I’m in a kind of low-key mode today. I had to get up early for an appointment, which lasted about 2 hours, and I now have little energy for anything that requires major thought. So, of course, I’m tinkering with the blog. Back in the day, say 2003, 2004, I used to tinker on the blog all the time. Partly, that was because I was just learning the ropes, and partly, I just thought it was fun. I mean, it was the heyday of blogging, just before it went really mainstream and every media outlet on the planet got themselves a blog. It was crucial to keep my blog looking slick. Nowadays, with most people reading through readers, or just following me on Facebook or Twitter, blog maintenance is not a high priority.
But today, I thought, hey, let’s make some changes. So, I’ve added a new image at the top, changed around some widgets, and even added a blogroll! Remember blogrolling? The actual site? I loved that tool. I liked it because it was mostly automatic. You could be reading a blog and decide, hey, I like that, click a button and voila! in the blogroll. I hadn’t found anything like that until today–really, I hadn’t looked that hard. Many of you out there probably already know this, but you can feed your Google Reader feeds right to your blog. It’s not as obvious as it should be. But here’s what I did. I have my feeds organized into folders: Computer Science, Eduction, Fun, etc. Next to each folder, there’s a drop-down menu. In that menu is a thing called “Create Bundle.” What this does is “bundle up” the feeds in that folder into their own separate RSS feed. Once you have a bundle, you have a couple of options for getting the bundle onto your blog. One, you can use the Bundle Clip. This creates a box with a list of all your feeds. Handy, but only lists the feeds in alphabetical order. I haven’t cleaned up my feeds lately and there are a lot of feeds that are defunct and they’re right there with the ones that aren’t. No good for me. I opted instead to find a plug-in for Word Press that displays RSS feeds nicely. I went through 3 or 4 before I landed on Super RSS. It works quite nicely, displaying the feeds in order of update, with snippets (optional). If you’re not a Word Press person, I’m sure there’s something similar for most platforms.
I’d love to do more customization, digging into the CSS and PHP, but I don’t really have any ideas on what big changes I might make. This will do for now. And speaking of the old days of blogging, I remember when this cute video went around: