How to Navigate the Online MDA/ALS Newsmagazine

by Christina Medvescek on Sun, 2013-02-03 09:00

ALSN online contains research news and analysis, resources, perspectives and advice about everyday life with ALS

Welcome to the online-only MDA/ALS Newsmagazine (ALSN). The first stop on our virtual tour is a virtual question:

What’s the difference between a print magazine and an online magazine?

Frankly, in essential ways, they’re the same. Both the former print ALSN and the online ALSN offer research news stories and longer feature articles centered on ALS.

Here are some ways the online MDA/ALS Newsmagazine is different from the former print magazine:

  • News is published more often. The online magazine posts new articles and commentary on a weekly basis, versus every three months in the print magazine. Longer-length features and analysis are posted monthly.
  • Blogs. The online magazine contains something extra  commentary from people with ALS, their caregivers and loved ones, ALS researchers, advocates and others. For more, see Welcome to the MDA/ALS Blog.
  • Connection with others in the ALS community.  Comment on articles and read others’ comments. A feed from MDA’s Facebook page lets you see what others have recommended.
  • More information is just a click away. Just click the links to more information embedded in each article to expand your knowledge base.

Here’s a map to what’s available on the ALSN website

(Click to enlarge photos.)

  1. Search box. When you’re looking for information from MDA’s voluminous archives, start here. By the way, if you can’t find what you want to know on the ALSN site, there’s a chance you’ll find it on MDA’s Quest magazine site.
  2. Categories toolbar. Browse articles by topic.
  3. The latest ALS research news and updates. Updated at least once a week, this is the online equivalent of the “Research Roundup” feature that was found in the former print magazine. To see all ALSN news articles, click on "Read All ALS News" in the lower corner of the picture box.
  4. Facebook feed. What are others “recommending” (giving a thumbs-up) and sharing with their friends? (Note: You may click on and read any of these articles even if you’re not signed up with Facebook.)
  5. ALSN feature articles. Here’s where the magazine-length ALS feature stories are posted each month, offering research analysis, profiles of interesting people, health care information, advocacy and more.
  6. Blogs (guest columns). Watch for new blogs each week. Contact us at publications@mda.org to submit a blog. Be sure to put ALSN blogs in the subject line.
  7. Back articles selected from the archives. Here you’ll find older articles that are worth a second look, plus selections from the MDA ALS Caregiver’s Guide and Everyday Life with ALS: A Practical Guide.
  8. Advertisements. These sponsors help support MDA’s public health education mission  and give you an idea of what useful products and services are out there.
  9. Links to more content on MDA.org and MDA’s social media pages.
  10. Instant feedback. Click on the orange "Feedback" triangle in the lower right corner, or respond to the popup survey to let us know what you think about anything having to do with the online magazine: content, navigation, accessibility, suggestions, etc. We read every piece of feedback we get.

Well, that concludes the tour  please feel free to explore on your own, and to come back frequently.  Sign up to receive monthly emails from MDA that link to new magazine content.  The goal of MDA's online ALS Newsmagazine is to be an informative, useful, supportive and encouraging companion in your journey with ALS.

Christina Medvescek is MDA's vice president of publications.

Christina Medvescek
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