Thursday, July 05, 2007

Slammin' the Planet

Or: My brilliant hubby

Or: My re-labeling project

In case our "Writers in Heels" readers wonder why every so often one of my old posts pop up (like now, below, if you're reading this on the planet, a post I wrote back in January), I thought I'd drop a quick line and explain myself.

And while I'm at it, I thought I'd also explain this planet experiment we're doing and how it came about.

A few months ago, I was thinking about the fun several of my writer buddies have at what many of us affectionately call the "Frog Blog." Among them is critique group member and long-time friend Jeff Savage, and as I had watched the popularity of the Froggers grow, I kept thinking how neat it would be to be part of something similar. And yet different. But I didn't know exactly what or how.

At dinner one night, I was talking about it with my techno-genius hubby, just throwing out the idea of maybe starting a group blog of my own with some of my friends. (Not with Jeff; he abandoned us for the Froggers, after all.)

His response: "What you really need is a planet."

My eloquent reply: "A wha-ha?"

Honey tried explaining the concept to me, but I still didn't get it. Turns out that planets, or feed aggregators, have been used for a long time in the tech industry, but no one has ever really bothered using them elsewhere. (There's probably a good reason for this, such as people NOT in the industry have no clue how to MAKE them.)

We tried looking for planets not related to technology and couldn't find much of anything besides one for poets, of all things. (Surely made by some poet's husband . . .)

The basic idea of a planet is that the feed regularly checks a group of blogs and posts updates to one web site. (Ours checks hourly.) Readers can always click back to the original blog and read older posts, leave comments, and so on. But with a planet, you get to go to one place to check for anything new that's on several blogs instead of hopping to each individual blog.

Interesting, I thought. But not really "getting" it, and having stuff to do like putting kids to bed, I went about my evening business. A couple of hours later, hubby calls me to his computer to check out what he had thrown together. In no time, he had made a planet for me. All I had to do was decide what blogs I wanted to feed and what to call it.

We bought what I still think is a rockin' domain name, I hand-picked some female writer buddies, and my honey designed a terrific logo, which you see at the top of my blog. And the rest is pretty much history. Now readers can drop by anytime for a one-stop blog fest!

The trick now is that as I'm learning more about blog-land, I've decided to create better labels and post a list of them on my sidebar. As a result, I'm going back and re-labeling several of my old posts to better reflect what they're about before I post a that full labels list.

Every time I do that, the planet sees those changes as new posts and re-feeds them to the Writers in Heels site. That's why I'm doing it VERY slowly, so I don't slam the planet with 30 posts all of a sudden.

So there ya go! Mystery solved, in case you've been wondering (or might be wondering in the future) why I have the occasional random post from the past appearing on WIH, like the one below.

And Jeff, if you ever decide to try on a pair of three-inch eel skins, let me know. Maybe we'll add you to the group!


Tamra Norton said...

Slammin' concept, Annette! :) I've enjoyed reading Writers in Heels!

Annette Lyon said...

Thanks, Tami! It's been fun.

How strange that this time a re-label didn't actually feed to the planet. Hmmmm . . .

Jeff Savage said...

I really like the planet concept. I hadn't ever heard of it before I saw yours. As far as heels, the last time I wore them was in High School doing a Rocky Horror lips synch. Don't think that's going to happen again.

Annette Lyon said...

Jeff, Any chance you have a picture of said lyp sync? :D I'd pay good money to see that.

Jeff Savage said...

Even if I did, it would NEVER turn up.

Annette Lyon said...

I'll have to ask your dear wife about that one. After all, she did reveal the picture of what you looked like when the two of you first met, Mr. Mustache. :D

Brillig said...

What a cool idea! Snaps to your brilliant hubby! (And to you too, of course...)


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