The aggregator is dead. Long live the aggregator.

Virginia Political Blogs is no more. In its place is a new website, Waldo’s Virginia Political Blogroll. It’s simply an expanded version of the blogroll on the sidebar of this blog (at right), which lists 170 political blogs around Virginia. I explain on my blogroll site that it’s my blogroll and, as such, nobody is about to tell me what I can and can’t link to. I also provide a link to BlogNetNews, which provides links to 161 state political blogs. The number of blogs in my blogroll will drop substantially before too long, but I’m just too busy to winnow down the list at the moment. Of course, since it’s my blogroll, that’s of nobody’s concern but my own. If anybody would like to be removed, though, you need only ask. Though nobody ever has.

41 thoughts on “The aggregator is dead. Long live the aggregator.”

  1. Last I checked, you were not, in fact, Shopper’s World. Glad to see you made a decision that settles with your conscience.

    Speaking of the new blogroll, though, any chance Snarc could be slipped in when you’re clearing other stuff out? Seems that most of the stuff I rant about is political nowadays. :)

  2. I’d considered various other solutions, but after the complaining bloggers failed to take me up on my offer, I realized that they were simply hypocritical; labeling something a “blogroll” makes it routine, but failing to use that word makes it holy. So, fine, I can play that game, too.

    There’s no reason to go setting up a bunch of rules, filtering out images, etc., when the real rule is “don’t be an asshole.” So, instead, there are no rules, only my whims…just like on anybody else’s blogroll.

  3. Please remove STD Waldo, You’ve ‘showed your hand’, by removing GGD. I’m not waiting around for you to find something offensive in one of my posts submitted to your blog….

    I will not write every post wondering how my ‘Liberal Editor’ will view it. BNN, and other unbiased aggregators can serve other viewpoints, and in a more bi-partisan atmosphere.

  4. I’m sorry it came to this Waldo. I’ve been distressed by the whole episode (with behavior on both sides).

    I hope you’ll leave “The Ward View” on the roll.

  5. Spank That Donkey,

    I hadn’t seen your website before. It’s too bad that it won’t be available on Waldo’s Virginia Political Blogroll, as I did enjoy seeing your provocative posts on other sites from time to time. Perhaps you’ll find opportunities to offer commentary on Waldo’s site in the future. All the best.

  6. Ward, I’m glad you mentioned that — you’ve piqued something in my head. The following is not addressed to you, just triggered by you. :)

    One of the reasons why I loved being able to list everybody was that there was no ass-kissing required. Nobody had to say “please, Waldo, please, will you list my blog I’ll love you forever.” There were no rankings, no value judgments…just a list of blogs. Because that’s bullshit, it makes me enormously uncomfortable, and I want no part of it. And that bums me out about this new setup, because it leads to people having to ask to still be listed. Worse still, I could envision people failing to disagree with me on some issues out of fear of being removed.

    Let me say right now that I want none of that. My favorite blogs are written by people with whom I disagree with about a great deal. Norm, Shaun and Jim Bacon all spring to mind most readily. But I disagree with them like I disagree with, say, Sen. John Warner — I nearly always believe that their positions are as principled as my own, based on sound logic, and we disagree not because one of us is necessarily wrong, but because we have different philosophies.

    Blog like that. Treat your ideological opponents as friends and valued intellectual sparring partners. But don’t write for me, don’t kiss my ass, and don’t be a jerk. And you’ll be just fine.

  7. I wonder if we should all preemptively ask to be removed from other bloggers’ blogrolls…just in case they might end up removing us one day.

    I just sent a letter to Time Magazine asking that, if they name me Person of the Year, I’ll refuse to accept it. That way they can’t ever un-name me Person of the Year. That’ll show the bastards.

    Perhaps we should all quit our jobs. That way we can’t be fired.

  8. Oh, I must mention: I have a parting gift for you, Chris, Alton, Lynn, “Jonathan,” etc., and for anybody else on that Yahoo mailing list who is interested. I would be happy to set up a conservative blog aggregator for you, since I know you want one. Simply give me a username and password to a web server on which WordPress can be installed, and I’ll take care of the rest. No strings attached.

  9. I’m not sure who you’re quoting there with “caveman” there, Chris. If there are any technological stereotypes or technological divisions between parties, I’m not aware of them. My offer is precisely the opposite of arrogance, at least as I feel it and intend it. Think of it as the digital equivalent of a foot washing.

  10. I just noticed that I misspelled “aggregator” in the URL of this blog entry. I’ve corrected it — my apologies to those bloggers who have linked to it.

    And thank you, Ward — I ain’t kissin’ anything, either. :)

  11. “Waldo’s Evil Aggregator of Doom™.”

    That’s great. I may start calling it that.

    As for treating ideological opponent with respect, well, all I can say is that at GOTV it’s all partisan hackery all the time.

  12. *sigh*

    Waldo, leave CHC on or take it off, it doesn’t bother me either way. I remember being quite flattered when you added me, since I don’t really consider myself a political blogger as much as I think of myself as a LIFE blogger… as I think I made quite clear at Sorenson, LOL.

    Obviously, considering that you included me in your list to post the anonymous entry (in the comments on the “What to do with the VA aggregator?” post), I didn’t make myself clear when I called your decision to remove GGD into question. I was questioning your reasoning in removing the blog, and not your right to do so.

    And, actually, regarding your “offer,” I suppose you didn’t have time to do more than scan my second e-mail to you, or you wouldn’t have included me in that list.

    Look. Whatever. I don’t care, and it’s gotten to the “Oh my gosh, are we all STILL bloviating about this?!” stage.

    I wish you well, I’ll still be keeping you in my RSS reader, I’d love to invite you and your Lady Wife to dinner sometime (summer’s good – maybe you could offer suggestions on finishing off the pool area? I do a mean steak on the barbie…), but this has devolved into a rather debased absurdity, and I’m tired of it.

    I hope your Christmas was a joy and that Santa was good to you. And, I applaud you for that kind act of service you mentioned – as I said, it’s something *I* need to do, and get my daughter involved with as well. Best wishes for a safe and prosperous New Year, and I hope to see you at a future conference.

    — Kat
    http://www.CatHouseChat.com

  13. Glad to see you make this change, Waldo.

    But really, do we disagree about that much? Aside from politics (which are among the least important things one can know about another person), I’d wager we agree one quite a lot.

    And even if we don’t, so what? I still consider you a friend.

  14. Waldo, leave CHC on or take it off, it doesn’t bother me either way.

    Well, Kat, if I took your blog off then I’d just have to add it to my own RSS reader, and that strikes me as terribly inconvenient. :) My apologies for sweeping you up in a group in which you do not belong. It’s been a long few days.

  15. “And then I will take over the world!”

    Oh dear…

    Actually, that would be kind of awesome. Go for it. Waldo 4 World ’08. Vote Waldo…or he’ll remove you from his aggregator of DOOM. :D

  16. But really, do we disagree about that much? Aside from politics (which are among the least important things one can know about another person), I’d wager we agree one quite a lot.

    On that I must absolutely agree. It’s only within the tiny area of the world of politics on which we disagree, and even then it’s surely just on the minority of things that separate the two parties. Thank you for that reminder, Norm.

  17. …It’s been a long few days.

    Oh, I hear THAT! I cook dinner for the family, and – while I love it – it’s a lot of work! My wrists are still aching from all the chopping I did *grin*

    Um, so… Are you going to come to dinner, or what? ;-)

    — Kat

  18. Spank That Donkey,

    You have made my predictions on this little drama’s direction look pretty good. Now let’s see how many poseurs/lemmings will follow you over the cliff.

  19. “One of the reasons why I loved being able to list everybody was that there was no ass-kissing required. Nobody had to say “please, Waldo, please, will you list my blog I’ll love you forever.” There were no rankings, no value judgments…”

    Do I need to post a copy of your e-mail to me when I asked that you include The Wilting Weed? You did so, and I thanked you, but you were very, very reluctant to do so.

  20. Now that was some scintilating blogging, over at The Wilting Weed.

    It did trigger some thoughts, but more of the variety of, “What is the learning disability of this person?”

    Of course, I am not Waldo. However, I am a friend of Al’s.

    Does qualitative observations count as friendly blogging?

  21. Drag queen? nahhh….

    Tipsy? I guess not. I had two drinks over Christmas, the first in 6 months or more.

    I know what you are saying Greg. We are in an alternate blogoverse (yes, I just made that up).

  22. Do I need to post a copy of your e-mail to me when I asked that you include The Wilting Weed? You did so, and I thanked you, but you were very, very reluctant to do so.

    I’ll be very happy to post my response e-mail, Alton:

    Wow, what a shameful piece of work that blog is. That’s everything that’s wrong with politics and blogging, all in one site. I’m glad that no Democrat runs such a blog about Rep. Goode.

    But, hey, everybody gets included, so it’s on the aggregator now, or
    will be as of the next update.

    This is a great example of me being extremely accommodating. Thanks for bringing it up.

  23. “tipsy drag queens”

    Oh, excuse me, I just put another bottle of bubbly in to chill… I’m not tipsy enough at the moment… ;-)

    — Kat

  24. This “boycott” of the aggregator is a trip. Hint: it’s not a business. I’m trying to figure out the logic behind this plan of attack:

    1. Stop being listed on VPB. (Or WVPB, or whatever the hell it is now.)
    2. ???
    3. Waldo loses lots of money!

    There are no ads; I make no money. Whether there are 10 or 170 blogs listed makes no difference in my life. Even if every single blog disappeared from it…then what? I’d have one less thing in life, thus fulfilling my 2006 New Year’s resolutions. Whee.

    So, hey, have at it. :)

  25. Waldo —

    I have been busy this week, enjoying the holidays with my family, away from work, and most significantly, away from my computer. Other than checking in on email, I was not visiting my regular sites, so I completely missed the tempest-in-a-teapot that was the saga of the late, lamented VPB.

    Wow.

    First, let me say how sorry I am that this happened. All of it. Through it all, people of integrity recognized your inherent integrity, and I am pleased to see the number of those who came to your defense. Yes, I recognize that you never wanted it to become about you, but it did, and you handled that aspect admirably.

    Second, I think your solution, “Waldo’s Virginia Political Blogroll”, although not what you wanted to do, was the best solution. As the administrator of VPB, you were forced to exercise prudent editorial judgment (NOT “censorship”), and in so doing, pierced the barrier between the public commons and private control. Short of handing the site over to an editorial committee, as was suggested in previous comments, I believe that you had no other choice. The new site now carries the “Waldo” brand, a brand that is trusted and respected for its probity and class.

    I understand that you probably consider this an inelegant alternative, and I would not advocate that you make a similar change to CVilleBlogs or CVilleNews, but I think it was the best solution under the circumstances.

    Third, I personally hope you prohibit image files from the new site (and CVilleBlogs, while you’re at it). We’ve had this discussion before, and I know that you’re not likely to do it, but I think that this step will reduce potential problems in the future and make reading the sites a more pleasant experience, IMHO.

    Finally, a simple thank you for continuing to include my semi-pseudonymous blog on WVPB. It appears that I am taking another unintentional sabbatical from my writing, but it is nice to know that when I return, there will still be a common ground for people to view my postings. On behalf of the blogging community, I appreciate all that you do.

    Happy holidays, Waldo.

  26. I understand that you probably consider this an inelegant alternative, and I would not advocate that you make a similar change to CVilleBlogs or CVilleNews, but I think it was the best solution under the circumstances.

    I’m glad you mentioned that, Sean. No, I would not want to make this change to my other aggregator, because it’s a change for the worse. Should my hand be forced similarly, I guess I’d have to, but here’s hoping that doesn’t happen.

    Thank you for your kind words.

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