Thursday, August 14, 2008

New Feature Day: Bloglog

The most recent addition to the URI! Zone is an automatically shuffling Bloglog which organizes blogs (both Friendly and Trendy) according to the date of their most recent update. Like the layer of fresh water over a hypoxic part of the Gulf, these eager beaver bloggers will find their links up at the top of the list, stealing all the visitors and oxygen from the blogs listed below them.

Three or four times a day (or more if I manually push my giant red button), my BlogChecker loads the Atom or RSS feed of every listed blog, looking for new content. It doesn't delineate between a masterful treatise and the results of a "Which Muppet are you?" poll, because as most readers at work know: it doesn't matter WHAT is posted, as long as it's not the same post they saw last week at the top of the page.

In fact, people who haven't updated their blogs in the past 7 days will suffer the ignoble ignominy of having their link coloured in a darker shade of Asian (see the three examples in the screenshot on the left).

Coding this was much easier than expected because of the magic of XML, although I had to write a special case for Florida-Mike, who thinks that "Atom Feeds" is the name of the latest biblical zombie movie from Quentin Tarantino. Sadly, the BlogChecker cannot see Mark's blog, because his host, Blogsome, denies my requests with a "403 Forbidden" error (obviously trying to snag a role in the above movie as God in the Garden of Eden). I'll have to keep updating his position by hand, although I'm guessing the start of a new teaching semester will keep him in the Slackers category anyhow. Teaching music theory is hard work, even with tonic.

Share some of your favourite but undiscovered blogs in the Comments section! I might check one out, get addicted myself, and add it to my Bloglog.

Happy Birthday to my sister, who is somewhere between 30 and 40 but closer to 30!

Shigeru Miyamoto banned from talking about his hobbies
Buy evidence of adultery on eBay
Beijing provides 100,000 condoms for athletes

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