Academic Blogs (Wiki) and Networked Blogs (Facebook)
A couple of happy discoveries for me this weekend (unlike the Sunday morning discovery that making cornmeal Johnnycakes is a far more tricky affair than The Joy of Cooking lets on). These are the Academic Blogs Wiki, and the Facebook application Networked Blogs.
Academic Blogs Wiki: As you can see on that main page of the Academic Blogs Wiki, the project developed from a small handful of earlier, more limited academic blogrolls. Because it is a wiki, anybody may make additions or edits. (I won’t list here the Biblioblogs already added to the wiki’s several categories: go look for yourself after you are through here.) First, a blog must be listed in a particular category: as you can see, I added Anumma to the Humanities: Religion/Theology list. Doing this is a simple matter: even if you don’t know the correct mark-up language (brackets and spacing and such), you can just copy what everyone else has done. This step includes creating an internal link to the (as yet non-existent) wiki page for that blog. On this page, the names in red type point to non-existent pages, whereas names in blue type point to pages that have been created. So, second and optionally, you may create that internal wiki page. Here is the page I created for Anumma.
It is unfortunate that a single category must be chosen: this is why tagging is more flexible and accurate (YouTube) than heirarchical categories (this blog, for example, could be tagged with Literature, History, and Education). However, each category at the wiki can be supplemented with a section called, “Other Blogs That Talk About…,” for blogs that have a secondary focus on that category. I created such a section to the Education category page and listed Anumma there.
Networked Blogs: This is a Facebook application, meaning that it is a feature only available as part of the Facebook interface. Users who join Networked Blogs can “follow” one another’s blogs: an attractive RSS feed brings recent posts from all followed blogs to a single page. As with Twitter, “following” in Networked Blogs is asymmetrical: the bloggers I follow won’t necessarily be the bloggers who follow me. On a search page, you can find blogs that suit your interest, for example with such keywords as “Hebrew,” “Bible,” “Testament,” and so on.
The instructions for setting up Networked Blogs are not as clear as they might be, and are spread out over a few too many links. There are optional elements (like having Networked Blogs in a box on your Profile or Boxes pages) that I at first confused with the main setting-up process (“Add a Blog”). Get a cup of tea and plan to give the process your attention, and it will come together.
Some of the Networked Blogs I have added to my feed are Doug’s Biblia Hebraica, Art’s finitum non capax infiniti, Adam’s משלי אדם, Tyler’s Codex: Biblical Studies, Philip’s Narrative and Ontology, and Stephen’s Biblische Ausbildung. (I also added some non-biblical academic blogs about which I will post another time.) This means I have some overlap, because I am already subscribing to some of these at NetVibes. I will be interested to see how I end up adapting my reading habits to this new option.
You do not have to have a blog to subscribe to blogs using Networked Blogs on Facebook.
Are you already on the Academic Blogs Wiki, or have you used it before? If you are on Facebook, are you already using Networked Blogs? What is your experience of these?