January 5, 2007

Blog Improvements

I have been a blogger for nearly five years now, although even a casual look at my blog archive will reveal that I have not always been a very diligent one. Anyway, over those five years, Blogger, the service that “powers” my blog, has undergone a number of changes. Under its new owner, Google, the pace of change at Blogger seems to be accelerating. While not changing the basic design of my blog—today, the design seems rather unusual and, I hope, not merely quaint—I have tried to take advantage of blogging innovations. I have increased the font size on my blog, added more distinctive titles, added a search bar, added a syndication feed, and made it easier to access individual posts. Most of this will not seem remarkable, of course, as new bloggers enjoy, with no effort, enhancements I have had to introduce manually. Such is the fate of the early adopter, however. (Actually, I didn’t think of myself as an early adapter in February of 2002.)

In order to implement real titles, I have just republished all my posts. In the process, I have updated links and made other minor corrections to individual essays. If you find any residual editorial errors, broken links, or other problems, I would appreciate hearing about them. Click on my name at the bottom of the column at the left to send me e-mail.

Readers may wonder why I have not implemented other common blog features. My posts do not have subject tags. Nor does my blog support comments. Well, my posts tend to fall into one of only a few broad categories, and none of those categories seems in need of finer classification. My site map has a table of contents of all my blog posts, with brief descriptions, characterized by topic. That seems an adequate guide to trolling for something to read. In fact, most readers land on my blog directly from a search engine, where they entered terms for some of the crazy things I write about. Because the topics of my little essays are, like those of my main Web site, all over the map, I have not really attracted a loyal following here, a circumstance that suggests that offering a comment function might be a waste of time. On the other hand, I do sometimes write essays that are widely read, and I am somewhat afraid of committing to the effort that might be needed to read (and perhaps police) the reactions they might elicit if people could provide immediate feedback. Since my “popular” posts are inevitably about The Episcopal Church, I have pursued the strategy of having other bloggers (such as Father Jake) write about them and moderate the resulting comments. I appreciate such favors.

For those of you who may not be familiar with Lionel Deimel’s Farrago, I should point out that the topics I deal with here are pretty much the same ones I write about on my main Web site. Essays tend to show up here, rather than there, because they are, by comparison, short, frivolous, less polished, or of rather ephemeral interest. Or maybe not.


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