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Monday, November 30, 2015

Answering a reader's question about the CLIPS blogroll

A question on the
CLIPS blogroll.

Many thanks to a Plainfield Today reader who sent along the following email suggestion about the blogroll appearing at the bottom of each day's CLIPS --

Hey Dan -- Just a suggestion . . .  why not delete all those old clips in the "Recent Blog Posts" section.  August and September and October are not really "recent."  And they are old news.  Just saying.
So, is Dan just lazy or could there be another reason?

Way back in 2010, Courier reporter Mark Spivey noted the blog scene in Plainfield and that caused me to post review of the then 16 identifiable Plainfield blogs and their ranking in the webiverse (see here). That was in January; then in June along came two blogs published anonymously by teachers that focused on the Plainfield public schools (see here).

At a statewide conference on blogging and hyperjournalism, folks were astounded to hear how many active blogs there were in Plainfield. It seems that in most communities a single blog (or perhaps two) is the norm.

Folks wrote on a variety of topics, each blog with its own look, focus and voice. As time went by, some folks left Plainfield, some gave up blogging, some got busy with other things, some found ax-grinding too tiring, and several new voices were added.

We still have thirteen on the blog roll, though a couple haven't posted in months and maybe should be reviewed for removal.

How did there get to be a blogroll anyway?

In the beginning, I simply typed every entry into CLIPS every day and created a link. That got old very soon. It seemed easier finally to but a standard link to the blog in a template and just update the subject line whenever that author posted. Worked fine, but it was easy to lose trace of how long it had been since the last post -- so I started putting that date in parentheses at the end of the line to give readers a visual cue.

But the blogroll is not just a list.

It's a reminder that there is a long, ongoing conversation about Plainfield -- the good, the bad, the ugly -- that has been going on for over ten years, showing how passionate many of us are about our community.

Of course many Plainfielders are passionte about the Queen City and they show it in many ways -- from volunteering with community organizations to serving on boards and commissions to speaking out at Council meetings and much more.

But there are only a small number of those who toil by way of writing up their observations, suggestions and -- sometimes -- rants. I'm inclined to keep almost all of them on the blogroll -- no matter how infrequently some of them post -- as a reminder of the depth and value of this ongoing conversation.

Of course, I could also be lazy too.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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