Sideblogs: A Year Later

Around November 2007 (about a year ago), I added a “sideblog” to Webmaster-Source, where I could post “asides” — short updates that were, well, not long enough to merit an entire post. These little postings appear in the sidebar, as you can see (as of this writing).

Now, it’s been nearly a year since I added the feature, and I’ve added a total of 69 entries in the sideblog. I’ve posted updates about downtime, plugins being added to the WordPress/Extend respository, XKCD comics, links of interest, etc there. However, my postings there have slackened over the past months. I’ve been using my Twitter account for what I originally intended.

EDIT: What…? This post was originally three times this length! The majority of it is gone! I doubt I have a backup of it, but I’ll check…

EDIT: No, no backup. The post wasn’t saved properly because my internet connection was interrupted while writing. I’ll try to boil down my long-winded article into a few bullet points, since there’s no replacing the lost data. I doubt it will have the same impact as the full article though. :(

  • I use Twitter a lot.
  • I rarely update the sideblog.
  • Few people (like 3, to be exact) subscribe to the sideblog feed, but I have 420+/- followers on Twitter.
  • I’m planning a redesign of Webmaster-Source. Is it worth filling up a bunch of space just for the sideblog? Between Twitter and speedlinking with my BlogBuzz posts, is there really justification for it?
  • Why not have a small Twitter box in the footer or sidebar (like many other bloggers have) instead?
  • I wouldn’t delete the old posts from the sideblog, but I’d stop cluttering up the sidebar with them.

EDIT (AGAIN): Here’s my attempt at a re-write of the post. It’s not as good as the original, but better than a few bullet points.

Around November 2007 (about a year ago), I added a “sideblog” to Webmaster-Source, where I could post “asides” — short updates that were, well, not long enough to merit an entire post. These little postings appear in the sidebar, as you can see (as of this writing).

Now, it’s been nearly a year since I added the feature, and I’ve added a total of 69 entries in the sideblog. I’ve posted updates about downtime, plugins being added to the WordPress/Extend respository, XKCD comics, links of interest, etc there. However, my postings there have slackened over the past months. I’ve been using my Twitter account for what I originally intended to use the sideblog for.

Kind of odd, seeing as I’d previously made some slightly disparaging remarks about Twitter. Then I realized that you don’t have to “tweet” about what you’re having for lunch. You can post anything to Twitter. Links of interest, thoughts on current events, etc. And you can also chat with other bloggers like you. Cool.

As of this writing, Webmaster-Source is 370+/- subscribers strong. Only 3 people subscribe to the sideblog feed though, while 420+/- people follow my Twitter account.

This brings up an interesting question. Should the sideblog stay in the upcoming redesign of Webmaster-Source? Between speedlinknig with my BlogBuzz posts and tweeting on Twitter, is the sideblog really necessary?

Would it be better to have a small Twitter box somewhere in the template, such as the footer or sidebar, rather than the sideblog? I wouldn’t end up deleting the old sideblog posts, but would simply remove the sideblog itself from the sidebar. The entries would assume the guise of “ordinary” posts, and would still be available via their permalinks, and in the blog archives.

Twitter also has a nice advantage that the sideblog doesn’t: It’s not hosted on my server. If Webmaster-Source goes down for some reason (server issues, cyber vandalism, etc) the Twitter page doesn’t. That means I can still tell a good portion of you what’s wrong, even though the site is otherwise inaccessible.

What’s your opinion?

  • http://www.arcanistguide.co.cc nhoss2

    lol i have been reading your blog for a few months now nad i never noticed that till today.. there seems to always be junk on the right hand collums so i usally ignore it

  • http://www.webmaster-source.com Matt

    @nhoss, lol. That’s part of what I want to fix in the redesign (whenever I have the time to work on it…). I want to declutter the sidebar and make it more useful to the readers.

  • nhoss2

    yeah that would be great