As mentioned last time there are always a few blogs' feeds that we have problems fetching, ultimately giving up until we one day find a solution. Usually they're either 403 Forbidden errors, or difficulties connecting to the domain, despite the feeds being visible/downloadable in a web browser. But for more than a week, all the feeds we track that are hosted at TypePad have been returning 403 errors. This means that, along with other failing blogs, we can no longer display the latest posts for TypePad blogs.
It's been a while, so a quick update, leading with the fact we've just passed 2,000 blogs in the directory!
Progress has been slower than usual – what with, you know, life – but it's good to pass another milestone and to know there are still so many, many interesting blogs out there yet to add.
You might be familiar with the Recently updated blogs page, which shows a list of blogs ordered by those that posted most recently. It can be a nice way to see what people are blogging about right now. In fact, in a recent blog post, Warren Ellis said:
the ooh.directory recently updated blogs list is what I have instead of social media if I’m in the mood to “waste” time on my phone
Which sounds like a great idea. However, a while back I realised a small problem with the page.
Four things are gathered in this one post…
First, I'm pleased to announce that ooh.directory is a nominee for the Tiny Awards, alongside 15 other little websites. If you'd like to vote for this site (listed as "Ooh! directory") or any of the others, you can do so on the voting page before 20th July.
A while back we added a way to filter the Recently updated blogs page to hide blogs that post frequently. This is useful to hide the noisiest sites and make updates from the quieter ones more noticeable. But are the very busiest blogs too noisy to even feature in the directory? Are they even blogs?
We're keen to have the site's front page display interesting things even if we haven't been able to add new blogs to the site for a few days.
So we recently started highlighting any blogs that have notable birthdays today. Any blog that's having its 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 10th, or 20th birthday, and that published a post within the past couple of months or so, will be highlighted on the front page.
A while back we added an RSS feed for every category. These will now notify you about new sub-categories, as well as new blogs, within the category.
One problem with the Recently updated blogs page is that it's swamped by blogs that update several times a day.
And one thing that would be nice when browsing blogs in the directory is some indication of how how often a blog updates. Every day? Once in a blue moon? Both are fine but it'd be nice to know what to expect when adding a blog's feed to your reader.
I thought it would be interesting to make some data about the blogs on the site visible and so: the charts page. Hopefully it's self-explanatory.
I've just sent out the second issue of the email newsletter but, in a sense, it's the last issue of the email newsletter. After this, all blog posts will be sent to the newsletter, and there won't be different content delivered by email. You can subscribe to this blog by RSS or, now by email. There's no newsletter with its own different content.