A change in the sidebar

I know this sort of thing bores most people to tears, but I wanted to point out a change I’ve made to this blog. For a long time I’ve wanted to bring more attention to the stuff I do elsewhere — my other blogs, Twitter and the like. This blog still gets more visitors than my other blogs even though I can go quiet here for weeks.

At first I put up two different solutions on the one page (lifestream). But that was still out of the way, and it wasn’t very good either.

So instead I have decided to sweep up the sidebar and put in what I’m calling a ‘sideblog’. Note that if you’ve come here from an RSS reader, it only appears on the homepage.

The sidebar aggregates my content from all sorts of different places — my other blogs, Twitter, Delicious, Last.fm, Flickr and more. Comments that are posted on this blog also now reside there — although I haven’t yet worked out if this is a mistake or not. Everything else in the sideblog is ‘my’ content, but the comments are clearly not. So I might separate them out again later on. Any thoughts?

The sideblog is arranged in chronological order, but to save it from getting bombarded with content from one place (for instance, I uploaded 40-odd photographs to Flickr today), I’ve limited each site to having five entries at a time. The exceptions are Delicious which is limited to 10 and Last.fm which is limited to 1.

I built the sideblog using Yahoo! Pipes (which I found very difficult to get to grips with at first, but I eventually got it to do more or less what I wanted to do) and SimplePie. Some pretty desperate CSS magic got the icons appearing kind-of where I wanted them to.

Any thoughts on it? Hopefully it will be a good way of getting more fresh content here for the times when I am posting more at other places. I’ve kept a copy of the old sidebar though in case anyone is offended enough to want the old one back.

5 comments

  1. That’s kinda cool – need to do the same for my assorted bloggage. Cheers for the pointer.

    Why not put it on the sidebar of the archive pages as well, tho?

  2. I try to keep the sidebar to the bare essentials on archive pages or single post pages. For one thing, it is already too long compared to the main content on lots of pages — including this post.

    Most of the stuff that’s on the sidebar on a single post page is either important stuff like how to contact me, or attempts to get new visitors to view more pages here (related posts, recent posts and featured posts). I’d rather keep the space for that sort of thing.

    If you need tips on how to get this working — and I certainly thought I needed it a lot of the time when I started work on it — then I can publish the pipe so that you can look at what I’ve done?

  3. One minor tweak that might help. Your lines at approximately 20 words wide are a little long to read. If they were nearer 15 words per line it would make t easier. In my view anyway 🙂

  4. Richard, I assume you’re referring to the main content of the page, not the sidebar? In that case, thanks for letting me know. I’ve always been slightly conscious that it might be a bit too long and I have thought about shortening it. Maybe I will try it and see how it looks in future. Thanks for letting me know your thoughts.