I’m hitting a fork in the road with this site and the experiment of using a blog as a directory of blogs.  The problem here is me: I’m running out of time.  I’m duplicating a lot …

Source: Announcement: The Future of Blog Snoop – Blog Snoop Weblog Directory

We’ll see what happens.  It was a guerrilla blog discovery idea I thought I would experiment with.  Details at the link.

4 thoughts on “Memo: Announcement: The Future of Blog Snoop Blog Directory

  1. I think the idea behind Blog Snoop is solid—I mean you’re just talking about
    trying to define the edges of a certain community. I’m sufficiently convinced now
    (between Reddit wikis and ‘awesome lists’) that directories still serve this purpose.
    Find The Others.

    I guess part of the problem is—what is the community? Bloggers? The Indieweb?
    The subset of the Indieweb that wants to talk about discovery? (Search, directories,
    blogrolls, etc.) I think you are shooting for larger than the Indieweb—bloggers,
    in general, right? That operate independently? So, do Medium blogs count?
    Ok, so, the usability of the directory is central. This makes sense: a directory
    is a practical instrument. It needs to be elegant and tight. Using a blog as a
    directory is very novel and very convenient—and it can work! But I think the
    directory itself needs to be incredibly sweet to use: full of great stuff, well-organized
    and fun to use, if possible. I think you have to really want to visit the directory
    regularly.
    Google won by distilling everything down to one box. It was actually fun to use
    Google because you could start typing and it would try to finish your sentence
    for you. Which I actually think more people enjoyed for its novelty than its
    usefulness. And it was useful, too!
    So a few starter suggestions:

    The whole tag cloud is off to the side, as if it’s not important.
    I can’t see some of the words in the tag cloud, they are too small.
    The biggest words in the tag cloud are words like “General” and “Internet”
    which are almost non-categories because they apply to all blogs.
    It’s not clear how to submit my own blog unless I dig. People should really
    be encouraged to participate.
    The text is large, so lots of scrolling is involved. I think this is what the
    ‘awesome lists’ are doing right. It’s also what Chris Aldrich is doing so well
    with his blogroll.
    A dense list, like the one Chris has, also feels more active, for some reason.
    The thing you are doing perfectly, though, is the care in the descriptions. This
    is actually the most important thing once the directory is usable—and you have
    that already.

    I am working on a personal directory right now, so my attention is there. But maybe
    if we keep talking about this, we can figure it out. Don’t give up—just keep
    talking and refining.
    You’ve actually given me a great idea (I think it might be ‘great’, who knows) for
    Indieweb.xyz. I think I’m going to make a directory of the sites that submit to it.
    And it will also show the sub (‘tag’) that they most commonly submit to. It would be a
    simple change and might help me gradually collect links to blogs that I can go
    through over time.
    Good luck, Brad! These tiny efforts may seem small in the face of massive social
    empires out there, but I think there are many people who are (or will) participate
    if they can just be found.

    Also on:

    • Kicks, great suggestions, although I’m limited by my template on some of those. I’ll see what I can do about the tag cloud. Descriptions: well I’ve written thousands of those when seeding directories over the years. I did get one idea that will make seeding Blog Snoop easier: find single subject blogs. (ie. blog with original poetry, blog full of funny pictures of a dog in superhero costumes, etc.) Because trying to read back into a general blog that writes about everything and then describe it is work. 🙂

  2. Replied to Memo: Announcement: The Future of Blog Snoop Blog Directory by Brad Enslen (Brad Enslen)

    I’m hitting a fork in the road with this site and the experiment of using a blog as a directory of blogs.  The problem here is me: I’m running out of time.  I’m duplicating a lot …
    Source: Announcement: The Future of Blog Snoop – Blog Snoop Weblog Directory
    We’ll see what happens.  It…

    Brad, much like Kicks Condor, I think you’re making a laudable effort, and one of the ways our work grows is to both keep up with it and experiment around.
    If I recall, programming wasn’t necessarily your strong suit, but like many in the IndieWeb will say: “Manual until it hurts!” By doing things manually, you’ll more easily figure out what might work and what might not, and then when you’ve found the thing that does, then you spend some time programming it to automate the whole thing to make it easier. It’s quite similar to designing a college campus: let the students walk around naturally for a bit then pave the natural walkways that they’ve created. This means you won’t have both the nicely grided and unused sidewalks in addition to the ugly grass-less beaten paths. It’s also the broader generalization of paving the cow paths.
    In addition to my Following page I’ve also been doing some experimenting with following posts using the Post Kinds Plugin. It is definitely a lot more manual than I’d like it to be. It does help to have made a bookmarklet to more quickly create follow posts, but until I’ve got it to a place that I really want it, it’s not (yet) worth automating taking the data from those follow posts to dump them into my Follow page for output there as well. Of course the fact that my follow posts have h-entry and h-feed mark up means that someone might also decide to build a parser that will extract my posts into a feed which could then be plugged into something else like a microsub-based reader so that I could make a follow post on my own site and the source is automatically added to my subscription list in my reader automatically.
    In addition to Kicks Condor, I’me seeing others start to kick the tires of these things as well. David Shanske recently wrote Brainstorming on Implementing Vouch, Following, and Blogrolls, but I think he’s got a lot more going on in his thinking than he’s indicated in his post which barely scratches the surface.
    I also still often think back to a post from Dave Winer in 2016: Are you ready to share your OPML? This too has some experimental discovery features that only scratch the surface of the adjacent possible.
    And of course just yesterday, Kevin Marks (previously of Technorati) reminded us about rel=”directory” which could have some interesting implications for discovery and following. Think for a bit of how one might build a decentralized Technorati or something along the lines of Ryan Barrett’s indie map.
    As things continue to grow, I’m seeing some of all of our decisions and experiments begin to effect others as these are all functionality and discovery mechanisms that we’ll all need in the very near future. I hope you’ll continue to experiment and make cow paths that can eventually be paved.
    Featured Image: Cows on the path flickr photo by Reading Tom shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

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  • Chris Aldrich

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