I switched a few months ago to following other blogs on Feedly rather than using the updating bloglist gadget from Blogger. The gadget was limited: there were a couple of blogs that didn't update properly at all, and any blog that updated more than once before I looked at it, the earlier update was invisible. Feedly seems to be fine for me at the moment. So I changed the blogroll to the static version, which takes up less space, and demoted it, since it was less useful. (Though a blogroll fits my retro design so I didn't get rid of it entirely.) But that meant I had some new prime real estate on the blog.
I've always liked the recent comments feature on blogs. I'm not sure that it's exactly useful these days since most blogs have a comment feed which you can follow using your favorite tool, but it shows the conversation, so I tweaked some version I found online and there it is, for now. We'll see if it stays.
But the big change is the 'From the Commonplace Book:' feature. I've been hacking at the code for a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, in a project of great idleness, during my pandemic I've been reading through old journals, typing quotes I'd once copied out by hand into a file to make an electronic commonplace book. And now I make them available to you! I've always been a fan of commonplace books and aphorists. Auden and J. D. McClatchy produced wonderful commonplace books, and I have freely stolen from them. The major aphorists have lent their wares as well: La Rochefoucauld, Lichtenberg, Nietzsche. Antonio Porchia. Don Paterson. Sarah Mancuso. Anyway, the point is, some of these quotes come from books I've actually read; some (many, most?) come from collections I've plundered. I make no claims to be as well read as these might make me look.
If you hover over the quote (the tooltip) you can see where I found it. Which may or may not be where it originally appeared, and may not even be all that accurate...I did some checking, but I can barely read my handwriting in old journals, much less rely on them to be accurate as to attribution. Right now there's a library of something over two hundred quotes, one of which is selected every time you refresh the page, but I've got the wherewithal to expand it. Enough so that (I hope) you shouldn't see the same quote every time you look at my blog. Should you poke around in the source I'm sure you can find my list of quotes and RUIN YOUR SURPRISE AND SPOIL CHRISTMAS FOR EVERYONE. So don't do it.
I also got rid of the feed button, which linked to a couple of applications that likely don't even work anymore. The feeds remain public of course. I'm curious: is there any other feature of that sort you like and would use? (Follow by email, etc.) If you're reading this, you've probably already found some way to follow my blog, but if you have a favorite missing feature, put it in comments. Thanks!
Also anything that seems buggy or weird, please do let me know. When I was still a professional programmer, they said of browser-based applications that they were: Write Once, Debug Everywhere. I've tested on a few platforms, but much less than everywhere.
What hasn't changed is my utter lack of capability in the graphic design department. I had some hopes, alas they've once again been dashed...but I might still try to do something with the cool and obscurely bookish images (they come from the covers of two Ogden Nash books) included in this post...One of these days!
Please do let me know how it all works for you.