Warning: If you are not a WordPress blogger who can install your own plugins you might wish to skip this post.
Bloglines is my feed reader of choice because it’s simple and hierarchical. I’m going to show you a neat little trick I did on a wordpress blog to make a compact, organized, and best of all automatically updating blogroll. If you are a wordpresser you know that you have links, but who the heck wants to put them in one by one? What I’m going to show you is how to leverage Bloglines to do your blogroll for you.
I assume every serious blogger has joined Bloglines and has some feeds. If not, get yourself over there, sign up for an account (free, obviously) and start subscribing to your favorites. Be sure and file them in categories– this makes life much more organized. You may or may not discover that you can syndicate a bloglines category to any webpage by placing the following code:
Well if you didn’t know that before you know it now. In WordPress, the terminology for stickies is “pages” as opposed to “posts” that get pushed down as newer ones pile on top of them. The blogroll category would be a page with nothing on it except the widget code above. The problem is the page will cause the creation of a new main menu tab in your blog. We don’t want that because what if we get a large number of blogroll categories? Enter the Exclude Pages From Navigation plugin. When you install it you won’t notice any major changes. You have to look carefully, but over on the right there is a new checkbox for including the page in the menu. It is checked by default, but for a page you don’t want in the menu, uncheck it.
Now, go to your links and enter the permalink for each of your bloglines category pages as a Blogroll link. Voila, a nice heirarchical blogroll that doesn’t take up too much screen real estate and is organized for both you and your visitors by category.
Back when I was still on Blogger I used to read posts like this one and turn green with envy. So one day I said why not, and had wordpress up and running in minutes just like it says.
You can see an example heirarchical blogroll on my food blog, Dork Chow. Go ahead, visit the blogroll pages and do a View Source. Why haven’t I made a blogroll on this blog yet? Mainly because geek blogs are much harder to fit in categories, so I’m still working on organizing my geek blog feed collection. Once I’m done with it I’ll share it and it will be tight and organized. If you have any geek blogs to suggest, leave a comment.