's this? Accessibility!

InkStain'D will be accessible - and this is huge. Why is this huge, you might ask?

Just think about it - so many videos are out there, featuring funky music with some floating script scrolling across the screen. This works for most of us who can see it, however, it's the same to blind people as silence is to deaf people. It may also surprise you that even though embedded videos are obviously sitting right there in a blog ready to click on for you and I, some screen readers do not even "see" videos embedded in blogs. Through Flying Furballs, this paper will provide a link to the source of the videos (at YouTube, Vimeo and other sources). For videos that are "silent", as well as many photographs, drawings and graphics, descriptive text will be provided to the best of my ability. This way anyone who has visual impairments can be included and "see" what everyone else sees. Look at the top of the page. There's a link there to bring you to the Accessible InkStain'D tab.

So now, no one is left behind. Anybody with vision issues or who navigate the web by alternate ways, can also enjoy what everybody else does while reading InkStain'D.

Ready to fly

I like to think of InkStain'D like the caterpillar transforming into a butterfly, and it's now time for the butterfly to take flight (I love metaphors, so please indulge me!)

I'm excited to be launching InkStain'D which has grown near and dear to my heart. I hope you will explore it with me, and please, tell me what you think.

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