Wednesday, January 14

Reaching out to the world

Back when ol' grumpy thought he could run three related blogs at once, he used this clip art as a theme logo when adding new links to his now-disused What? Me Grumpy? blog.

I wanted to go beyond the usual exchange of links between friendly bloggers – although that remains a factor – and try to provide something of real value to my readers. I'm reviving the idea for my surviving, core blog, and this "shaking hands" logo will appear when I add new links and explain why.

A few of my links are quirky. Desert Candy is there not just because I enjoy Middle Eastern food, but also because I like the blogger and her philosophy. Four Candles, because it's just the tonic if you're feeling down.

The AJA Code of Ethics to show what to expect of me.

Woy Woy Steve gets a guernsey not just because he's helped me with encouragement and advice (and provided a link to Grumpy Old Journo), but because my friends who live on the Woy Woy peninsula will find his site informative.

I had a link to Barista well before blogger David Tiley offered a long, supportive comment. I believe his "heartstarter for the hungry mind" blog is worth a few minutes of your time.

Blogs come and go. The long-running Road to Surfdom switched off late last year. To replace it in my links, I'm adding Larvatus Prodeo, a moderate Left blog which now offers a platform for contributors who share its philosophy. [This link should take you a Larvatus post about Surfdom's demise and about the continuing need for independent blogging.]

While checking for Larvatus's web address, I came across homepageDAILY. It's been around since May 2007, but it's still under development in a beta version. It describes its aims:

HomepageDAILY presents the best of the net, updated each day to take you behind the headlines. We offer original content and views beyond the news, including videos and breaking stories from media mavericks, bedroom bloggers and global icons. HPD serves up the soul of the web, so you don't have to gag on the scraps.

HPD is complex, fully featured and professionally designed – a little too much for the average web surfer, perhaps –but it looks like a valuable tool for the savvy internet user. The link above will take you to HPD's "About Us" page. When I set up a link over on the side, it should take you to the home page instead.

I'm sure there are similar sites, and I'll list them if they come up to scratch. The general idea of a site which indexes and provides links to articles from all over is not new – Arts & Letters Daily has been doing it for years. If one wanted to fault ALD, it's that there's too much of it.

Perhaps we small independent bloggers could get together and do something similar. Nothing as ambitious as HPD or ALD. But perhaps we could agree on a way to assemble a brief, simple daily email and send it to our supporters.

Note added Wed, January 15: I've just gone back to check HPD, and found a link to this useful advice for independent bloggers.

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