Top Anarchodog

The Division by Zer0 managed to conquer the 3rd place for the top Anarchist blogs of 2009.

Well, look at that. It seems that I’ve been found to be the 3rd top blog on the topic of Anarchism by the automatic calculations of Postrank for 2009.

Interesting. I don’t think that’s very accurate because as far as the topic goes, I consider myself quite a small fish in the Anarchosphere. I think it has far more to do with me being present in the Postrank analytics for a while now, specifically since I discovered it back when it was still called AideRSS and suggested it as a helping tool for the Atheosphere. Speaking of which, I’m nowhere close to the top for the Atheism category and as expected, it was Pharyngula who achieved superiority, although there were just 20 blogs in the topic.

Still, I’m glad I got even this small achievement. It makes me putting the effort to populate the category for anarchism worth it even more than the fact that it’s by itself a very useful quality-filtering tool. If you haven’t yet, take a look at the topic and subscribe to it to get all the goodness.

As for all of you who didn’t make it (either in Anarchism or Atheism), then make sure you visit the topic in question and add your own site to it so that it can start being calculated. Who knows, maybe in the next year you’ll be close to the top. And even if now, you’ll at least get a nifty badge for 2010 😉

Reddit helps you show what is best on your site

Once again reddit innovates

Now you have the ability to show all the posts of your domain which have been submitted to reddit and sort them by the best. That way new visitors have a quick way to find out what is best to read first.

Along with things like AideRSS’s top posts widget (mine you can see on the top slidebar) you can put your best content, by popular vote, to the forefront. Unfortunately AideRSS does not update as soon as I’d like so it’s good to have the alternative of reddit.

Another good addition from reddit is that you can now customise the colour of your buttons. Finally I can add it to my own webpage and have it fit. This is my classic problem with widgets in that they never fit my dark colour scheme. The Alien needs some antialiasing work I think but generally it looks good.

To tell the truth, I really wanted to the button to be on the botton right of the post so that people can use the buttons once they’re finished reading the article but there was no realistic way to do it. Putting the button after the content meant that it fell next to the similar posts and bunched them up (which I didn’t like). Using the css “position” property I could move it a couple of dozen pixels upwards to have it within the content but unfortunately the word-wrapping did not follow it and thus it just ended up obscuting the text.

If anyone has any idea on how to achieve this without having to manually put code in the content each time I’d love to hear it.

Ah, I forgot to mention that you can also put something nice in your sidebar to show others what you liked

Enjoy 😉

Aiding the Atheist Blogroll

Like any good atheist, I’ve been trying to keep myself in the loop by monitoring the Atheosphere. Unfortunately, due to the sheer quantity of such content (At the moment, the Atheist Blogroll is at more than 700 individual active blogs) it has always been a bit overwhelming.

I’ve tried using Planet Atheism, but I quickly realised that it is tracking only a limited amount of blogs (certainly not as many as the blogroll).

I then registered to the all the Atheist blogs through the OPML for a while but that was just overwhelming, not to mention time consuming (to update the folder each time a new blog was added). I then tried simply registering to the Google Reader tag that Larro is maintaining and that was a bit easier but I still had the problem that the quantity of the posts was overwhelming. With more than 1000 posts a month it is simply impossible to find the good ones. I even tried using other services like Reddit Atheism, and Atheism Spot but these have generally very low output and generaly partisan-y.

The Bashboard of AideRSS
The Bashboard of AideRSS

In the end I just decided to see how I could fix this and fortunately, I happened upon AideRSS. After a bit of struggling and some firefox restarts (simply because of the amount of ram all the scripting ended up consuming) I managed to get it organised and ready for the godless.

How does this help? Well instead of simply seeing each and every post people are making, many of which will be not be very relevant to your interests, you can choose to limit the items you see to only the ones that have been more “popular” or succesful.

‘Ah’, I hear you say, ‘Won’t that just mean that the popular bloggers out there like will hog all the spotlight, even more than they do now? Small blogs can rarely get 5 comments on a post where, Pharyngula would be hard pressed to get less than 20.’

Have no fear. This is where the beauty of this particular system is. The posts you see when you filter by popularity, are not the most popular posts compared to other blogs but compared to other posts in the same blog. Thus while I may, on average, get 1-2 comments per post, a post that gets 10 will be considered good and one that gets, say, 30 will be well on its way to “best”. Also, since it takes into consideration diggs, bookmarks, linkbacks etc, you may get “popular” even without any comments at all.

This way, even though my post got 10 posts while Pharyngula’s got 100, we are both simply “good” since, compared to ther of our own respective posts, these are simple “higher than average”.

This does not mean of course that you should stop using Reddit, Digg, Stumbleupon etc. On the contrary, you should keep using them because the popularity of each post is using (Well, not at the moment, but very soon I’m being told) ratings on these services as well. The only difference is that this popularity does not stay in the respective service but it helps people who use AideRSS to see the more interesting posts.

So how can you get in into that action? There’s a few ways.

  1. You can grab either the Atheist Blogroll Good posts of the Best posts OPML files that I’ve created and import them into your feed reader of choice. The Good posts will give you more content as the bar is lower.
  2. You can simply subscribe to my own Top Stories that I’ve set up on my account. I will try to keep this updated with new additions to the Atheist Blogroll.
  3. If you’re using Google Reader, just grab the plugin and you’re done 😉
  4. If you’re using NewsGator, just set your Sort Order the AideRSS Postrank.
  5. You can create an account with AideRSS, grab the original Atheist Blogroll OPML [3. Will become outdated on the next blogroll update though] and the use the import function there. Once the feeds are insterted in your account (it won’t take long as they’ve already been analyzed with my import) you can change the filter settings to what you want and grab you own customised feed. You’ll have to update your blogroll manualy with this method however. However now you can select some on low filter and others on high.

So you’ve got quite a few capabilities to work with this already. If you are getting as overwhelmed with news and posts as I am, hopefully this will help you cut down on the clutter. Plus, if you join AideRSS you can get the stats for your own site and see with one look which of your posts are the more popular. You can see the Division by Zer0 here for example.

Hope y’all find this as useful as I did 😉