A Worthy Blog Directory [Seriously]

See the ugly row of badges on the right rail of this blog? They link to blog directories that, in theory, aggregate the “best” blogs and present their content in a way that organizes the vast, incoherent blogosphere for easy consumption.

Nearly all of them suck, including the ones whose badges I display. Go ahead, click on ’em [on the rail, not above]. Or don’t click; I have nothing at stake. These directories deliver very little user value and, contrary to their claims, are hardly worth a moment’s notice. [I stuck them on their a couple months ago so I can see whether having my blog listed directs any traffic my way. Answer: Hardly a trickle, though blogcatalog has trickled the most.]

Which brings me to [which must be one of the most valuable URLs in Electroland]. The site has been relaunched by its owners, Six Apart, the corporate unit behind the blog platforms TypePad and Movable Type. My observations are preliminary, but it looks awfully good to me.

Unlike many directories, has sentient beings picking the most worthy content. Evidence suggests these beings are literate, smart and funny. lives somewhere between [which uses human “guides” to select content], [an increasingly annoying aggregation site which launched with a similar idea as but increasingly delegates its picks to legions of Twitteurs, with results I consider disastrous] and the old-school content directories of Yahoo in its callow youth. [This Yahoo comparison is made in the TechCrunch preview post about]

Three favorite things about

Though it’s a product of Six Apart, it features plenty of blogs on other platforms. God love ’em for putting users ahead of crass self-interest.

The top entry of the day weaves together a bunch of blog entries with wit and smarts. If blurb is a verb, these folks blurb extremely well.

Its list of Top 10s are ecumenical and tightly edited, a mix of picks by editors and various Electroland personages [Craig of Craigslist’s 10 Favorite Blogs, Glen Abel’s Top DVD Blogs for Smart People]

Perfect? Of course not. Spend half an hour and you’ll find plenty of crap to scrape off your shoes. But the signal-to-noise is pretty high, and I find that’s main topic pages function as daily “news” reports that cover the basics in each area but are full of wiggy surprises.

Say, I wonder if I can get a badge for my blog?

n.b. My blog is now proudly displaying a “featured blogs” badge on the sidebar.–Sept. 9

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3 Comments on “ A Worthy Blog Directory [Seriously]”

  1. i checked out – i’m interested in seeing what types of blogs they choose in their top 10s…so far, their top 10 list is lacking a lot of useful categories (top 10 knitting blogs?! come on…). It’s good they claim they aren’t using algorithms to find the most linked-to blogs or most trafficked blogs… but that’s clearly a factor they’ll be relying on, whether through an algorithm of their own, or through technorati authority index or google page ranks, etc.
    i’d be surprised if they picked anything other than the usual suspects…but you never know…

  2. benharder Says:

    “Blurb is a verb”–i like it. Reminds me of an old calvin + hobbes strip wherein calvin says, “I love to verb words.”

  3. storm Says:

    I see that you manually add/remove cells, and sets its row spans in the click handlers.

    that is not a good way to use gwt, as you did not abstract yourself from html, but is just writing “html” in java.

    what you could do is instead define two more widgets – one widget for the collapsed state view, and another for the open state view. how you implement these widgets is up to you, but i would just have another table in there.

    then, in each cell of the flex-table you would add in the correct widget when the click happens.

    that way, you dont get bogged down in the click handler with table manipulation code.

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