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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Announcing the new and improved guide to UU blogs.

Whew. I hadn't updated my Guide to UU blogs since last October, and did it ever need some pruning! I think I remembered to list every blog I've added or dropped, although I haven't gone to the trouble of notating address changes or moves from one category to another. Please note: This is a terrible time of year to try to determine the status of seminarian blogs because a bunch of bloggers are graduating and it isn't clear yet whether the blogs will lapse, be reborn as minister blogs, or take some other turn, so don't be surprised to see that section morph.

The biggest apparent change to the guide is that I've reorganized the sections. There's no longer a "religious professionals" section because there are too few active blogs with that focus. (Some moved into the ministers section; others are now in religious commentary.) I've also bumped religious commentary and spirituality and inspiration higher up in the Guide as a number of wonderful new blogs have spurred new activity in those areas.

You'd think that with 145 blogs I'd have the territory pretty thoroughly mapped, but my guide actually covers only a fraction of the UU blogosphere. UUpdates tracks many more, although some of the blogs listed there have lapsed. I rely on UUpdates as my UU blog aggregator, but have really come to appreciate its My UUpdates feature, which I use to screen out several dozen blogs that hold no interest for me. Keeping up with the "interdependent web" strikes me as increasingly impossible; even now I can read only a handful of posts a day.

The proliferating number of UU blogs makes me think it might soon be incredibly useful to identify networks or "neighborhoods" within the UU blogoshere. A few of these networks have been evident for a few years: The "young turks" in the UU Christian Fellowship, for example, or young adults at the UU Congregation in Atlanta, or seminarians at Meadville Lombard, or exiles from the Beliefnet UU discussion forums. But other networks form almost entirely through blog interaction, like the sizable communities of readers and fellow bloggers that interact with The Happy Feminist or PeaceBang's Beauty Tips for Ministers. Maybe most people really do just follow links from whatever blogs they like, gradually locating a handful of favorites to return to again and again, but maybe they'd also like recommendations. (My guide does give little medallions to the blogs I think are worth checking out first.)

There's also one big back-end improvement that should make future updates a bit easier to manage: I've created a spreadsheet to track the 145 blogs that are currently on the list (plus alternate blogs by you multi-blog authors out there), and am merging that data into an HTML template rather than trying to wade through an HTML list. It's not yet perfect, but I hope it will mean more frequent updates in the future.

As always, I appreciate hearing about blogs that discuss Unitarian Universalism. Feel free to promote them in the comments below or down at the bottom of the comments on the guide itself.

Copyright © 2007 by Philocrites | Posted 22 May 2007 at 7:31 PM

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May 23, 2007 05:48 PM | Permalink for this comment

Do you have the Excel spreadsheet posted anywhere? I would like to do a comparison to what's in UUpdates and i think others might enjoy being able to sort, etc. through the list.


May 23, 2007 09:48 PM | Permalink for this comment

Thank you for this guide to UU blogs. I use it regularly, whereas I don't use UUpdates nearly as much. I think this shows the value of a really good editor (and Philocrites, you're one of the rare bloggers who's both a good writer and a good editor) -- a good editor adds an enormous amount of value to any document.


May 23, 2007 10:38 PM | Permalink for this comment

Among the things I discovered by transforming my guide into a spreadsheet: 85 of the bloggers in my list use Blogger; 23 use WordPress; 10 use TypePad; 6 use Movable Type (which means I'm not a loner, Scott!); 4 use LiveJournal; 10 use less common blog content-management systems (including Blog:CMS, Over-Blog, Squarespace, and Trellix; and 3 blog on proprietary sites (two newspapers and Daily Kos).


May 23, 2007 10:39 PM | Permalink for this comment

Thanks, Dan. UUpdater, I've emailed you a copy of the spreadsheet.


May 25, 2007 03:18 PM | Permalink for this comment

My browser (Explorer) crashes when I click on the link to the guide!

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