I know. It's blue. I expect I'll twiddle the color eventually, but I'm sort of soaking up this template, and playing with the tools. The last time I remodeled was probably five years ago, and I'm reminded of the houses we've been looking at. "They did a lot to this place" is not something we usually say in an approving tone: mostly we look at their improvements -- dark wood faux paneling in the bathroom? How creative! -- and wonder how long it will take us to rip them out and replace them with something civilized.
But the two important things are in place. I have comments and a blogroll again! When I started blogging, in the Pleistocene Era, Blogger did not offer comments or blogrolls, so I imitated the cool kids and added comments, by way of Haloscan, and a blogroll, by way of Blogrolling.
Blogrolling died first. They were bought out by somebody who had the genuinely atrocious idea of turning this free software into a paying proposition by placing ads -- not on my blog, which would have been a morally justifiable quid pro quo -- but at the top of the blogs I linked to, which was simply evil. I nevertheless left them grumpily in place, figuring that on the net links are always better than no links, and I'd get something different eventually. But then they were hacked, and they clearly weren't keeping house, so I just yanked them off of mole. For a few months now I've been that abomination, a blog that doesn't recognize its friends. Hated that. But now I have a blogroll -- imported, smooth as butter, from Google Reader -- and though it has some dead links in it that doesn't matter much, since by default it just shows the ten most recently updated, along with snippets, which really is almost what I would have done if I'd ever gotten around to writing such a thing myself.
Haloscan was an altogether more civilized experience. Echo, which bought them, tried. It made it easy to export all the comments into an xml file, for one thing. So I haven't necessarily lost the comments for good: in my spare time, say in the late 2030s, I might figure out how to re-import them. The trouble with Echo was that it simply tried to be too clever. It just had too much stuff, most of which I didn't want. It tried to piggy back on all the other social media, which meant that -- if, like me, you wander around the web with different names and avatars and logins and passwords, according to whether you're on Google or Yahoo or Haloscan, sometimes logged in and sometimes not -- you never knew whether you were logged in or who you were logged in as. And if you were new it officiously tried to tie your identity down and get you to say what your other social media affinities were and by the way what your passwords were on them. I'm kind of surprised anyone commented. Echo also offered a million ways to link and add media; and it also offered, or rather forced, threaded comments. I don't like threaded comments: I like mine flat. I want everything everyone has to say to jostle together, so that the juices swap around, as Huck would say. In comment structure, to my mind, less is more. Threaded comments are like a party at which, as soon as you start talking to someone, your host pushes the two of you into a private room and slams the door. I like my parties a little more sociable.
So here we are. Brave new world. It's possible that I've lost some links -- if you were on my old blogroll, and you're not on it now (you can check by clicking the "show all" thingy), please let me know. My subscriptions to Google Reader were always ad hoc, and I might have missed you.