Sunday, March 13, 2011

Remodel

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.

27 comments:

alembic said...

Looking good around here, even with the baby blue. Just wanted to drop by and leave a smile as a blog-remodel-warming present. :-)

Dale said...

Thanks Maria!

Zhoen said...

It's clean and fresh, like a new house. Needs a bit of clutter to make it a home, but it's rather nice like this for now.

If only I could get blooger to recognize me twice in a row, and not make me keep signing in regularly. It's because I won't allow it's damn cookies, of course.

Oh, and a (o) as a blog-warming from me. How about a decorative star (*) as well. A bit of lose change (¢) for the jar, and luck. And, let's see what else have I got in my pocket... um, whatever this is (§).

Sarsparilla said...

It looks really good, mole, but - what blogroll? I see recent posts, but only about 7 of those. Your Google Reader blogroll looks nothing like my Google Reader blogroll, which befuddles my nontechnical brain.

Dale said...

:-) Thanks Zhoen! -- I've always liked that little twisty thing (§), and now I have one of my very own!

Dale said...

Vanessa, it was imported from Google Reader, but it's a Blogger Blogroll. At the bottom right of the list there's a "Show All" button that will expand it to the full list. I think.

Pascale Soleil said...

Hi Dale ~

Pascale's Wager is long since dead, and I'm now at Something Beautiful (http://www.somebeaut.com/). I would be honored with a place on your blogroll!

The new look is fresh and clean!

barb jensen said...

It is very refreshing to look at; I love the wide white space. Your blogroll is insanely long, yet I feel compelled to wander through it all.

Dale said...

Thanks Nina! Got it. I wonder how I missed you?

Barb, thanks! A lot of dead links there, I'm afraid -- I'll try to clean up a bit. But I hate removing links :-)

Sabine said...

All shades of blue are my favourite and your blog looks very clear and calm.

Kat said...

Also in a new house: katuprush.com - the old one somehow froze or died or something and it took me a while to start over and I haven't yet figured out how to do a redirect.

I also like the blue.

Dale said...

Thanks, Sabine & Kat!

Deb said...

I like that you read Cul de Sac, too. :-)

Nicely renovated space. Clean. Enjoy!!

Peter said...

Rock my world! dale, it looks splendid. And I love the feeder-digest-as blogroll. That's fun. Echo was a nice try, but Haloscan was all I ever wanted. I'm glad to hear that they export as well as import, though.

Anne said...

I am just delighted that you have a spell check again in the comments. I got really tired of either looking up words, trying to think of another word just as good that I was sure about the spelling, or just winging it and looking ignorant when the truth is I just lack the spelling gene.

I like your new, clean format, but I always thought of The Wind in the Willows as green.

caroleesherwood said...

congratulations! i am proud of you for making changes.

and while you're at it -- list me at caroleesherwood instead of maureen? i don't play there anymore. :)

Murr Brewster said...

Put me down for Wind In The Willows green also, but that's not important. What I want to know is what is the meaning of your avatar, or picture thingy, if that is the correct term? I feel certain there is some cosmic significance known to the 'gentsia, but I always see a bikini bottom.

PS I don't know if this is an omen, but my word verification is "emetic."

Murr Brewster said...

Also, thank you for the honor of inhabiting your blogroll.

Uma said...

Love it here Dale, a perfect early March blue sky of Chennai before it turns electric blue mid April. Glad to have the blog roll, I very often landed at your place and went over to other sites. With that gone for a while, it seemed I had lost a part of the beautiful world. Again,Happy blog warming :)

rbarenblat said...

What a delightful new coat of paint! Simple and clean and readable and lovely. I bring you virtual bread and salt to welcome you to your refurbished home.

Dale said...

:-) @Murr, that's just a doodle I scanned, ballpoint pen on diner napkin. It represents a fiord, looking out to sea, under a night sky, with a gratuitous swirl in it. Or, as you say, a bikini bottom with an off-centered jeweled navel. I was looking around for an image to stick in some avatar box and it was handy, and I've been too lazy to change it, ever since. (You may notice a theme developing here...)

Dale said...

@everyone, thanks so much! I do picture myself returning to a Wind in the Willows green eventually. But you know me well enough by now to know how soon to expect it :-)

Alexandra said...

your About Me page is a hoot! Glad you are arranging things to your liking :) It looks good but I did like the olive green ;)

Lioness said...

Oh, so airy and fresh, like a brand new dewy morning! I think it's lovely, Dale, I think it's lovely. I hope you will find it inspiring.

marja-leena said...

Fabulous new decor, clean and bright! Congratulations, and I too would like to offer bread and salt as a housewarming gift - a Finnish tradition, and, wow, I see it is also a Jewish one!

Neva Jo. said...

I like it. I also think the powder blue is nice. Change is good.

Lucy said...

Just fab, such a lovely surprise! Look forward to catching up with you even more now.