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May 21, 2008


If the about me includes alums, you might want to put Charles and Moe

I misread that as "sideburns". Time to get some sleep.

Where did the Tio link go? This will not stand! You can't just have a bourbon sipping, banjo picking, interloper like publius rearrange everything.

FYI: Intel-Dump is now hosted @ The Washington Post's site.

Also, does this means that ObWi is now officially a 'liberal' blog? Cos, um, there isn't one single conservative left on the roll (apart from the Cunning Realist, who hasn't exactly been pushing the party line for quite some time now).

Huzzah! Although the Atrios link is to the old url.

Brighten the Corners pales in comparison to Slanted, pales...

please please please don't read too much into the current blogroll. the first step was just cleaning it up. I basically turned Hilzoy's list into the "blogroll". But that's just Step 1. We'll get the TIO link up pronto

yes, restore TIO.

Otherwise, I have to yell at DaveC. over here and who wants that?


Well, still.

Thanks, publius.

If the about me includes alums, you might want to put Charles and Moe

Agreed: a brief note about Charles, Moe, and Slartibartfast would be in order.

And, although I don't consider Sebastian to be liberal, I think it's fair to say that ObWi has been "officially" a liberal blog for quite some time.

Yeah -- TiO was in one of the now-absent other categories. That was because I put it there when it was still "Hating on Charles Bird", and I wasn't sure how Charles would feel if a site by that name popped up in my blogroll.

publius: thanks so much for doing this.

I'd suggest adding Outside the Beltway and Belgravia Dispatch (though dormant) for some conserva-flare.

And yes, I have professionally danced.

Gary Farber's blog definitely deserves to be returned.

Whoops, didn't mean to diss Slart. And I definitely understand the work in progress aspect. And publius is obviously showing that he is one of the elect by doing these good works.....

Slart no longer is part of the OW Borg collective. I do occasionally remove bits of intruding starships from the hallways, though.

No need to be so modest, Slart, you are the only one who has been adjective-ized ("Slartic" is the term of art, I believe)

I do have trouble imagining you in a Seven of Nine body suit.

Is it weird to say that the new sidebars turn me on?

I do have trouble imagining you in a Seven of Nine body suit.

I don't think I'd be nearly as visually aesthetic, even though I've been doing the Taekwondo thing for a while. Fifty thou a year'll buy a lot of beer, and I still have several to work off.

Wheeee! $130/barrel.

I've been dumped again :-(

"I apologize if we erased your link on the blogroll."

Don't mind me. I'll just sit here in the corner with the lights off.

Just for that, I'm going to continue not writing a blog so that y'all can continue not linking me.

Might I suggest that your new sidebar now is almost impossible to read as other than this is the blog of Andrew Olmsted?

That's a mistake that, naturally, more than a few people have already made since it was made to superficially read that way.

Now it's impossible to read as otherwise.

I don't think that's the effect you meant to be going for.

"(3) updated the About Me sections"

No such section is visible on my browser's version. Just the word "About" over the kitten. Which graphically gives few people a reason to click on it, or a clue as to what they'd find; I'd expect to find something about the kitten, literally, myself, as it seems to clearly read "About [this cat]."

I'll also take this rare opportunity to repeat yet again the point that the Posting Rules clearly aren't visible to newcomers as they are, and that Posting Rules that aren't clearly visible before posting comments are essentially useless. Almost invisible rules, findable only if you go looking for them, aren't going to be spontaneously looked for by anyone coming by and desiring to comment.

If you revised the format in some fashion -- any fashion, and I've made specific suggestions many times before -- to make the Posting Rules impossible to not read before posting a comment, they might start to be of some use again.

As they are, effectively invisible and out of sight, design-wise, they're not so much.

I'd also strongly, emphatically, suggest actually putting the names/nom de plumes of the blog posters somewhere on the front page of the blog.

People usually appreciate being given a clue as to whose blog they're reading; it's not actually a trivial point, I suggest, but pretty much perhaps what might be Priority 2, after the name of the blog.

Lastly, in my browser (Firefox, at the moment the Apple version), there appear to be no sidebars whatever when writing in "preview."

"If the about me includes alums, you might want to put Charles and Moe"

On that front, might not want to continue publishing outdated statements that are no longer true, as well: "Katherine is a twentysomething law student...."

And if you're going to use "Together, They Fight Crime," I suggest an acknowledging credit/link to the originator and original popularizer of that online meme. (It's not an untraceable piece of folk art, you know; Andy Wheeler invented it circa 199*, and lots of folks imitated his site.)

So, is Edward still planning to buy a home?

"Gary Farber's blog definitely deserves to be returned."

Hey, I haven't had any reason to think my blog was being read by a blogowner for more than a year or so until Eric just arrived, so I'm hardly surprised.

Oh, and I'm sure Moe Lane, the primary founder and caretaker of this blog for years, really appreciates being rendered a complete non-person who apparently never existed. It seems a curious form of respect to do that to the guy who put more work into blog maintence in his years than everyone else's efforts combined to this date don't add up to a tenth of.

But, hey, out of site, out of mind, and what's he done for us lately? Screw him.

Very thoughtful treatment of him.

Gary: was Moe there before? Did anyone delete him? My impression is that the 'About' link hasn't been accurate for, well, ages.

Wow, am I out of the loop. When did Publius move to Texas?

Also, you're missing "Some call him" sections for publius and Eric Martin.

Gary raises some good points.

As usual, his editor's eye is perceptive.

Publius: Back to work!

"Gary: was Moe there before? Did anyone delete him?"

I have no idea; I don't go around blogs inspecting them for that sort of thing, and memorizing the results.

And it's not for me to do other than make suggestions. Generally speaking, I come from a tradition that believes in respecting founders, and giving them due acknowledgement. When an sf fanzine transitions through new editors, it's common to have an acknowledgement of the previous editors, let alone founders.

Perhaps blogs should have different traditions. Certainly every blog is free to choose their own way in this.

If you're fine with Moe being a non-person here, regardless of when it's noticed, that's certainly up to you guys, of course.

If I were Moe, I'd be pretty pissed, but, then, I have little reason to think he's unlikely to be other than nonfond of ObWi and its readers at this point, anyway.

"My impression is that the 'About' link hasn't been accurate for, well, ages."

That's a fact. But, y'know, since repairs are reputed to be in progress, I thought I'd make a suggestion. My apologies if I've been out of line in any way.

I'm rather surprised that the "Shared" links, which were the ones deemed so good that everyone favored them, all the blogowners, of every political stripe, were deemed non-important, and only the ones that you, Hilzoy, liked, and everyone else didn't choose to link to, were deemed the top priority by Publius, but everyone has their own approaches to these things, and their own logic, and everyone is entitled to them.

Hmm, looking at it again, the last two lines of my 01:42 PM were pretty pissy, which wasn't called for. I apologize. Been having a bad day. I shouldn't have let that phrasing go out that way. Sorry about that.

If I were Moe, I'd be pretty pissed, but, then, I have little reason to think he's unlikely to be other than nonfond of ObWi and its readers at this point, anyway.

I don't think that the triple negative here does not help reduce clarity.

Gary Farber in short: "I'm not sayin', I'm just saying'..."

D'oh, I didn't mean to put that last "g" in there...

A few thoughts. first, gary I appreciate the advice, but I think you're reading way too much into some things.

1 - I understand that we need to add more links back up (and we will - I'll add yours tonight). The problem was that we had a bunch of links from people who have been gone for years (a big % of which were dormant anyway). This was Step 1 -- I didn't go through and say "ok, i'll give these priority." so, just asking for a little patience.

2 - The "About" section has never had Moe as far as I know. And it's never had me. I didn't delete anyone -- I just added eric and me, while moving von and edward down the "alum" section.

3 - A list of front page bloggers is a good idea. I'll work on adding that.

But a lot of the stuff you're talking about (the "shared" links) were created by people who haven't been here for years. I'm just trying to keep the yard mowed, so to speak

While we're picking nits, I don't see the point of having a "Trackbacks (0)" link if the blog isn't going to allow trackbacks (which, last I checked, it doesn't, presumably to avoid trackback spam).

I'd point out for the sake of a lot of folk that bloggers tend to value little higher, as regards their blogging, then getting links, and on blogrolls, and that they're apt to take being dropped very personally in some cases, and that treating their links in casual fashion is apt to result in the usual feelings people have when something important to them is treated casually by someone, or by a blog, whose respect they'd wish to enjoy.

It might perhaps, therefore be better, possibly, when rearranging such things, to not post changes in stages, but rather to make the changes in stages behind the scenes, and then when all the major changes are complete, post the new template. It's not as if one can't make the changes in stages and wait until one is done before putting them into action, or as if one is compelled to post the changes only as they are made, after all.

Or, one could tell people to take a pill, of course, which is fair enough.

Me, I've been known to keep people on a blogroll for up to five years simply because I didn't want to hurt their feelings, even though I ceased reading them years ago, or only put them on because they were a friend, even if I thought their opinions were lunatic.

And when I finally take them off, I still feel kinda guilty a year or two or more later.

But I'm a big softy (with a prickly outside).

But this is why my blogroll rarely changes; I regard removing someone as a Big Deal, and would rather not add someone unless I'm fairly sure I'll want to keep them there until they stop posting, rather than to have to agonize about taking them off some day, and hurting their feelings.

But I'm an outlier in most things, as we know.

I kind of agree with Gary on that. Getting de-linked kind of sucks. I shouldn't, but I can't help but take it a little personally.

I hadn't read publius' 03:08 PM when I wrote my previous comment.

"The 'About' section has never had Moe as far as I know. And it's never had me."

Yes, it's been clear that there's been no one on consistent sidebar duty since Moe left.

"Just asking for a little patience."

Absolutely; I've certainly said all I had to say, and, unfortunately, a bit I shouldn't have.

"But a lot of the stuff you're talking about (the 'shared' links) were created by people who haven't been here for years."

But hardly forgotten; it's not all that long ago. Hell, Hilzoy is still a relative newcomer to those of us here for the first couple of years, you know.

And since Katherine continues to post here from time to time, and Sebastian, and Von, on the front page, and slart continues to do cleanup duty, and each of them comments by orders of magnitude more frequently than, say, you do (ok, you comment with about the same frequency as von and Katherine these days; but Sebastian and Slarti are here most days with multiple comments), their presence is seen here a lot more than, say, yours, no matter that you certainly have a higher frequency of front page posting than any of them do now.

You may or may not be aware of this; I don't know how much of the comments you do or do not read, of course.

The only people truly MIA for quite a while have been Moe, and then Edward, and only in the last handful of months, Charles.

And even Edward still commented within the last year, if my terrible sense of time isn't playing me too far wrong. Charles has never said he's gone; just taking a temporary breather (need a link?).

So I'd like to think they're all still regarded as likely to return whenever they feel like it.

I assume von was fine with seeing his old links go away?

But if in your view they're no longer connected to this blog, well, noted.

I recognize, incidentally, that you have a busy life, and thus don't, apparently, have time to participate in much discussion here, and thus rarely comment, and perhaps don't even read most comments on most posts other than your own, but ObWi has always primarily been a comments-discussion blog, with the front-page posts serving as triggers for discussion, rather than a blog where the commenters are incidental.

So from the point of view of a commenter, who is reading the comments and participating on a weekly basis, people who comment tend to be a more prominently, or at least as prominently, participating in this blog than anyone else, perhaps.

Me, I'm interested in conversation, not just reading handed down wisdom; that's the whole point of blog interactions for me. I can and do read plenty of sites that are primarily or entirely non-discussion/non-community oriented, but that's not what I largely look to blogs to do, myself.

But let me be clear that I, of course, considerably value your posts and participation here, and your insights, and any wish that I have that you might be able to participate more fully in discussion here, and perhaps be more aware of what's being discussed here, is obviously only because I value your thoughts to the point where I think it's a loss to all of us that you feel some ridiculous, clearly completely unjustifiable, inexplicable, need to pay more attention to your family and career and university position than to your blogging.

Why, what kind of priorities are those for a blogger, man? Have you no shame?


Anyway, apologies if I've given you a hard time here, or at any other time. I give everyone a hard time, but, you know, only because I wuv you, man! I wuv you!

And Hilzoy is a god. I was the first to propose marriage to her, after all.

Anyway, keep up the good work, and thanks for all the hard work you put into ObWi. I should say that more often: thanks, and thanks for the effort you're making on the clean-up/updating. Kudos.

"So I'd like to think they're all still regarded as likely to return whenever they feel like it."

That is, I've assumed they're still regarded as as welcome as ever, and that they're merely on break.

Perhaps that's not the case. But certainly if I were then, I wouldn't feel that way if I weren't still treated that way.

And I don't know why they should still be treated that way. There may, of course, be reasons I'm unaware of why they should be treated otherwise.


But certainly if I were then, I wouldn't feel that way if I weren't still treated that way.

And I don't know why they should still be treated that way.

Should be:
But certainly if I were them, I wouldn't feel that way if I weren't still treated that way.

And I don't know why they shouldn't still be treated that way.


Gary: breathe.

If I might make so bold, I recognize the importance Andrew has to this blog, but having the first 10 links be by and about him seems a bit much. Perhaps a link (with a larger than normal font) to a page with the collected links? Would that do?

The about me goes to an html page, so perhaps, following on Jeff's suggestion, a separate page for Andrew might be made that collects those links and might even offer some thoughts and reflections. The two bottlenecks would be making a page and getting it up on the server to be linked to. I'm happy to make a starter page and take comments over at TiO if that is not overstepping any bounds.

My blog, which hasn't been updated in way more than a year and only has about half a dozen posts anyway, used to appear in some section called frequent visitors, or friends or some such. Considering that I comment about once a year (but read every day!) and have a basically defunct blog, I am pretty upset about the deletion of my link. I want some lurker love!

I love you, but that may be because Japanese have this thing about ear wax

I want one of those! It would keep my wife from complaining about me using pen caps and such.

If I were in a position to take any of Gary's criticisms, suggestions, requests, etc in this thread personally, I would resolve to not do so despite any strong temptations.

Easy for me to say, I know. As it is, I'm inclined to not be outraged on behalf of anyone who might be offended by anything Gary's said.

I hope you have a better day tomorrow, Gary, and an improved remainder of today.

Oh, and < href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Search?search=Gary+Farber">this really needs to be fixed, stat!

Dratted html.

Perhaps a link (with a larger than normal font) to a page with the collected links? Would that do?


Hmm. What if we moved the posting rules, etc., to where Andy's links now are, and Andy's links to where the posting rules now are? That would make it harder to conflate "about" with Andy, keep Andy prominent, put the Posting Rules nearer the 'About' thing, which would make more sense ...

Would that seem OK? I would really resist removing Andy's links, or moving them to a separate page, but I see the issue, so I'm trying to think of a way to resolve it while keeping Andy's links prominent.

OCSteve, why not? As important as Andrew was, he is not the only thing, nor, in my limited view, the most important thing, about ObWi. Yet it certainly appears that way as the sidebar is currently constructed.

Moreover, as it is right now, there's no real indication why these links are upper-most. A short paragraph with link might better serve the purpose of the links.

Please note that I am most emphatically NOT trying to diminish the importance of Andrew to this blog; just trying to out his contribution in context.

lj, I think that the Olmsted links are On Topic when talking about the sidebar -- as such I believe that discussion goes here, rather than TIO. If the general feeling is otherwise, I have no objection to discussing it there.

Also: I added Amygdala to the blogroll. ;)

hilzoy, that might be a good solution. It would push down "Recent Comments", but virtually every post would traverse the new position, so I don't think that's a problem.

Also also: I'm very grateful to publius for doing this. If we could have maybe 48 hours' grace period for offering suggestions for ways of doing it better, before we get to shrieks of outrage, that would be aces. ;) Thanks.

I think that's a great idea, Hilzoy, and the 48 hours grace period is also good.

I assume von was fine with seeing his old links go away?

I am enraged. I am also traveling to Texarkana next week. Thus, I will soon be enraged in two states simultaneously: yes, my rage shall extend throughout Texar and kana.

Also: There shall be no grace period. I am sorry if this troubles the Publian lot, but, as every former college student knows, alumni rule the joint. Now, build me my alumni welcome center post haste and ensure that I am given the best seats at the Obsidian Stadium. But, please, stop calling to ask me for money over the dinner hour.

If we could have maybe 48 hours' grace period

You've been blogging for how long? 48 hours is an eternity in blog terms!

I kid, of course. :)


* Hilzoy
* Publius
* Eric Martin
* Sebastian Holsclaw
* Katherine

Might I suggest making all these names link here?

And perhaps add "RIP," to "Andrew Olmsted" or another indicator that Andy is no longer an active contributor.

Lastly, perhaps consider an "Authors Emeritus" or whatever other phrasing seems suitable, to list Moe (founder), Edward Winkleman (founder), and if Charles isn't to be kept on the active roster, him, too, as well as Slartibartfast, and to add "(founder)" after Katherine R's name, to give credit where due?

Winds of Change's sidebar offers an example of one way to do it. (Though they still list Andrew as an active contributor, perhaps to honor him.)

Just suggestions for your consideration.

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