Who Do You Follow?

Tell me who you fol­low! I feel pret­ty com­fort­able with Google Read­er and Twit­ter; I’ve amassed quite a col­lec­tion of per­son­al­i­ties there and enjoy them immense­ly. But I find myself awash in end­less reblogs on Tum­blr and I would­n’t know the first thing about who’s worth watch­ing on YouTube.

Do peo­ple still get into pod­casts? I’ve down­loaded DJ Rup­ture’s Mudd Up, Doug Hen­wood’s Behind the News, and Two Guys on Beer, but I have to admit that I’m not a reg­u­lar con­sumer of pod­casts. Are there any you check out? Do you think video pod­cast­ing may final­ly break through now that we have the devices that not only sup­port it, but make it sexy?

Last­ly, what are your favorite blogs? In this age of microblog­ging in all forms, is there any­one else out there who still likes to read thought­ful pieces? My Google Read­er is stuffed, but I’m always look­ing for new sources to check out. I’m always look­ing for local folks, as well as great peo­ple cov­er­ing music, tech, Phillies, food, and media. Share your favorites!

So, who do you fol­low and where do you fol­low them?


This Feels Like Home

I think I’ve final­ly set­tled on my ide­al Word­Press theme. I love the fonts, even if the main head­er is wonky on arti­cle pages. I got peo­ple who have insight into fix­ing stuff like that. (Yes, I’m look­ing at you, Roz.) I’m also gonna total­ly cop the fol­low suite from the bot­tom of Eric Smith’s blog short­ly and plant it right over there atop the right rail. Should be pret­ty sweet actu­al­ly.

I’m debat­ing a few oth­er fea­tures. Feel free to sound off on them if the spir­it moves you.

  • Should I both­er adding a blogroll of any kind? I know they’re real­ly just there to gen­er­ate rec­i­p­ro­cal links and that very few peo­ple actu­al­ly click on them. I’m sure that like­li­hood decreas­es tremen­dous­ly when put on a sep­a­rate page, even if that page is clear­ly labeled and in the top nav that hov­ers over the right rail. Thoughts?
  • Tag cloud. They’ve always hor­ri­fied me. I just added one called “What I’m Talk­ing About,” which seemed pret­ty cool until it barfed up pret­ty much every tag I’ve ever used. I checked to see if I could lim­it the num­ber of tags with the out of the box Word­Press wid­get. No dice. Do I have any recourse?
  • Archives. I’m not pre­ten­tious enough to think that any­one real­ly trawls through the back pages here and I real­ly hate that they’re bro­ken out month­ly by default. I wish they could be orga­nized by years just for the sake of ele­gance. Is it worth the has­sle?
  • Var­i­ous and sundry wid­gets just clut­ter up the place, right? I’m over hav­ing my Twit­ter feed post in the right rail. The fol­low suite will take care of that mess. I like the Flickr inte­gra­tion, but feel like that could go in the fol­low suite as well. Is there a wid­get any­where in the wide world that gen­er­ates album art thumb­nails from your scrob­bles with­out total­ly stink­ing up the joint? I have yet to find one and I’ve looked high and low.
  • Last, but not least: what do you think of Kens­ing­ton Blues? I chose the name because I live in the Kens­ing­ton neigh­bor­hood and am a fan of the late great Jack Rose. But some­times I ask myself if it’s too imper­son­al for a blog that’s real­ly just about beer, babies, and base­ball for the most part. Feel free to offer sug­ges­tions on such things as per­son­al brand­ing if you are so moved.

By the way, I snagged this theme from Woo Themes and it was total­ly free. I’m as shocked as you are. Thanks, Inter­net!


More Local Inspiration

Quick shout to Eric Smith, who is some­thing of a blog­gy wun­derkind here in Philadel­phia. We’ve nev­er met prop­er­ly, but he and I have slow­ly built what I hope is a mutu­al admi­ra­tion soci­ety as we wend our way through the dense thick­et that’s known today as con­tent cre­ation and cura­tion.

If you’re not hip to what he’s up to, do your­self a favor and catch up. It’s worth not­ing that Geekadel­phia is one of my favorite local reads.


Quick Shout to Some Locals

Want to know the secret to qual­i­ty blog­ging? It’s easy: pub­lish or per­ish. It’s a les­son I’ve tried to give myself here, off and on, for a good, oh, six (sev­en?) years since the days I was an under­em­ployed ex-grad stu­dent rail­ing on Blog­ger. With every relapse I promise to write more. To recom­mit to this often very reward­ing, if lit­tle read, blog. Too often it’s in vain.

I know I’m not alone. One of the meth­ods I think I’ll employ to revive Kens­ing­ton Blues is to reach out to the local blo­gos­phere more fre­quent­ly. You know, the pow­er of pos­i­tive rein­force­ment. Not only is it good to encour­age the folks you like most online, it’s mutu­al­ly reward­ing. Just the sort of thing to make you get back into the game.

In light of this, I thought I’d men­tion two folks whose work has­n’t gone unno­ticed by this read­er. Marisa has brought her old stand­by, Apart­ment 2024, back to life with a love­ly assort­ment of pho­tos and brief descrip­tions. It’s the sort of thing that I often dream of doing, a thought that usu­al­ly cul­mi­nates in me won­der­ing if it would look bet­ter on Word­Press or if I should just ditch and move to Tum­blr. It’s the per­fect way to doc­u­ment a life. No hifa­lutin man­i­festos here, just great pic­tures and notes on a sim­ple, ele­gant life. Hats off!

I’d be remiss if I did­n’t men­tion my co-work­er Karl Mar­ti­no’s work over at Philly Future. Kar­l’s been the care­tak­er there since my ear­li­est days of dis­cov­er­ing the Philly blo­gos­phere. You want some­one up to their ears in hyper­local? Kar­l’s been doing it before that became a buzz­word. Hell, I’ve often thought that if were seri­ous about rein­vent­ing itself, they’d ask Karl what he was able to fig­ure out so long ago.

Late­ly, Kar­l’s been play­ing cura­tor once again, bring­ing a bit of that Dar­ing Fire­ball mojo to the site. If you’re a cyn­ic like me who thinks blog­ging is, like, total­ly dead, think again. Kar­l’s still find­ing great folks doing cool stuff in the Philly area. Stop over there and spend some time catch­ing up.


A Cleanr Look

If you’re one of the dear souls who sub­scribes to this under­used blog you already know how I’ve ago­nized over a suit­able theme. The search may final­ly be over. I think I’ve final­ly found a win­ner!

I chose Cleanr. It’s a straight­for­ward theme that fits my strict aes­thet­ic needs. I’m in love with the right rail, too! There you’ll find my Twit­ter updates, Flickr pho­tos, and Google Read­er shared items. I think it’s the best inte­gra­tion I’ve found yet. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about that space is that it’s prone to clut­ter.

I’m look­ing to add a cov­er­flow wid­get to share the albums I’m check­ing out on If you can rec­om­mend one with a lay­out sim­i­lar to the Flickr wid­get, let me know!

On a part­ing note, I need to say that Word­Press has real­ly made it easy to update and change themes and wid­gets. I’m a total noob, yet I felt very com­fort­able try­ing things out in the new dash­board envi­ron­ment. It’s amaz­ing!