Introducing Linked Lists

by Christopher Paul on April 15, 2012

I’ve made a few site changes I hope you enjoy.

The most obvious is my switch from an older blog style to that of the Daring Fireball style linked lists. It’s a change that I weighed heavily over the past few months but I’ve rationalized my choice with something I overlooked when I started this site in 2005.

I’ve never had a lot of views though I always thought they were a way to judge your popularity and skills at writing. That might be somewhat true but I don’t think it’s how I want my site or my writing to be judged by. I started this site for me as a way to communicate my thoughts and feelings on the world around me and to share content I found interesting as I surfed the web. I’ve stopped caring about the views and just want to share some good content; I’m taking the “If I build it, they will come” attitude.

As the site evolved, I incorporated email updates, I pinged every blog updating service, and I integrated my RSS feed into Facebook and Twitter. Over time, however, I got rid of all but the Facebook and Twitter integration and I’m not sure I care about the Facebook publishing much anymore, either. Simplicity is what I am striving for and the easier I can make sharing, the better. That’s why it’s a little hard to get rid of Facebook though I find I’m using it less and less.

So with the linked lists, I’ve changed the way I identify my own writing vs the items I share. Thanks to YJ Soon, I now do what my blogging idols do and identify my own writing at my site in a larger font and without the infinity symbol at the end of the article. Linked items get a smaller font and, if you click on the title, you’ll be takes directly to the source. You’ll find the infinity symbol to the right of those posts which takes you to my local permalink.

I’m still going to keep one Twitter account for my actual tweets, linked items, and personal articles. I know some of the sites which inspired me to make the switch have separate accounts but I find that a little confusing. I often don’t know which account to reply to. I respect their decision to keep their @replies cleaner but I want to interact more so I hope to encourage this by keeping one account.

When I tweet from Twitter Tools, I’m going to point the link (my personal URL shortener) to my permalink. I think this is how most sites behave so I don’t see a reason to stray from it. However, RSS links will also point to my site for the time being. The only reason to do it this way vs the way Daring Fireball and others handle it is because of how integrate with Facebook. The posts uses RSS to publish to my site’s page and when people click on that, like Twiiter, I want them to go to my site’s permalink. Once I find a way to have the permalink be the only link in the feed, I’ll have RSS links point to the source.

Like an Oscar winner, there are a lot of people I want to thank for helping me make a decision I’ve been going back and forth on about for months. I think Ben Brooks and Jim Dalrymple were the ones who really got me thinking I wanted to do this. Their integrity and clear vision for their sites certainly made me think I could let go of the old-world style of blogging that worries about hits and traffic and ad impressions (not that I have ads). But there are others like Chris Martucci and Shawn Blanc who helped me see the continuing trend and showed me I’d have strength in numbers so to speak. It goes without saying that John Gruber (from what I can gather) started this idea (or, at the least, popularized it) and planted the idea in my head.

Lastly and, perhaps, most importantly, I want to thank YJ Soon for writing the DFLL Plugin for WordPress and modifying my theme to look and behave the way it does now. He’s been a great resource and a tremendous help. If you want to transition your blog to the linked list style, then I highly recommend you consider his plugin and donating to him if you use it.

That’s all for now. I actually home this will encourage me to write more articles while giving proper credit to the sources I link to. It feels good to let go of the old dogmas and join a few who are about sharing and crediting the source of their content. I know there are several ways to cite sources but this linked list seems the most fair to the publishers and I hope that you enjoy my decision. Sound off on Twitter, my Facebook page, or in the comments if you have your own thoughts.


I’m keeping comments on for the forceable future. While I’d much rather interact with people on Twitter, I don’t want to stifle and expression for those who don’t have a Twitter account. I do recommend you join, though. I’ve found so many interesting people to follow and, with them, great reads who inspire me to be a better writer.

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