For me, one of the best parts of the web has always been blogs. They’re an expression of the web as it was meant to be, at least in one aspect. Open and independent. Somehow we all got sucked in by the convenience of social media, and while social media has meant that it’s sometimes easier to stay connected, we’ve traded a lot in exchange for that ease of connection, and most of it isn’t good. But more on that in another post.
What’s a blog challenge?
Put simply, a blog challenge is setting yourself a goal to write a blog post at least once a day for a certain number of days. The one I’m participating in this month is called the Ultimate Blog Challenge, and I’ll be shooting for thirty-one posts in thirty-one days. It starts today, and you still have time to join if you want to participate. Once you sign up, you’ll get an email each day with blogging tips and prompts. You can either use the prompts from the emails, or chart your own path. There’s a Facebook group you can join to share your posts and read posts from others, along with a Twitter hashtag: #blogboost. If you’re participating, make sure to comment on other people’s posts. It’s a great way to build community and relationships, and it’s also part of the rules.
What if I don’t have a blog?
If you don’t have a blog yet, why not start one? It doesn’t matter what platform you use or how technical you are. If you have an old blog, why not dust it off? And you don’t have to write three hundred words every day. It’s perfectly fine to write a short post, or just share a photo with its caption. You could even use the challenge to begin to own your data, or just get a writing habbit going. Microblogs also count.
I’m not sure if there’s a point at which you can’t sign up anymore, so I’ll encourage you to give it some thought, and if you’re going to join, do it as soon as possible. Even if there’s not a closing date for sign-ups, the sooner you join, the less you’ll need to catch up. So give it some thought, and come press publish with the rest of us. It’ll be fun.
Starting on June 30, 2017, att.net customers will no longer be able to log in to their Yahoo and Tumblr accounts through email addresses with the following domains: att.net, ameritech.net, bellsouth.net, flash.net, nvbell.net, pacbell.net, prodigy.net, sbcglobal.net, snet.net, swbell.net, and wans.net.
If you’re affected, all you need to do to ensure continued access to your Tumblr account is to update your registered email address to something other than one of these addresses mentioned above.
The help article then goes on to tell people how to update their registered email address. Neither self-hosted WordPress, (or even WordPress.com), care what email address someone uses to log in, once that email address is associated with an account. And you can definitely create Tumblr-style sites with either platform. If you use self-hosted WordPress, you have even more options for adding features to your site thanks to plugins. There’s at least one plugin that will import all your Tumblr posts into your WordPress site, keeping them intact.
This really wasn’t a necessary move on the part of Tumblr. There’s no technical reason why someone’s email host should matter. A lot of these people have probably had these email addresses for a very long time, and to ask them to go get another one from somewhere like Gmail just so they can log into and use your service is wrong on every level.
Those of you who were around in the pre-Web 2.0 era (before 2005-ish) will remember that early bloggers used to have a list of other blogs they read in their sidebars. That list was known as the “blogroll” and it was a great way for newbies to get to know established bloggers. The other neat thing about the blogroll was that it was a token of respect to the bloggers you admired.
Blogrolls used to be a thing in WordPress, except WordPress refered to them as “Links”, and you managed them using the Links Manager. I think there’s still a working plugin for this, and if you’re like me and you’ve had a long-running WordPress installation, the links manager is still in your administration panel. I think blogrolls got an amused mention last weekend at WordCamp Europe as well, but I have to agree with the post I’m quoting. they were a fun part of the web, and I’m thinking that, they really should be brought back. I used to have quite a full blogroll, and yes, I made a point of reading most of them every day. Mine specifically didn’t have a lot of news sites on it, just blogs, mostly personal ones. I’m not saying that news sites couldn’t be listed, (the cool thing about blogrolls was that you could list whatever you wanted, and other people could see what you were reading), but I always liked to keep mine more personal and less edited.
There’s a site called WPRoll that I think still lives, but it seems to be more of a list of influencers. There is, however, an OPML file you can get that has all the blogs, that you can then import into your RSS reader. I’ve done this, and for the time being I’m using the WordPress.com reader, because it’s the most accessible one that I’ve found that I can also use on my phone.
But yes, we should definitely bring blogrolls back. The web, and the world, could use a little more let’s-get-to-know-each-other, and that’s what blogrolls provided.