- We now have over 500 links (Thanks to all spanko bloggers!)
- We now have 500 followers (Thanks to all of you as well)
- We now have over 1000 RSS feed readers (Glad you're out there)
I mentioned the 500 links, but all is not well over in the linkage department. First the good news. The alphabetic blogroll, labeled Kindred Spirits, works great and is completely up to date. The color codes allow readers to get a sense of a blog's content before they visit.
Unfortunately, the chronological blogroll (Good and Hot) is ailing. About a month ago, some clever programmer at Google touched the code that updates gadget contents and broke it. Since then, I have been unable to add, update, or delete links. Since the listing is chronological, old or dead links automatically sink to the bottom (where they will cause no trouble). However, not adding new blogs is a more serious problem. If Google is fixing these bugs, or even developing a work-around, they haven't told us. For now, there seems to be a new effective maximum blogroll size of around 170 links.
I'm surprised that no one has complained about missing links. That means either it isn't as big as problem as I think or people aren't paying close attention.
In any case, I needed a stopgap. The solution I came up with was to create second chronological blogroll to maintain links for more recently added blogs. It is named Newest of the New and it's currently located at the very bottom of the right column (yes, all the way down there). In the past month, I've added over sixty new links. I've decided the idea of having a separate blogroll to highlight new blogs actually has some merit independent of Blogger's problems. I think it should probably be displayed in a more prominent place, but that involves moving around everything else.
This is where I need to solicit your thoughts. I know the blogrolls are very important to many readers. Today, the items in the right column are organized like this:
- Good and Hot (G&H) - Somewhat broken chronological blogroll
- Twiddlies - Drop down links, followers, and miscellaneous gadgets
- Kindred Spirits (KS) - Clean and complete color-coded alphabetic blogroll
- Newest of the New (NotN) - Growing chronological blogroll for blogs added since the gadget bug appeared
I've also pondered a more permanent solution that involves several smaller chronological blogrolls organized by blog type (like the color codes). But that seems like a lot of work to create and maintain, and I'm not sure it would be helpful to the reader.
Speaking of the blogrolls, I've fielded some questions lately about what I do and do not link. The criteria haven't changed in a couple of years, but they're perhaps worth mentioning again. I link every spanking-oriented blog I find, with the following exceptions:
- Sites that are not organized as a blog with dated posts
- Blogs that have not been updated in two months or more
- Blogs that are private or require a registration/subscription
- Blogs that lack significant spanking content
- Blogs whose primary purpose is advertising
- Blogs that contain little or no original content
- Blogs that depict children or non-consenting adults as spankees
- Blogs that feature extremely graphic or offensive content
- Blogs with considerable text in a language other than English
- Blogs authored or frequented by minors
- Blogs that advocate abuse or exploitation of women
I have no issue with anyone blogging as they choose. I attempt to link blogs that will be of interest of MBS readers. You've told me what you like and these guidelines largely reflect that. If you think it's time to revise these standards, I'd like to hear your ideas.
So what do you think of Blogger's new CAPTCHA techniques? Those are the fuzzy words that must be deciphered and retyped when you want to leave a comment. I've used this tool for years to keep out robo-spam comments. It's always been a lesser evil for me, but the new version is difficult even for humans.
There are alternatives, but until now, I've considered them to be worse. I could turn on comment moderation, but comments would appear only after I approve them. When I'm away, it could be hours or even days before they appear. I use this technique today for posts over one week old, but the volume of comments is very low. I could disallow all anonymous comments, but I think that might destroy the feeling of openness. I also question how effective it would be.
I could simply turn off the verification and allow Blogger's spam detection to filter out the bad stuff. I'm not very impressed by what I've seen of this technology so far. A couple of weeks ago, they quarantined Hermione's brunch response, and there are some readers who seem to be systematically filtered for some reason. On the flip side, some very spammy comments still get through. If I choose this option, there will be a lot of housekeeping. Again, I value your opinions.
Today is President's Day here in the US. I don't talk about politics on this blog, primarily because I want all readers to feel welcome. But in honor of the holiday and the ongoing election process, I will make a brief exception. Is anyone else troubled by the fact that the three leading Republican candidates have all signed a pledge to work toward eliminating pornography?
People disagree about what constitutes pornography and therein lies the problem. I think this blog is pretty tame, but I have no doubt that it is offensive to someone. If we allow our government to eradicate any speech that offends anyone, none of us will be able to say anything. As problematic as corporate censorship is, government censorship is far worse because they have the ability to lock people away for their views. What has happened to the party of small government and individual liberties?
I guess that's about it, except to remind you that I like to hear what you think. This is your blog as much as it is mine. Please tell me how we can make it better. I'm listening...