Thank you Chris for pointing out your work on your own blogroll, and how WordPress itself might be of use here.

Adding images is a nice feature. I added faces in my blogroll in 2003, because I generally subscribe to people not sources, and showing them in my blogroll was a nice way to visualise my blogging peer network, and make blogs look more like the social tools they are.

My blogroll in 2003

Bringing that back would be cool. Especially if relying on gravatars where possible.

So if I understand your postings correctly, the Links manager in WordPress also creates a separate OPML file. Now if this OPML file could e.g. be automatically loaded into a microsub server like Yarns, that would be even better. Then it would all be under the same WP roof.

I notice that the Links Manager allows categories and multiple at that, but tags next to categories would be even better. To do ‘Berlin coders into gardening posts this week’ type of searches in a reader. Having all the tags as categories would look cluttered in WP. I have little use for the defined XFN fields, I’d rather have tags that concern various facets of a blogger’s profile (tech, Drupal, infosec, parent, Barcelona, French, Arabic, rock climbing) to enable fast and detailed cross sections of my feeds. Having those tags here would presumably more easily allow me to carry them over into my reader somehow. Basically trying to figure out if WP Links manager could be the source of such data.

In terms of my ideal feedreader lots of the other features could then happen in a microsub/pub client.

One other question to explore: is there a way to bulk load links into the link manager. It is likely easier to build a spreadsheet with all relevant info for my current 200 feeds or so first. Do you add link by link by hand, Chris?

Replied to a post by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich

I’ll see you your blogroll and add in images and descriptions as well! … Perhaps what we really need is to give some love to that Link Manager in core to update it to OPML v2 and add in the rel attributes from XFN microformats to the links?

After my recent posting where I asked people which RSS feeds they read, I received several responses. One of them is Peter’s. Like me he was publishing an OPML file of his feeds already. OPML is a machine readable format that most RSS readers will be able to import, so you can subscribe to blogs I subscribe to. OPML however isn’t easily readable to human eyes.

Peter describes how he added a style sheet to his OPML file, and then ends with “You can do this too!“.

I can’t help but feel obliged to respond to that.

I downloaded Peter’s styling file, hunted for the images mentioned in them and downloaded those too. Then uploaded them into the same folder structure as Peter used, and made changes in the header of my existing OPML file. All according to Peter’s description.

When I say existing OPML file, that isn’t entirely true. Until now I used TinyTiny RSS to automatically post a OPML file from the feeds I follow in my TT-RSS instance. However, in practice I use Readkit as a feedreader, and every now and then I load an opml export of it into my TT-RSS. This as I use TT-RSS for some experimenting, but not as a ‘production’ environment. So in practical terms uploading my Readkit opml export to my site isn’t any different from uploading it into TT-RSS to have it automatically published on my site. So I will from now upload my Readkit OPML export directly to this blog. Which is what I used to do anyway before I started using TT-RSS.

The result is, yes I can do this too, and now have a human and machine readable OPML blogroll file in the right hand sidebar as blogroll.

Machine readable presentation of my opmlMachine readable presentation of my opml file

Human readable presentation of my opmlHuman readable presentation of the same opml file

Now it’s your turn 😉 : You can do this too!

It used to be, when I started blogging in 2002, me and others had blogrolls visible on our sites. A blogroll was a list of links to other blog authors (mine came with little profile pictures of the authors, then an uncommon thing), and mentioning them was both a recommendation for further exploration, and a way to show which blogs you followed and regarded as part of your social network. Then everybody and their cat started blogging, and blogrolls disappeared as they no longer represented anything meaningful.

It seems many blogs have been discontinued, became part of general platforms (Medium e.g.), or outlets. The individual blog seems less prominent and less easy to find than a decade and a half ago.

Given that renewed scarcity, is it time for the return of the blogroll as a social recommendation tool? Or what would be a blogroll-ish 2018 equivalent?

[UPDATE:] As mentioned in my microblog, I have added an opml file of the rss feeds I follow on the right hand site, which I will update monthly.