Contribute to RFB

· Miscellany

I would like to make Radio Free Blogistan a more inclusive resource and less of a one-man show. There are a few ways that people can contribute.

Anyone with a weblog- or metablog-related category in their own blog can set up an RSS feed for the category and tell me about it. If the information in the feed seems to be of value to my readers, I will add your last four or five headlines to my sidebar, as I’ve already done with Lockergnome’s RSS Resource, Weblogging for Poets, a klog apart, the Blog Herald, and Micro-Content News. As with a blogroll, I will add to and prune that list as needed. Corante on Blogging would be there for sure, for example, if Hilton weren’t on hiatus.

Next, I am going to make all the categories at RFB trackback-pingable and I’ll probably set one up specifically as a default ping receiver to remove the choosing-a-category obstacle from among the barriers to participation. I’ll write a little how-to tutorial if I ever get that done.

I have some related ideas, by the way, for facilitating a more interactive Salon blogging community. For one thing, we could do better than the recently updated page at blogs.salon.com. This page is like weblogs.com, in that it’s just a list of updates, and it is a good way to see what’s been posted lately, but now that both Radio and Movable Type do trackback, it’s possible for everyone to (manually or automatically) ping my Salon bloggers category (formerly ‘Salonika’) whenever they update, which would create a list like you see at blogs.salon.com, but with titles and excerpts from each post.

Kind of a Salon community today at-a-glance page, linking back to everyone’s individual blog.

But back to the how I’m trying to invite more participation in RFB. Finally, I would like to find a small crew of people who would be interested in joining the editorial/writing staff. If you’re interested in doing this, drop me a line, show me some of the writing about weblogs, or nanopublishing, or any of the other topic you see here in Blogistan, and we’ll take it from there.

My feed list

· Miscellany

I’m trying to show an imported version of the OPML file my RSS newsfeed reader (“aggregator”) NetNewsWire exported for me – as one of my typelists, “Feeds I Read.” At first it just showed five of them, the last five alphabetically. I got it to display the whole list, more or less, but I reversed the order and am republishing this page to see if that restores it to forward-alphabetical.
UPDATE: Just noticed that many of the feed names imported without their associated links. How lame! I will fix manually or try reimporting sometime soon.

Random quickies

· Miscellany

Added jwz to my aggrefier. interesting thought about livejournal URLs: since jwz is a paid user (as am i, as bodega), he gets to use the vanity hostname subdomain jwz.livejournal.com instead of the plebeian www.livejournal.com/users/jwz or www.livejournal.com/~jwz etc. all of which still work too. should I assume Jamie will continue to be a paid member in perpetuity, or should I use a default-style address, just in case? The latter makes more sense to me (changes link).
Eastgate is releasing Tinderbox 2.0, with some new weblog-compatibility features. Tinderbox, a kind of hyper neural-net-ty electronic note-taking and correlating application, already had the ability to output notes as weblog entries, but now includes a Weblog Assistant that can automatically set up a customized weblog. Also, “Tinderbox now cooperates with other weblog tools, letting Tinderbox users post notes to server-side tools like Blogger, Radio Userland, and MoveableType at the touch of a button.” I really want to give Tinderbox a try, but something’s been holding me back.
RSS Starting To Catch On: Opinion: Despite a pending standards battle – RSS is finally getting the attention it deserves, and for good reason. It can save IT time and money – and may be one of tomorrow’s keys to communications.
things i’m learning from mediajunkie agg:

  • no title? no link
  • not sure what other metadata could be captured and displayed – the multiauthor weblog tool is pretty barebones. Even getting the source weblog to appear required a hack offered by Mark Paschal or Marc Barrot or one of those guys over on the UserLand message boards.
  • The layout sucks. Items should be little floating CSS boxes.
  • There’s no grouping for multiple weblog items.
  • No author credit for group blogs, like the Corante Many-to-Many weblog. I often don’t know who is writing, though I’m learning to recognize each individual voice (I knew it was Clay speaking for “we” and speaking of the backchannel article as a “tribal fetish object” without seeing his byline) – and I discovered Liz indirectly by reading that blog though I assume she was already well known elsewhere (among academic bloggers?). I was already reading Sebastien Paquet’s stuff.
  • Back to Mediajunkie, I’d like the ability to single out, promote, and rearrange the articles. The autotool is clearly just a placeholder measure while I figure out how to do something useful, or turn it off and go back to private aggregation and only rearranging my own content in public.

Best CSS-design interface yet

· Miscellany

OK, so now I can talk about TypePad’s awesome template builder feature. It’s not easy to build a good interactive interface for something as nuanced as design, but given the standardization of weblog layouts and some very neatly executed preview routines and what I assume is DOM-driven interactivity, the TypePad beta sports the best CSS interface for design I’ve seen yet.
I’ve been waiting for a while for something that would enable you to choose valid CSS options and get immediate feedback on a dummy example, but the problem with this is that CSS can exist in a vacuum, so you don’t always have an example page on which to try out your CSS formatting and layout choices. Since TypePad basically knows what your blog is going to look like, with some simple boilerplate and an interactive preview widget built into its template builder tool, TP offers the sort of handholding that completely hides the markup. Valid CSS+XHTML web design options with a reasonable range of choices that I can imagine a grandmother (like my mom) using.

Obligatory buttons 'n' bangles

· Miscellany

Per @TypePad’s communitarian rules for joining the Yahoo mailing list:

Simply copy and paste…

You can also post an entry on your blog… confirm you are the owner of the claimed blog.