A few new features here

Here at this blog, I've added some sidebar lists. They'll show you sites I've bookmarked recently, posts from other blogs I found interesting, and a more complete list of Cleveland blogs.

At the inaugural meeting of the Lake Erie Moose Society (the "not ready for mainstream media bloggers") I realized we needed a better way to keep track of each other. I read blogs in Google Reader, but there's no easy way to make that list of subscriptions public. As I thought about how to approach the blogroll problem--and what approach to recommend to my fellow Moose members--I found a couple other interesting options using Google Reader and the social bookmarking service Delicious. So there are three new sidebar items, not one. But first, a little background.
Delicious (formerly del.icio.us) has been around a while. It allows you to maintain a list of bookmarks on the web, so you have access to them from any computer. It's in the cloud for you. I started using it for exactly that reason - I just uploaded my file of 1000-odd bookmarks going back to the late '90s, told Delicious to keep them all private, and went about my business. But Delicious is a social networking service; you can share bookmarks, find similar items, friend people, et cetera. I'm starting to use these features and I'm happy with it.
Now on to the new features. In the right hand column of this blog, below the Archive, About This Blog, and other sections, you'll see Recent Posts from the Blogroll. This has actually always been there, but I mention it because it pulls recent posts from a slightly different list than the new section below it: CLEblogs, my Incomplete Blogroll of Cleveland Blogs. The latter is the entire list of Cleveland blogs I read. I created it by bookmarking each Cleveland blog in Delicious and tagging each one "CLEblogs". The standard Blogger gadgets were unsatisfactory, but I discovered a Javascript gadget written by Delicious for this purpose. You can also see the list at Delicious itself. As for the content, it's an incomplete list because these are mostly blogs written by people I've actually met. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of active and important blogs here so this is just a slice of it.

Below CLEblogs, you'll see a short section entitled "Recently shared items in Google Reader." When you're using Reader, there's a line of options at the bottom of each post, including "Share" and "share with note". Google Reader is a social networking service in its own right (you can "follow" people and make comments within Reader) but I only use these features to make my shared items available to the whole Web. This short section shows the most recent items, and here's the whole page of them (my notes are in blue at the top of each item).

The final new item is "Recently shared bookmarks in Delicious". This is a short list of web pages I've bookmarked in Delicious; at the moment, it shows several Cleveland blogs because I used the service to create the blogroll above. Eventually it will fill in with whatever I find interesting. I used to use Facebook for this purpose, but after their recent redesign, a lot of people limited their Facebook usage to viewing and posting only status updates.

So there you have it. If you'd like more information about Reader, or Delicious, or how I implemented these features, just drop a comment.