As I sit here with my laptop on my lap after 16 hours of work and writing, writing and work, I realize that I need an outdoor break. The weather is going to be warm, too warm for me, but this time of year, early morning trips are the best — birds everywhere, and the scent of new green and flowers is so heavy, you feel as if you’ve walked through a cosmetic section of a department store.

I think no matter where I go, and I have no idea where yet, I will leave the camera behind. Lately, my photography just hasn’t been bringing me the joy it once did, so maybe I need a break from it as much as my computer. Or, being the wise old and weak woman that I am, I’ll take it and leave it in the car–just in case.

Regardless, I need to find a place where I can spend the day and come home content. While I’m at it, I might as well get out of the house, too.


Let’s keep the blogroll and throw away the writing

One last note on this overworn topic: from the comments I’m reading, perhaps what we should do is keep the blogrolls, but throw away the writing.

Joking! Well, kind of.

Melanie McBride wrote in my comments:

To be honest, the blogs I’ve read that don’t have blogrolls appear to be doing something not disimilar to traditional media and I find a blog without a blogroll says ME ME ME far more so than one that points to other voices.

And I have noticed that the more established a blogger gets the less they really have to rely on “community” and so what do they do but ditch the blogroll. Or so it would seem.

Blogs, for me, are still very much about communities.


Whether a weblogger has a blogroll or not is nothing more than technology. It’s a bunch of links, and has nothing to do with ‘community’ or even individuality–especially individuality. They can be handy for finding people of ‘like mind’, but this just generates its own danger. Why? Though we may link to stories by people we don’t like, or even despirse, we generally don’t put them on our blogrolls. Rather than encourage diversity, we encourage homogeneity with our blogrolls.

Even then, they can give new folk a step up, and there is good in them and if you want your blogroll, by all means keep it. Please! Keep it! And to be fair, since I don’t have one and haven’t had one for a couple of years now, if you want to remove me from your blogroll, please remove it! I really don’t check to see if I’m on your list or not when I read your writing.

But stop investing an emotional context in what is nothing more than a bunch of hypertext links. This is the kernel that started so many of the problems with A-lists and long tails today — we invested both emotional and economic worth in links; we made them into something more than a way to get from A to B.

True communities don’t need to mark their territory, like we marked the states, blue or red; or be held together by baling wire made of virtual strands across the threaded void. Community happens when we reach out to each other, in times of joy, and in times of need; community is when you realize another has become an important part of your life, and it no longer matters whether you’ve met the person, or not.

Anything else, is just building bridges out of bricks made of air.



Aside from my earlier babble, I have also been productive today: fixing Uncle Joe’s layout so that it works in IE 6.x in Windows; working on a page sidebar modification for Molly; and finishing up the Sessum’s Portal page.

The two images in the background for the portal page are Creative Commons licensed images at Flickr, hopefully reflecting all the interests of the Sessum clan–digital and creative. (And note, I am not a BuzzAgent to be talking about CC — this is a freebie.) It’s home will be, when it’s in place.

One issue that came up when working on the Sessum page, as well as helping Joe, is being able to test the modifications with different operating systems and browsers. However, thanks to an accidental discovery in comments at another weblog, I found out about BrowserCam–a service that takes snapshots of a page based in a wide assortment of browsers, operating systems, and resolutions: for instance the portal page in IE6 on XPOpera on Mac, and Konqueror on Linux.

Of course, there are other issues to how a page looks, such as installed fonts and user settings, but what the service provides is a way of seeing what a page would look like right out of the box. That’s usually good enough.

During peak times, screenshots can be slow, but you’ll primarily use the site to test efforts at specific stages, and the wait is worth it. I only have a trial account, but if I get more design jobs, I’ll most likely subscribe to the service–unless there are other services and/or software that are more economical.

Now, though, back to the server-side of things with my next task. I still have to get another release of Wordform out, but paying gigs take precedence.