A Few Links of Note

A buddy of mine sent me an email the other day wishing me a happy Squirrel Appreciation Day. That holiday has come and gone with a minimum of squirrel suicide, but here’s a squirrel video I actually can appreciate. (In case you’ve already seen the video, which has made it’s way around the world via email of all things, I found a long-play version with a little more info and footage of a second clever thief.) Apparently the perpetrator of the video added obstacles one at a time, with this as the final result.

It is purely coincidental that the next two links are by the last two people to comment on this blog as of this writing.*

My favorite climate scientist has given us all reason to fight global warming: the supply of chocolate is threatened! This is a must-read, kids.

And earlier today I popped over to a blog and read an article about… blogs. It’s an interesting read about the blog life-cycle, how they grow and why they die, to which I can add a few musings. Muddled Ramblings is an outlier in blog taxonomy, I think; it lies outside the regular life-cycle, in a place where many blogs die. It’s a blog without any clear theme, and without any real growth in readership. The bloggcomm is small but strong; the comments provide a huge lift in value for everyone. But gone are the days of the Millennial Office Holder and similar hijinks, and no insider silliness has grown to replace them. Still I blog along, more than eight years and 1800 episodes worth. It’s a blog that will not die — a blog zombie!

After reading that article I’m pondering ways to better foster community here at MR&HBI. I don’t want to lose what we already have going, or to diminish in any way the contributions of the faithful, but it seems like there’s more stuff we could do together. I think the collaborative writing experiment It Goes Without Saying was on the right track, but the barrier to participation was a little too high – you had to know what was going on. Something collaborative that people could just drop by and toss in a contribution without too much effort would be really cool. (The Fantasy Novelist’s Scoreboard awaits your input!)

The writers of Web comics often have events where they write episodes for each others’ strips. That would be fun, to have guest posts from other bloggers here, while I blog there. Fun for me, certainly, but would it be compelling for readers? In the comic world, the guest artist borrows the characters from the strip and puts a new twist on them. It would be pretty hard for someone to take such an unfocussed forum as this one and put any sort of twist on it. Then again, since when has ‘not fun for the readers’ stopped me before?

I enjoy writing challenges; Elephants of Doom was the most elaborate response to one such challenge, and just a few days ago I cranked out The Secret Life of Sporks. That was a hoot, and I wouldn’t mind a bit if there were more challenges like that. I’d formalize something (“Wacky prompt Thursday!”) but I’m petrified that no one would suggest anything and the sound of crickets chirping would be embarrassing.

Also, I need to get the Muddled Calendar back up and running. Maybe we can finally name all the holidays.

But now I’m rambling far, far off the “post a few links” intent of this episode, staggering around the blogosphere like a drunken beachcomber with a broken metal detector, looking for answers but really too lazy to find them.

You don’t have to thank me, it’s what I do.

* Actually, that’s not strictly true.


6 thoughts on “A Few Links of Note

  1. ouch. that fella’s 4 stages of blogging is uncomfortably close to the bone. I definitly see myself having gone through the posting cat pictures phase. I hope I’ve entered phase 3. I persevere despite a lack of comments, and that makes me really wonder about myself. Rhymes with narcicism? Folks should know their comments are appreciated by more than just the author. On MR&HBI I miss comments from Keith and Bob and Bill. And John surfaces just often enough to poke us with his briliance before disappearing again.
    Breakfast with MR&HBI (and bacon) how can I start the day any better?

    • You know, Jesse, you may not get frequent comments, but when people do put in their two cents, it’s usually about $20 instead. If you count paragraphs of comments, you’re doing pretty well. Provoking that sort of thoughtful and thorough response is something you should be proud of.

      You and I both fall into the ‘write about whatever catches our fancy’ pile, which is a tough way to build an audience. Someone comes for the eggs and then checks what the latest post is about only to discover it’s about anything discovering latitude when you can’t see the sky. Is there anything else to be found on this blog about cooking? No. No bookmark for you!

  2. I’m glad you liked my post! I’m in the same boat you are… we all *know* that the key to blog success is to stay on topic, and yet we continue to write wildly varied posts because that’s more fun! I could never maintain a single-topic blog, so I cater to the tiny, fractional audience that is perfectly content to read about algorithms and fashion.

    I found your blog a loooong time ago when I was trying to figure out why a div with rounded borders was looking funny in Chrome. I got so excited by the thoroughness of your collection of renders that I read a few recent posts, got excited by those, and subscribed. :3

    • Funny story about that border-radius page: Last week I was interviewing a Web guy and he started telling me about this awesome reference he’d found for border-radius. Turns out that yep, he was talking about my page, and quite unwittingly sucking up to me.

      So, that was nice.

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