Sunday, November 04, 2007

Blogrolling Contest

Blogging about your blog is the lowest form of blogging and like water to a puddle that's where I settle. Looking back at my archive I see a lot of it. It's like painters talking about their brushes, furniture makers showing off their tools, or musicians debating guitar strings: Common and necessary discussions among craftsmen, but seldom very interesting to anyone but themselves. That's where we are in the World of Blog right now. It's a new tool with no well-established techniques and Neo-Bloggers like myself who dabble in it are talking more about guitar strings than we are about music.

That said, I've decided at the request of my fellow bloggers to add a Blogroll to this space. We used to call these links because they are in fact links, but in the interests of further complicating our technical vocabularies, a list of links on your blog to other blogs is forevermore to be known as a Blogroll. (Now that I've used the word twice it will no longer appear in italics and we can pretend we've known about it all along.)

My webmaster -- who happens to be a woman but there is no way my wife will sit still for my having a webmistress, matrix? -- also recommends I add RSS to my blog. I don't know what this is. It sounds a little like a fuel additive, most of which will gunk up your engine, but she insists I want this. So, faithful readers, you will very soon be enjoying all the benefits of RSS as well as the thrills you already experience here. Not to mention the Blogroll. Be still my heart.

By way of introduction here are four of my favorite blogs from four of my favorite people, which I hope will be the foundation of a grand and long-lived Blogroll. Peter Sagal, host of NPR's WWDTM is the neoist of my neo-blogger friends and the smartest, funniest guy I know. My saying that has nothing to do with his reference to me on his blog as the nicest guy alive. He could have referred to me as the dullest and most average intelligence he's ever met and I would still have given him the same praise. However I might have also mentioned he is shorter than me and balding. Check out Peter's blog and other enterprises at

Paula Poundstone has a terrific website and diary here, and probably the two most accomplished bloggers among the crew are Mo Rocca and Adam Felber. These guys add entries nearly every day (an unimaginable feat by my reckoning) and they are amazingly and consistently funny.

When you use this RSS thing, somebody tell me what it does. I have a feeling there is a new and even more incomprehensible invoice from my webmaster in my near future.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom... It's simple.. Even the name says it.. RSS = Really Simple Syndication... Here is the way it works....
RSS is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blog entries, news headlines or podcasts. An RSS document, which is called a "feed," "web feed," or "channel," contains either a summary of content from an associated web site or the full text. RSS makes it possible for people to keep up with their favorite web sites in an automated manner that's easier than checking them manually.

RSS content can be read using software called an "RSS reader," "feed reader" or an "aggregator." The user subscribes to a feed by entering the feed's link into the reader or by clicking an RSS icon in a browser that initiates the subscription process. The reader checks the user's subscribed feeds regularly for new content, downloading any updates that it finds.
See? And you thought it was hard to understand..
Tom in Fairbanks...

1:13 AM  
Anonymous Ginko said...

Hi, Tom. I was going to say basically what Tom in Fairbanks said. I will say that RSS makes it easy to see any updates to a Web site. I have several RSS feeds, and they appear simply as drop-down menus on my browser. Each time I drop it down, there is a new selection of stories on the menu. This way, instead of clicking on a link to your blog or typing in the URL and then looking for whatever is new, I just go immediately to whatever is new, right from the menu. Nice, huh?

5:15 PM  
Blogger Jared said...

Tom, Have you ever thought of fake blogging as a politician or celebrity? It's more fun. Perhaps you would like to write Bill Buford's secret blog? Seriously. If interested email

And everyone else checkout the humor blogs at News Groper. (


5:56 PM  
Blogger Tom Bodett said...

Thanks for the RSS school everybody. As of today it has been activated on this site. Now that you will all have digital desktop daily evidence of what a slacker of a blogger I am I may be forced to post more often.

Jared, in answer to your proposal to fake blog -- Who's to say I'm Tom Bodett?

9:42 PM  
Blogger Suz said...

I gotta say, I do subscribe to a few blogs, but I like clicking on my bookmark that says, "Tom Bodett's Blog" and dropping by--new blog or no. Dunno why, I just like visiting... :)

And for all I know, it's the slacking part that I like about your blog. It makes me feel less guilty about not writing on my own blog. Then again, I don't have a hundred books published to have earned coasting rights. ;) You should get a tracker...then you'll know I'm not lying about stopping by a bunch. I ain't one of them fair-weathered friends!

2:45 AM  
Blogger jcaauwe said...

My,my, seemed like only yesterday, that I would come here to
take in matters like tractors,
wild turkeys and Mothers Day. Now I may need to get an IT degree to keep up :)

7:12 PM  
Blogger BergAdder said...

I was really excited to discover Wait Wait Don't Tell Me podcasts earlier this year... and since I am listening while sitting at my computer, I checked out your blog while listening. How exciting.

I'm off to explore and see what you actually put on here ;).

3:20 AM  

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