My motto as I live and learn is: dig and be dug in return. — Langston Hughes*

My blogroll serves other purposes besides weighting down the right sidebar… one, it reminds me where to go to read good stuff; two, it reminds other people where to go to read good stuff; three, it serves as a hat tip to those listed - an acknowledgement that I think they’re good; four, it serves as a quid pro quo - you link me and I’m likely to link you, unless your stuff just sucks.

Over the years, my blogroll has grown so long that it’s nearly unmanageable. Wordpress, for all it’s wonderfulness, doesn’t provide a superficial way to be flexible in the way I want to bend to present my blogroll. Deeper down, in the sparkis and crackles within the electronics driven by arcane PHP scripts and CSS, zooming in on the paths of elexctrons racing across the printed circuits, looking in my minds eye for all the world like a high tech Stupor Bowl advertisement, I know there is a way to do just what I want to do, to display everybody, to manage a huge list, to suppress titles as well as content (see my empty “Sandhill OPML” container in the right sidebar).

When I imported my blogroll to Wordpress I used the highly touted OPML export function at Blogrolling dot com. Four times. Each of the first three times the list processed down to an item that had some content that made the processing terminate. When finally I figured out to delete that item, the whole list processed nicely and i was left with a database containing oodles of duplicates and a totally slow links editor that makes deleting each item i want to delete a time consuming chore. And no thank you to the suggestion that maybe I should just dig into the MySQL database with a knitting needle or something. I don’t want to wreck everything.

All this is by way of apologies and explanations to good friends and/or good writers who should appear high in the blogroll that I display in my sidebar, but who have slid out of view while I am doinking around with it here in Wordpress. Many forward looking bloggers have yakked about banning the blogroll… this is largely because it is a lot of work to maintain one, and there is a lot of social pressure associated with any huge editorial purge.

The Sandhill blogroll will be back, in all its cumbersome and unwieldly glory. More about all of this later. Meanwhile, welcome old and original Bruce from “The River” back to my A list.


* Langston Hughes quote above courtesy of Avedon Carol’s header.