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Why I’ve replaced my Blogroll

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Warning: This post was published more than 10 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might have changed in the 10 years since I wrote this post.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Many thanks for your understanding.

For a long time, the Blogroll has been an important part of any blog – the place where writers link to other like-minded bloggers, or to sites they find interesting. But I’ve just done away with mine.

To have a pretty static list of sites I read is pretty pointless. It gives no idea of which ones I read every word of, it gives no idea of which particular posts I like, and no clue as to who I link to because I love them, and who I link to because I feel I should.

So I’ve replaced my traditional Blogroll with a new-fangled section called ‘Stuff I Read & Liked’. Basically, now I’ve permanently switched from Bloglines to Google Reader as my RSS reader of choice, I can mark posts I like with a single click – and then they appear on here. The most recent 15 items I’ve marked in this way appear in the sidebar, and the most recent 500 appear on a specially designed part of the site, here (always accessible from the ‘More stuff like this’ under the list in the sidebar). I’ve only just started doing this, so I’m not quite up to 500 yet!

I had previously been put off going doing this route because of the inflexibility of the ‘clip’ that Google provided, but with a little bit of lateral thinking and CSS coding, it was actually quite easy to style it and get it into a format I wanted. I think, overall, it provides a more logical and useful solution to crediting my influences.

I’d previously not been convinced by Google Reader, preferring Bloglines’ simplicity. But, finally, Google have won me over. Their product has improved immensely over the last few months, and there are now so many different ways of accessing your feeds that I hardly ever need to visit the main Google Reader interface. I’m definitely converted.

I hope that the new style Blogroll will encourage my readers to explore some of the other blogs I read, and allow you to get a better appreciation of my influences. I like it, and I hope that you do too.

This 1,170th post was filed under: Site Updates.






More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 5th October 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 3rd September 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 5th August 2017)

Photo-a-day 108: Durham (published 17th May 2014)

Photo-a-day 298: Grammar (published 25th October 2012)

More Labour Spam (published 26th April 2005)

Swing Update (published 10th April 2005)


Comments and responses

Trackback from another website



Trackback received at 12:00 on 2nd July 2007.

This post has been referenced by another website:
University Update - Google - Why I’ve replaced my Blogroll


Comment from James O'Malley


by James O'Malley

Comment posted at 01:17 on 3rd July 2007.

How did you go about customising the code Google give you? I’d, er, really like to rip-off your idea!

Did you take the RSS feed and parse that, or have you fiddled with the javascript somehow?


Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)


by sjhoward

Comment posted at 01:36 on 3rd July 2007.

Hi James!

If you go into Google Reader, and click Settings > Tags > Add a Clip to Your Site, then select whatever options you want but choose ‘Colour Scheme: None’ and whack it on your page, it’s all just styled using CSS – if you then highlight the stuff it inserts in Firefox, and choose “View Selection Source”, Firefox in it’s infinite cleverly-ness will show you the source of the stuff that Google’s Javascript actually inserts – so you can see the DIV classes it’s created and add things to your own CSS to style them.

That probably made little sense, this is probably a better explanation.

To get it to display 15 items in the sidebar and 500 on t’other page, I just modified the Javascript Google provides so that the second statement contains “n=15” or “n=500” accordingly.

Hope that helps!


Comment from James O'Malley


by James O'Malley

Comment posted at 01:44 on 3rd July 2007.

Wow, that’s much easier than I thought. Thanks for your help!


Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)


by sjhoward

Comment posted at 01:51 on 3rd July 2007.

No problem! It was much easier than I thought, too!


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