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ChoralTech: How Do You Get Your ChoralNet?

You may have noticed that ChoralBlog has been expanding recently-- adding guest bloggers and trying to spread our scope to present as comprehensive a discussion of choral topics as possible. For many people, ChoralBlog is the most obvious (or even the only?) part of ChoralNet, but our increased focus on ChoralBlog shouldn't distract from the great content happening in the communities, forums and resources. The amount of conversation happening on ChoralNet on a daily basis can be overwhelming, though, if you don't have a way to manage it and customize it for your needs. Have you updated your subscriptions recently? Have you chosen the specific forums that you'd like to get updates from? Does ChoralNet e-mail you your news when you want it? Let's take a look at some of the features of ChoralNet that you can update in order to get the best experience possible.
 
Subscriptions
 
By choosing to subscribe to specific features and areas of ChoralNet, you can get e-mail updates when new information is posted instead of having to check manually on a regular basis. Reading the Subscriptions Help page will give you a good guide to setting up your subscriptions, but the key question is how often do you want to be e-mailed, and what do you want it to look like?
 
  • Index version: a daily summary with just a one-line description of each item, plus a convenient link to read the whole thing in your browser
  • Digest subscription: a daily summary with the entire contents of each new item
  • Individual emails: this corresponds to the subscription many Choralist and ChoralTalk users are used to; you'll receive a separate email each time new content is added in the areas you're subscribed to.
  • Customized RSS feed: There's an RSS link on your Subscriptions page which you can enter into your favorite RSS reader.
In short, choose what you want to get immediately, what you'd like to get full updates from, and what you'd like to simply see headlines for and be able to click for more information. Here's the important thing to remember-- you don't have to make the same choice for everything. If you want to hear immediately when there's a discussion or question about TTBB choirs, you can choose that setting while leaving the Classifieds forum on a daily basis.
 
Now Go Fishing!
 
Now that you have an idea of how you want to receive your subscriptions, it's time to find some content! I recommend starting in the "All Communities" list and joining the communities with which you have an interest. There's no limit to the number of communities that you can join, and you can always update your subscription settings under your "My ChoralNet" tab and choosing "Subscription Email Options." The community list is presented in order of number of members, so make sure you scroll all the way through the list. There may be a special group or regional association towards the bottom with few members, but great interest for you.
 
And while it's not a requirement, it's always good form to introduce yourself when you join a community-- a short question, an item of interest, or even just a note about why you're interested in the topic at hand go a long way towards fostering the espirit de corps.
 
Forums and Classifieds, Too!
 
Once you're logged in to your ChoralNet account, you'll see the "subscribe" button in the upper-right when you visit forums or classifieds. You can subscribe to forums as well, although a word of caution: there is much more constant activity in the forums than the communities. I'd recommend that you set your forums to "daily" instead of individual e-mails, otherwise your mailbox will become overwhelmed quickly!
 
Water (and Weed) the Garden
 
There is such a thing as too much information, and too many e-mails make opening the inbox a thing of dread. If you find yourself constantly deleting e-mails from a ChoralNet forum or community, it's time to unsubscribe. If you're like the rest of us, you're more likely to use a tool that's quick and easy without becoming overwhelming, and too many subscriptions can do just that. Once you find the balance, though, you can save a lot of time and find great information on ChoralNet that's directly relevant to you without much work on your part. As always, if you have questions, thoughts, or comments on how best to use ChoralNet to get your information and news, let us know below!