My name is Andy Carvin, and I'm part of the team that coordinates NPR's online communities. You may remember that I wrote a blog post several months ago talking about the possibility of creating a new space for members of the My Cancer community that would give them new ways to interact and support each other. Today, we're launching that new space. It's called Our Cancer.
When you visit Our Cancer for the first time, you'll find some things that are familiar, but largely it will be a new experience for most of you. Up until now, we've interacted through the blog, which meant that Leroy or Laurie would write a post, and then the rest of us would respond, having a conversation in the comment threads. With Our Cancer, things will be different, as all of you will be able to start your own conversations. Each one of you will be able to post blog entries and start discussion threads. You can even upload a photo or video clip and have people discuss it, or share an event listing with everyone. If you've ever used Facebook, it's kind of like what's known there as a Facebook Group. It's a place where all of us can take the lead and begin conversations that are important to us.
Since Our Cancer is brand-new, there isn't much content there at the moment. If you'd like to see what a community looks like once people have been using it for a while, try poking around our All Tech Considered community. It's about technology, which may not be of interest to you, but it'll give you a feel for how people use our community tools.
Our Cancer is open to everyone, so right now you can go to the site and poke around. If you'd like to participate, though, you'll have to be a registered member of NPR.org. For those of you who have been posting comments on Laurie's blog entries over the last few months, you're good to go; just visit Our Cancer and click the big blue Join This Group button. If you're logged into the site already, you'll join it immediately; if not, it'll ask you for you to log in first.
To register, go to our registration page and follow the instructions. Once you're registered and logged in, go back to the Our Cancer page and click the Join This Group button. After you've done that, you'll be able to take full advantage of the community, such as posting your own blog entry or starting a discussion thread. You can also upload photos, video or event listings.
Whenever you go to the Our Cancer group, you'll always see most recent blog posts first. Just to the right of the latest blog post, you'll see two tabs; one for blogs and the other for discussions. If you want to see recent discussions, just click that tab and it will switch to the discussion. There's also a "view all" button for both blog entries and discussions so you can browse recent submissions from other community members.
Our Cancer will be a new experience for many of you, so we realize it may take some practice. Feel free to post comments to the blog if you have any questions on how it works, and we'll do our best to help you out. Meanwhile, we encourage you to start discussions on things you care about. You're the experts in your own experiences in Cancer World, so we're hoping you'll take the lead in sharing your stories so others can benefit from your wisdom.
Thanks again to everyone who's given us feedback on this project. And above all special thanks to both Leroy and Laurie - Leroy for encouraging us to continue the community and Laurie for helping us make it happen. This community wouldn't be here if it weren't for them.