If you're a regular visitor around these parts, you may have noticed a few changes. That's right, we're very happy to unveil FBC 2.0! We'll still be tweaking it over the coming days (our membership directory is still a work in progress so don't panic if you don't see your name!)
When we first launched FBC nearly 2 and a half years ago, we really weren't too sure what shape it would take as it grew up. Growing pains started almost right away but, with the help of some bobby pins, gaffer tape and some very generous helpers, we managed to keep it moving forward. Last summer it became very apparent to us that we had to make some changes if we wanted to keep growing so we set to work.
What you see today is phase one of a three phase project that we'll be rolling out over 2014. While there are a lot of cosmetic changes to make the site easier to navigate and browse (we'll highlight some of them below), the biggest change was a complete overhaul of our membership software behind the scenes and a move to a more powerful hosting platform.
Your New Member Profile
Our new platform allows all of you to share more information about yourselves and your blogs with your fellow members and the numerous brands and PR agencies who browse our directories. By logging in to the site, you will be able to fill out much more complete public and private profiles.
Your Public Profile
Now when readers browse our directories, they will be able to click on a link that takes them to your blog, as they could before. They will also be able to click on your first name to see your public FBC profile that can include your gravatar picture, how long you have been a member, your blog name and URL, your bio, your social media links and your favourite three posts from your blog. So be sure to log-in and fill in the blanks so your member profile packs a punch!
Your Private Profile
While you're filling in your profile, you'll notice some other fields where you can share more information about your blog that will not be shared publicly on the site. Things like, are you PR friendly, do you want to be contacted with opportunities to work with brands (you can even select the types of opportunities you'd like to be contacted with), what types of topics do you blog about, what blogging platform you use and what city you blog from. We'll be using this information to help us match you up with blogging opportunities that are presented to us as well as to help us determine the types of resources posts we should be focusing on.
Another brand new feature is our "shop". We've been looking for a way to make it easy to highlight and promote the numerous cookbooks and other publications our members have published or will be publishing. Currently we're only highlighting products available on Amazon but, if you self-publish and would like your book to appear, please contact us and we'll tell you what we need to make it happen! If you do have products available through Amazon and we missed you, let us know!
We've also included other resources on food photography, styling, business, food writing and creativity that might be useful to our members.
If you're a member who has services or goods for sale that might be useful to your fellow members, let us know and we'll be happy to include them here (you could be a registered dietician, a web designer, a bookkeeper etc).
Some of the other changes we've made revolve around making it easier to find what you're looking for. All of our Recipe and Restaurant roundups can now be found in the main menu, as well as a link to all our featured blogs. We will also be highlighting more of our Pinterest boards in our sidebars and on the homepage, so be sure to participate in Pin It Thursdays and contribute to our group Pinterest board just for members blog posts.
Our home page has been dramatically redesigned to allow us to feature more content and to rotate out different topics depending on the time of year or what we are focusing on. We've chosen new fonts that better match our logo and artwork branding and given the site a cleaner look.
Our resource directories are now much more visual with large thumbnail images to help you zero in on what interests you.
Our membership directory has been revamped with an interactive map on the main directory page and more segmented directories by province. The directories themselves are easier to navigate (no more scrolling!) and are even searchable! (as we mentioned above. we're still working on populating them and it may take a few days before they're complete).
We've also added more ways to connect with us on social media and made it easier for you to subscribe via email so you never miss a post!
Please take some time to browse the site. If you notice any glitches, please let us know and we welcome your constructive feedback!