Expanding Their Message of Hope and InspirationFriday, May 23, 2014
The Blue Heel Society has created its emagazine in order to talk about what’s going on in the diabetes community and how families and individuals are making a difference on a local level.
By: John Parkinson, Clinical Content Coordinator, DiabetesCare.net
The Blue Heel Society is a growing diabetes online community that was built out a desire to raise awareness about the disease and the ability to share what’s going on with individuals and families dealing with diabetes in their everyday lives.
Blue Heel was started by Tony Cervati and his wife Diane. Her son has type 1 and Tony and Diane wanted to find a way to express what they were going through as well as lending a voice to other families dealing with caregiving for a child with diabetes.
Set up as a blog, Blue Heel began very much as a grassroots organization.
Readers may remember two stories DiabetesCare.net did with Tony last year. To read them go here. For his part, Tony started his Type 1 Rider blog, which he began as a way to log-in his glucose numbers while biking. Tony is himself a long-time veteran of type 1 having being diagnosed with it as a young boy.
The Blue Heel community had been growing steadily in the last couple of years, and yet, Diane and Tony knew they wanted to expand their efforts and be able to grow the community’s message of hope and advocacy for anyone to enjoy. The result is the development of the Blue Heel Society’s emagazine.
The emagazine utilizes the flipboard format, which can be downloaded easily. The emagazine contains news and blogs about everything from devices and advocacy to fashion and inspired living. All the while, Blue Heel remains true to its roots and gives people the ability to tell their diabetes narratives through their own unique perspectives.
Thomas Moore is the chief communications officer and editor-at-large for the Blue Heel Society. He is also a caregiver to a LADA family member. He, along with Chief Content Officer and Editor-at-Large Jen Hamilton Loving who is also a mother of two type 1 daughters, helped the Cervatis shepherd along this great new addition to Blue Heel.
DiabetesCare.net spoke with Moore about what the new emagazine is going to feature and how it will serve its audience.
DiabetesCare.net: Why the decision to develop the Blue Heel Society emagazine?
Moore: Because of the astonishing number of visitors to our blog, we realized we needed to expand, and that we needed to reflect the fact that our audience included both those with a diabetes connection and others who didn`t. So we had to build with everyone in mind. How better to build all this into one place, with an emagazine format.
From the beginning, Blue Heel Society was not doing the norm. Instead of just a "build it and they will come" approach, we started with a message and mission we stuck with, and the result of doing so was that people responded and visited us in large numbers. And thus our concept of "have them come, then build upon that" is a very personal interaction between our BLUETIFUL peeps, and the resulting content we curate for the emagazine.
And as Diane Cervati, Blue Heel’s editor-in-chief says, ‘we always envisioned pushing our boundaries beyond a simple diabetes blog.’
DiabetesCare.net: How will readers access the emagazine?
Moore: People can still visit our original blog, using the topic tabs to navigate the emagazine`s sections. People can also view the emagazine right within the blog flipping through the pages of it right from one place.
DiabetesCare.net: Can you provide an overview of what readers will find in it?
Moore: Along with original content, special features, guest commentary, readers will find specialized and tailored content from hundreds of topics from multiple sources each day.
Photo: (Top left) Chief Content Officer and Editor-at-Large Jen Hamilton Loving; (Upper right) Blue Heel Society Co-Founders Diane and Tony Cervati; (Lower right) and Chief Communications Officer and Editor-at-Large Thomas Moore.
DiabetesCare.net: Can you talk about some of the new features and departments in the emagazine?
Moore: There are five key departments including: Fashion, Health and Exercise, Diet and Nutrition, Inspired Living, and Sports. Along with the ever-evolving menu and a store, there is a new topic, Inside the Blue Circle, which is still in development, and geared towards making people aware of what is happening within the diabetes world.
DiabetesCare.net: Tell us more about the InsideThe Blue Circle feature?
Moore: We are quite excited to see how fast our InsideThe Blue Circle is growing. We created a blog and Facebook page for everyone to have a place to share and promote local events that will help in spreading diabetes awareness.
We understand how the grassroots power of local efforts is the real way to grow our collective voice in matters of awareness. As our circle grows, we will be able to spread the word that allows everyone`s voice to be heard where it is most needed—in peoples’ individual communities.
DiabetesCare.net: What do you hope people get from emagazine?
Moore: We want to keep people informed about what is going on in the diabetes world. We will be updating our content throughout the day so there will be new articles being posted daily. In addition, peoples` suggestions for content is paramout to our continued success! We also hope that people enjoy its simplicity and ease of use, which is presented in a familiar blog format.
Check out what's happening at Blue Heel by going here.