Reference Lists and Interest Feeds

Two of the most common uses of Membic are creating a searchable reference list, and creating an ongoing interest feed. Here’s how to set those things up so they work best for what you want to do.

General Setup

Reference lists and interest feeds are both themes. To create a theme, open your profile settings, click the Create Theme button, choose a name, and click “Create”. Your new theme is created, with you as a Founder. More on what being a Founder allows you to do later, first let’s take care of some general settings:

Hashtag

Your new theme probably has a url like https://membic.org/theme/2030. Change that into something that is easier to remember by adding a hashtag. After deciding on a hashtag, click “Update” to change the theme page, the web feed, and the embedding link.

Keywords

Keywords make it easier for everyone to find links, and easier for yourself to create them. For your theme, try to think of 3-7 keywords that broadly span the kinds of things you think you will be posting. Your goal is to help search, not imagine a complete future taxonomy. Some membics might not match a keyword, and some membics may have more than one. That’s ok. It would be unusual to know what keywords will be ultimately be best. Make a decent guess based on what you know, you can change them later if needed.

Sorting

Reference lists are organized by star rating. Interest feeds are organized by creation time. You can switch between the types anytime by changing the how the membics are sorted. Read on to decide which works best for what you want to do.

Reference List

A reference list is a smaller collection of membics displayed in priority order. A typical reference list is 20 to 200 membics with the most important or highly recommended membic first.

To change the display order, change the star rating on your membics. Your top membics are 5 stars, then 4.5, and on down. The default rating for a new membic is 3 stars (average). If two membics have the same rating, the most recent one is displayed first.

Reference lists are a great way to provide recommended readings, research sources, and other “best-of” collections.

Interest Feed

An interest feed is a potentially large collection of membics that grows as links are discovered. It is displayed in chronological order with the most recent first. Star ratings are not used for sorting.

Interest feed themes are able to extend far beyond 200 membics by offloading older content into overflow collections. Anytime the theme goes over 400 membics, the oldest 200 are automatically offloaded. When you search, the immediate membics are searched first, then if there are not enough matches found, the system starts working through the overflows in chronological order to find what you are looking for.

Interest feeds are a great way to collect links related to hobbies, recipes, books, research interests, and other ongoing developments.

Adding Members

As a Founder of a theme, you have the option to add other contributing members. Do this if you want to set up an interest feed as a collaborative effort with other people you know. As a Founder you can choose to add members or cancel membership at any time.

To add someone as a member, they need to be following the theme. Use the email share button under the theme sharing menu to invite them to follow. After they are following, you will see a link to their profile when you click the “Show Audience” button on the theme share menu. As a Founder you can click on the audience association link to promote a follower to a member, or to cancel their membership.

Of course you can also invite someone to follow just because they would be interested in the links you post. Followers are notified of new membics, either by email or web feed as they choose.

Archiving

If you have completed your reference list, or if you are closing down an interest feed, you can Archive the theme to prevent further posts. Marking the theme as archived also removes it from the suggested posting choices.

Embedding

You are welcome to embed your theme as a page on your own site. When a theme is displayed embedded, the top description area is removed, and the background becomes transparent. The resulting neutral color display works with most websites, but you may want to adjust the links color. Use the two color controls at the bottom of the theme settings to match your site.

A Membic Theme is a great way to create a reference list or an ongoing interest feed. You’ll find everything you need to collect and display what you thought was memorable.

Reference Lists and Interest Feeds

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