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Are all of you guys bookmarking the new Outer Blogness?

March 29, 2011

Outer Blogness

If you haven’t checked yet, there’s a new blog aggregator in town.

I’ve been meaning to write a post about blog aggregators (especially the few Mormon blog aggregators), but I’ve just never gotten around to it. What first interested me was J. Max Wilson’s series on LDS Blog Portals [wait, don't forget the conclusion] (which shortly preceded his announcement of Nothing Wavering, his blog portal for faithful, mainstream Mormons).

What can I say? I’m a sucker for Bloggernacle history and drama (and the former generally includes the latter). And while I’m sure the various parties probably disagree with each other (of course, seeing as now there are different aggregators), I found myself agreeing with a lot of what J. Max had said (although, for very different reasons…obviously, I’m not seeking to get on any “faithful, mainstream” blog portals ;) ).

Ideologically, I agreed with the contention that Mormon Archipelago’s structure creates a “promotional hierarchy,” and that ideally, a blog aggregator would try to minimize that. I also liked his thoughts about seeing aggregators as attempts to showcase progressive technologies, but I admit that I’m not very technically savvy anyway, so that is lost on me from a practical consideration.

What I did feel was that Main Street Plaza, home of Outer Blogness and something of the “hub” for the disaffected Mormon Underground Mormon Alumni Association, had some…design problems. I liked the change of themes when it was announced, but when chanson suggested that the site might be getting a fourth column, I felt the claustrophic panic attacks swelling.

(I guess I’m just extremely jealous of Mormon Expression, IAmAnExmormon, and Doves & Serpents for pulling off absolutely stunning designs.)

Of course, asking about a dedicated blog aggregator got me the job of trying to work one out with WordPress software…which…using only pre-existing programs, that task is really difficult. One of the problems was that Social Blogroll, a plugin that would do kinda what we wanted, was so slow. It had to use javascript for every RSS feed (ok, that was because we were too lazy to manually input javascript in the blogroll :3), then poll for latest post and time, and *then* arrange everything in order. With the hundreds of feeds that compose Outer Blogness (as opposed to other aggregators like Mormon Archipelago or Blogregate at Mormon Blogs [even the latter of which actually seems to break sometimes]), it just wasn’t working out.

Fortunately, Kari H was on the case, and he was far more technically-inclined.

I suppose it’s really interesting to see so many Mormon-related blog aggregators using BlogRoll Z, although I guess it’s not that surprising seeing that this is a relatively close-knit community.

…Anyway, Kari H is really the genius behind this, just with nagging from the MSP admins, so you just go over to Outer Blogness and MARVEL.

Oh yeah, and now that we have column space on the MSP sidebars, we can have these lovely buttons (designed by Chino Blanco)!

Main Street Plaza Sidebar

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4 Comments
  1. Seth R. permalink

    Didn’t J. Max try to lead the rebellion with a “faithful” blog aggregator a few years ago?

    Is he at it again?

  2. “Designed”? More like “stole” ;-) There’s still room for many more buttons, so if anyone thinks I missed an obvious candidate for a sidebar link, please let me know.

  3. Kari permalink

    As with implementing all new technologies, there’s still a few bugs to be worked out (like the fact that this blog’s introductory sentences aren’t appearing).

    I certainly enjoyed the challenge, and am grateful for the fact that Blogroll Z was already written and only needed a bit of tweaking.

  4. Seth,

    As far as I know, he’s not trying again. All the posts of his I linked are…4 years old (wow. ancient history…)

    CB,

    design…stole…it still looks great!

    Kari,

    Ah, you’ve already fixed it!

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