Subtle Blog Changes

I’ve made a few changes of which you need to be aware. Why? So you can become a better blogger. So you can enjoy my blog more. So you can tell me that I’m wrong to make these changes.

1. Blogroll centralized. The first subtle change is I’ve removed most of the external links from the sidebar that were, in essence, a blogroll. This will undoubtedly irritate those twenty or so folks who were getting some free inbound link love on hundreds of pages of Salberg.Org.

In its place, I’ve moved them to a permanent resting place here which you can easily reference by clicking the Blogroll link in the Explore section to the right.

Why did I do this? Three big reasons. And as anyone knows, once you have three reasons to do something and no good reasons not to do it, you only place heaping mounds of guilt upon your head until you do it.

First, having all those external links on hundreds of pages on my site (since they appear in the sidebar) is kind of a bad idea when it comes to search engines. And while I’m no slave to SEO, I’ve known for a while it wasn’t a great idea.

Second, the links were constantly in need of updating. In other words, it required work to maintain, so I didn’t do it very often.

Third, it also was only a very short list. I currently subscribe to 102 feeds. Only about 25 or so were on the sidebar. So 75 folks were getting slighted. It allowed me to lurk on their blogs without giving them any credit.

While I hold no illusions that anyone would care what blogs I read, it is an age-old tradition to put your whole blogroll on your blog. I’m no one to trifle with tradition. But, I did move it to that centralized place.

There is one other tiny reason I did this. It makes it very handy to refer someone else to a blog that may be of use to them since I can now point them directly to and have them go to the blog, even if I don’t exactly remember the name of the blog. Believe it or not, this happens occasionally.

While I’d love to categorize and describe every feed, I don’t have the time. And my feeds change overtime. I’m using Google Reader’s public feed creator which requires (ugh) javascript inside a post… a feat which WordPress does not handle with aplomb. But, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this blogger who created a plugin for WordPress to handle in-post javascript and it worked like a charm to implement Google’s blogroll scripts.

2. Advertising. Despite my hopeful feelings not to toss advertising about on my own personal blog, I’ve been persuaded to do so. Hopefully, it doesn’t tarnish your viewing experience.

Currently, I’m only using advertisers that I believe in or am comfortable promoting. But, I am getting ready to open advertising to others directly. I’ll make an announcement about this in greater depth when it happens.

Ideally, I’d like to have advertisements of businesses and organizations I support 100%, but that probably isn’t reality. I presently use an ad network to fill most of the advertising, but I will slowly phase them out as I fill the ad spots with direct advertisers.

It will be a bit more of a pain to manage than the ad network, but I think it will make the reader experience better for visitors to the website. The ad network has been great, though, and has enabled me to experiment with different placements. Those placements will not change once direct advertising has been enabled.

3. I’m now an Entrecard member. I’m highly skeptical of this new system, but at the urging of Affiliate Confession, I’m trying it out. I’d tell you about it, but I still don’t know myself what the big deal is. I’m loathe to get involved in little hinky networking opportunities where the main premise seems to be “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”.

I’ll certainly report back on this in the future. For now, you can read Affiliate Confession’s post about it above, or go to Entrecard directly and watch their nifty video. I will say that is one of the better intro videos I’ve seen for a web service or “wep app”. Normally, they are filled with some kind of screencast while a European-sounding guy geeks himself through a tutorial voice over. Entrecard’s has nice music, 3-D animation, and some nifty graphics. More websites should hire the firm that did their intro video and not let programmer Hans do the video with his little Macbook.

My entrecard, which is a business card of sorts I gather, is on the right column. So far, it seems to have the annoying habit of not letting the page closeout and stop loading. It could just be a temporary glitch since they use Amazon’s S3 service. I’ll be checking into that as I don’t like to use external scripts on common pages. This is one of those reasons.

Any comments on the above changes? Am I getting to cheesy by getting involved with Entercard and advertising? Am I hurting my main peeps by burying them to the Blogroll page? I hope not. I don’t want to be one of those uber-blog geeks, so slam me good if I’ve started to veer off track. I don’t listen to mild comments well. You’ll need to use a 2×4 to get through to me.

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