Home Linkblog begun

Linkblog begun

I’ve been playing around with some linkblog solutions. Firstly, on Phil Pearson’s advice I tried del.icio.us. Once I negotiated my way around the minimalist design and even more minimalist documentation, I liked del.icio.us. However the problem is that it’s a 3rd party hosted service and I want to host my linkblog on my own server. So I had to nix it. Next I tried Erik Benson’s Morale-o-Meter. This is a linkblog script that Erik has kindly made available to people from his website. It looked like what I wanted, but unfortunately for me I ran into some server issues with the CGI. I’m afraid I don’t have much patience for CGI errors, they are very nit-picky and it’s like hunting for a needle in a haystack to fix them. I should add that there is nothing wrong with Erik’s script, the fly in the ointment was somewhere in my web server’s configuration.

Today a simple solution presented itself to me. While browsing around reading up on linkblogs, in particular Cameron Marlow’s overview (found via Seb), I discovered that Movable Type has a bookmarklet option. I have a Movable Type weblog that has been sitting around doing little, so I’ve now converted it into a linkblog. The bookmarklet is a piece of Javascript that I saved to my browser Favorites (there is also a right-click menu option for IE browsers). Whenever I read a webpage that interests me, I simply click on the bookmarklet in my browser and up pops up a Movable Type box with the page link pre-populated. A neat extra is that if I highlight something on the page, like a choice quote, then that too is pre-populated in the MT pop-up box. I also like that the page title is added to the link tag, which adds more metadata grist to the mill.

So, the end result is I have started my linkblog. It is called Web of Ideas, even though it’s just the beginning of what I’d like to include in an Ideas Database. But the best applications start off as simple ones. Or as Lawrence Lessig memorably put it in his book Code: “Keep the elements simple, and the compounds will astound”. He was talking about the TCP/IP protocols, but the principle should apply for all Web applications.

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