20 October 2007

New Blogroll

I'm experimenting with a new version of the blogroll in the sidebar. The hack to create it comes from Google Operating System and utilizes Google Reader. (Yes, we've pretty much become All Google All The Time here at Mumpsimus Central.) I do wish there were a way to ignore the first articles "A" and "The" when alphabetizing, but I haven't figured it out yet; also, people are alphabetized by their first names.

When I was writing in every link separately myself, I alphabetized the blogroll by ignoring initial articles and sorting by people's last names, but I also stopped updating the blogroll because it was absurdly time-consuming to keep doing this in Blogger's template editor, which has some nice features, but which, when it comes to revising long lists of links, is awful. So the compromise I've made is to have an easy-to-update blogroll that is not alphabetized perfectly. (See what sacrifices I make for you?!)

I thought about creating subcategories for the blogroll to better identify blogs that are associated with particular things -- books, movies, ducks -- but decided against it, partly out of laziness (well, mostly out of laziness) and partly because to do so would in some ways violate the basic philosophy of this site -- that categories and labels should be viewed with great skepticism. (I did consider randomly assigning categories to blogs -- categories like sulfur, mercury, and salt, for example -- but though the thought still amuses me, I thought it would be more perverse than helpful.)

There's also an option to view the blogroll as a webpage, or you can read all the blogs there as one big RSS feed. I doubt these are particularly useful options, but they're kind of fun nonetheless.

I've put blogs on the blogroll that I regularly read. This means some are not there that used to be there, because, for whatever reason, I don't read them all that often anymore. I expect now that I can easily add and subtract blogs from the list, it will be far more dynamic than it has been in the past. I'll still use the "fresh links" section to point to individual items I've found of particular interest (this, too, is from Google Reader, so it can be viewed as its own page, and it also has an RSS feed), and these will continue to come from a wide variety of sources.

The other sections of the sidebar remain at best dusty, and shall remain so for a little while yet, because really I'd rather be writing about books and movies and people and stuff. Especially stuff.

In other site changes, some of you might have noticed that I've started moderating comments. This is not out of a desire to become a dictator of the comments section of posts, but out of a desire to cut down on spam. Tons was getting through the word verification, and so now I'm moderating. I will try to only reject comments that seem like spam to me, or comments that seem utterly and completely obnoxious and offensive. I realize this is a subjective judgment.