Blog Rolling

I’ve finally gotten around to taking a look at the free (donations welcomed) Blog Roll creation and management tool suite created by Jason DeFillippo.

“Blog roll” refers to the links that frequently run along the right or left sides of web logs, pointing to recommended or frequently read blogs. offers a suite of tools that allow you to quickly and easily create your blog roll, and see which blogs in your list have been recently updated. Once you establish an account, it’s pretty simply to fill out a web form with the title, URL, and description of the blogs you want in your list. The information is stored at, and updated on the fly when your blog page is refreshed. You set various preferences regarding the display and update notification (there are more options if you donate, or subscribe, but even the free ones are pretty good). There’s good documentation, but look for the link on the left that says “start here.” Jason has made it about as simple as possible. Once you’ve made you blog roll (you can go back and edit later), you’ll want to click on the “Code generation” link to copy and paste the preferred kind of code (javascript, OPML, PHP, RSS) in the template for your blog. There’s even documentation about using CSS to customize your blog roll’s appearance. If you want to add an OPML blog roll to Radio, take a look at Jake Savin’s instructions. Take a look at some of the nifty tools to help display and manage your blog roll, including a bookmarklet for adding new blogs to your roll, and a “blog roll me” script to allow your loyal readers to add your blog to their Blogroll blog roll.

Even if you’re not terribly comfortable with editing your blog template or messing about with HTML/XML/CSS, and the like, is a very easy way to create and maintain your blog roll. There’s enormous potential for this tool for teachers and students with blogs.

Reasons to Use Mozilla

Aside from the fact that Mozilla is free, fast, limber, and polite, I really like the Tab features. You can open a Tab window using Command-T on a Mac (for you poor Windows users, remember to use Control instead) then go to a site, then open a new Tab, and go to another site, for however many sites you’d like to be able to toggle between. The Tabs allow you to “layer” the sites in a single window.

Once you have your Tabs set the way you want, you can, if you wish, save a group of Tabs as a single Bookmark, and then simply click the Bookmark to open up the Tabs with their associated sites the way you set it up previously.

Here’s how to save several Tabs in a single Window as a “grouped” Bookmark.

  1.  Create a Mozilla window with Tabs and web sites you wish to save as a single Bookmark.
  1.  Create and Save the Bookmark by using Command-Shif-d or choosing File Bookmark from the Bookmark menu. You will be asked to name the Bookmark, and choose a location in your Bookmarks to save the Book mark. Be sure to check the small box next to File As Group. (Hint: choose your Toolbar folder if you want the Bookmark to be saved there.)
  1.  Click your newly created and saved Bookmark to open the Tabbed window and load the web sites.
  1.  Use the newly created bookmark to test your Tabs.



I’ve added a link to my neighbors over there on the left, or you can see my weblog neighborhood here. It’s a new tool added to Radio. This is a Good Thing.

Why, you ask, is this A Good Thing? For a variety of reasons, including courtesy to the hardworking bloggers I read, to let them know that they are doing A Good Thing. But an even better reason is that allows me, and you, to find sites and blogs we did not know about, and would like to, and even should.

Already I have newly subscribed to Future of the Book News, the blog of a really neat site that I didn’t and should have known about.