The Blogroll Lives Again!


I am working to make sure Peter Follansbee is proven wrong. When he and I were chatting at Fine Woodworking Live, Peter told me he was sad to see blogs beginning to fade away from the woodworking community. I agree with his assessment but hope we’re just being pessimistic. Although I think social media is useful for its regularity, the snapshots and one-liners will never compare to fully developed thoughts, even if they are only 500-1,000 words long. (Blogs used to be criticized for their flippancy and brevity! Go figure!)

When I migrated my blogging activity from my old blog to here, I began a gradual process of fine tuning the features so that everything functioned as I wanted. Although the transition was relatively smooth, the one feature (my favorite) that didn’t make it was the newsfeed-style Blogroll sidebar that is automatically updated. It listed my favorite blogs chronologically with the most recent posts at the top of the list. I really missed this feature over the past year and continued to go back to check on what people have been up to. It has functioned for me (and other readers) like a public RSS feed. I’ve been looking into different ways of bringing this feature to the new blog for over a year here but until this past week, couldn’t solve the issue.

Enter Spencer Nelson. Spencer is a passionate hand tool woodworker and tech geek master that we connected with to see if we could add this feature. I went to his tech blog and when I realized I couldn’t understand anything of what he was talking about, knew he was the man for the job. Spencer did a bit of digging into the blogroll issue and couldn’t find any app that would work as we needed. So he wrote his own from scratch. As one does, of course.

Spencer had the new feature live after only a couple of days. Check it out on the sidebar under “Blogs We Follow” on the right (desktop) or below (on mobile). It’s wonderfully simple. These are most of the blogs we follow. (More coming soon.) Because of Spencer’s generous help, I will be checking this blog everyday to see what my friends have been up to in their shops. We invite you to do the same because keeping up with everyone’s blogs is hard and having them all here in one place is incredibly helpful.

I hope woodworking blogs don’t die. Here’s our effort to prove Peter and me wrong. We want to highlight the people we think are doing great work. Keep blogging and keep commenting on all the blogs you love. It encourages more incredible content.

Thank you, Spencer! You are the man!