I tend to enjoy using the blog aggregation services provided by sites like Mormon Archipelago and Planet LDS for one-stop shopping in my blog reading. For those of us who like aggregators, there is now further cause for rejoicing — a shiny new player has officially entered the burgeoning world of bloggernacle aggregators. New portal LDSelect features the standard menu of blog feeds and comment feeds, plus intriguing added options like box customization.

I received the public announcement of the new site’s launch this afternoon. I’ll quote somewhat from that e-mail:

The aggregator is named LDSelect (pronounced L-D-S elect). It’s URL is http://www.ldselect.org . LDSelect allows each user to select which LDS blogs she views and to customize their categorization.

To start with, LDSelect lists about 75 blogs, yours included. I’m happy to add additional LDS-themed blogs, provided that they send me their name, their URL, and the URL of their RSS feeds. Once enough users have registered, the default categorization will be changed on an ongoing basis to reflect an aggregation of their current preferences.

For more information, please feel free to contact me directly or consult the Frequently Asked Questions list at http://www.ldselect.org/faq.

Welcome to the bloggernacle, LDSelect!

55 comments for “Elect

  1. Actually, I’ve been investigating web aggregators. I have a lot of legal blogs I’d like to follow, but no time to visit each site individually. I’d also like to start receiving select news feeds in kind of a digest format.

    Right now, I’m doing a 20 day free trial period with FeedDemon which is really nice, but eventually I’ll have to start paying for it.

    Does anyone know of any good web aggregators that are free-use? Perhaps the technical nerds who run these blogs and hunt down IP addresses in their spare time?

  2. LDSelect looks like a real asset to the bloggernacle–I’m really excited about it.

  3. Seth look at Safari or Firefox. They will do aggregation for you. There are also separate applications from a browser that will do them.

  4. Wonderful!
    Of course I would have preferred a name like Mormonitor or Mormontage… Anything without LDS. But I am already ungrateful. Thanks to those who made the effort!

  5. Er….so this is just a poke in the eye of the Mormon Archipelago, right? Come on, admit it. No wonder T&S is excited: they return to Top Box Glory. Those insufferable MA fiends! This’ll teach them.

    Instead of starting a fight with the MA, it would have been more helpful if LDSelect and the MA had joined forces somehow. I can’t see how the Bloggernacle can support two aggregators. Someone loses. Shame.

  6. I would encourage everyone to not only check out the site but to quickly create an account and try out the customization feature. The UI is pretty nifty and it allows you to do things like “demote” T&S while placing Snarkernacle up with the big blogs. All of this is much easier than it sounds. Basically it allows you to have a custom aggregator that is set up just the way you like it in a matter of seconds.

  7. Jack,

    I appreciate your concerns, though I don’t agree with them.

    First, LDselect is not a T&S project, but one set up by a third party. (The identity of the third party is pretty clearly evident from the site).

    As for return to top box — well, that will depend on each individual user’s preferences. T&S can be put in box one, two, three, or four, or not listed at all, as each reader prefers. The “set preferences” feature is really something. I’m using it, and I expect that many people will be using it ot customize which blogs they see in which boxes.

    And as for a T&S announcement of a new LDS blog portal, well, it’s nothing that hasn’t been done before . . .

  8. *tee hee hee* I’ve already sent fan mail to the address listed in the FAQ. Do we know who’s behind it? The interface is seamlessly intuitive. I absolutely love it.

    Seth, try http://www.bloglines.com I’ve been using it for several months now. It’s great; you can check your feeds from anywhere.

  9. That’s what it looks like, Jack. But you have to admit the customizable feature is pretty nifty. And I had to laugh at the fourth question down on the FAQ’s page.

  10. The customizable feature is indeed pretty nifty. But if we all customize we’re just back to ghettoizing the ‘nacle again. I’ll simply choose all my favorite sites and ignore the rest. Inasmuch as “the rest” can indeed have good stuff it will be a shame for the new blogs that would find it hard to attract my interest. This is why the MA is a good thing.

    I still think the bloggernacle would have been better served had DKL partnered with the MA to offer optional features to ldsblogs.org. Maybe he did and they rebuffed him. Who knows? Instead we have another reason to have a stupid bloggernacle conflict….Lame.

  11. Jack, is this what you’re saying?

    1. If you use LDSelect, then you can choose all your favorite sites
    2. If you use MA, then they will choose your sites for you

    This reminds me: In heaven, there were two plans…

  12. “Inasmuch as “the restâ€? can indeed have good stuff it will be a shame for the new blogs that would find it hard to attract my interest.”

    I don’t know if DKL is following this thread, but it might be nice if brand new blogs got an above-the-fold banner headline for their first few days so everyone would notice them. (Then we can demote them :).)

  13. Full disclosure: I have been a beta tester for the site for a while now.

    First of all Jack Bauer and any others that are concern about hurt feelings should probably ask the MA guys what they think of the site. I am not aware of any conflict, but I think we should let them speak for themselves. Assuming that there is a conflict when there is no evidence of one is a good way to stir one up. Of course, Jack isn’t known for being a passivist, right?

    I’d also like to point out that additional features are coming soon. The recent comments bar will highlight comments in discussions you have participated in, so select your log-in name appropriately. There will also be a New Blogs section and a randomly rotating banner featuring one of the listed blogs.

    I’m under the impression that feature suggestions are welcome, so if there is something that you would like to see it do please speak up.

  14. OK, here’s a suggestion. After each person’s name, list the names of all pseudonyms that person has posted under at any time anywhere in the bloggernacle.

  15. aRJ,

    Yeah, let the MA guys speak…

    If I could take time off from fighting terrorists and were one of the MA guys, this is what I’d think:

    As punishment for MA punishing T&S, DKL (with T&S’s encouragement) aims to bury the MA and make it obsolete. Now, this is America, so all’s fair in capitalism, but the punishment doesn’t fit the crime (if indeed there was one).

    LDSelect has the potential to be a great aggregator (it’s not nice on the eyes though — get Rusty to jazz it up), but it also has the potential to perpetuate all these ridiculous bloggernacle feuds. I can’t help thinking that the latter was as much part of the motivation for this site as the former. Nice. I hope I’m wrong.

    Anyway, thanks MA guys. It was fun while it lasted. We’ll be seeing you again sometime. Looks like T&S has once again crushed anyone who dares defy it and DKL gets sweet revenge for being called Hitler by an MA blog. DKL and T&S prove the old maxim: the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

  16. Um, A Random John, call me paranoid, but anyone who uses the site with a login of their Bloggernacle Name, will be effectively giving DKL their IP address. The result is if everyone uses this site in the intended manner then DKL will have a master index of everyone\’s IP addresses. Given his past history on the Nacle, this doesn\’t seem like something I would want to participate in.

  17. LDSelect is awesome. I plan to post my own thoughts on it in the near future. But since there’s also been discussion of individual subscription services here, I quickly posted on why the hands-down best choice for this purpose is Google Reader.

  18. Rusty,

    That’s a shame. Competition is good in theory, but the bloggernacle market is so small it just seems crazy to have two aggregators. And not just crazy, but spiteful. Again, really nice that. DKL, T&S, the MA, and friends should have had a nice friendly discussion. The MA could be less dictatorial, for sure, but this could have been ironed out into a win-win rather than win-lose. MA: great look, wide exposure, good community builder; LDSselect: cool new features, more democratic. Combine the two and everyone’s happy. Go head to head = bad feeling. I’m sad that the latter route was chosen, but it doesn’t suprise me round here. Anyway, gotta go find that VX.

  19. I like that LDSelect is customizable. Pretty nifty.

    My use of it may interfere a little with my use of the MA, but it won’t replace it.

    As an economist, I can’t condemn competition; competition leads to innovation and efficiency, so bring it on.

  20. a random John, if people use the LDSelect site in the manner you suggest, in creating a login name that goes with their Bloggernacle name, then that would give DKL a master list of everyone’s IP address, to do with as he pleases.

  21. I guess it’s because I’m a relatively new blogger who has been pretty caught up trying to gain some notoriety for my own blog that I have missed the supposed in-fighting in the bloggernacle. So with all this competition for attention and all the economics analogies, is everybody making money off their blogs or something? If so, how did I miss that opportunity and where do I sign up? (Difficulty: Do not recommend Blogger’s “Adsense” )

  22. Ryan,
    Neither the MA or LDSelect is making money of the services we provide. As a member of the MA I can say that we’ve been maintaining it with the purpose of building the bloggernacle community. I’m genuinely puzzled as to why DKL built this site (rather than working with us to implement his (good) ideas).

  23. Actually, Ryan, all of the feuds–BCC vs. T&S, M* vs. T&S, MA vs. LDSE (which doesn’t even qualify as a feud), even Bannergate–are teacup tempests compared to what happens when one of the aggregators starts running banner ads. As soon as some third party tries to make money off of Kaimi’s posts and my comments, the whole world of Mormon blogs goes down in flame and recrimination. Should we pencil it in for June?

  24. A few thoughts —

    I have to admit that with Rusty I remain a little bit puzzled by the motivation to build and maintain this new bloggernacle portal site. But I don’t think it is malicious, as Jack B and others suspect. My guess is that like any good developer, DKL did it because he could, and building cool toys is fun for good developers.

    As for the partnering thing: DKL showed me the site less than a week ago. I suggested we partner up, but the project was ready to launch so there was not much reason for him to do so right now. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen some day though — we’ll see. I’m not convinced it makes much difference though. People who like the MA portal will use it and people who are dissatisfied with the MA portal can use something else like this new site.

    My primary worry is the potential for ghettoization as Jack B. mentioned. I hope that this does not signify a shift that makes it even harder for good new Mormon blogs to find any audience. The customization is a nifty feature but it could serve to simply make the popular blogs in the community more popular at the expense of newcomers. I think exposure for newcomers is the best part about what we are doing with the MA portal.

    BTW – I don’t think T&S should take any flack for announcing it. It’s just another aggregator after all and it is interesting news. We were grateful when Kaimi announced ours (even if he did think it was a group blog at the time).

  25. June is no good for me, I’m going to be on several vacations for a good portion of the month. Now July, there’s a good month, in fact we could time the flame and recrimination with a fourth of july fireworks celebration
    Seriously, I guess I could understand why it would be obnoxious to have an aggregator running banner ads, but I don’t really understand there being an uproar about it. I think the Bloggernacle might need a healthy dose of “Just Care Less” because some of the yelling and screaming meanders a bit too close to regulation for my tastes.
    If DKL wants his own aggregator, so be it. Who cares?

    Glad to see you in this thread since we have been trying to contact MA for quite some time now… hoping for news on our submission.

  26. Ryan,

    I don’t think many people make money off their blogs; I use google adsense, but it only brings in about $200 a year. But for a struggling college student, every penny counts and it doesn’t cost me anything to do it, so I figure why not.

    As for economic analogies, I’m an econ major. It’s my bread and butter.


    I’ll continue to use the MA for just the reason you state, the exposure to newcomers. I get most of my traffic from the portal, and before I was listed, I got pretty much none. Ldsblogs.org is what got me to feel like I was part of the community, and I think a lot of people can say the same.

  27. I am curious how MA promotes small blogs more effectively than the new portal would. It seems to me that the new blog lets each person promote the new blog they like, and then, if I am reading the FAQ correctly, the most beloved blogs will rise on their own, without any need for particular action on the part of the admin. That sounds pretty cool, especially given the innovations aRJ noted were in the works to add specific attention to new blogs.

    I’m also curious how this portal goes about aggregating preferences, since that becomes a thorny theoretical problem pretty fast.

  28. FWIW, promotion of new and/or lesser know blogs is something the blogger community does best, not the aggregator. The less involved the aggregator is in deciding who gets read the better. I think LDSelect is onto something big-time with the election by individual customization feature. “Democracy is messy” -Donald Rumseld (not that I like the guy). :-)

  29. Doesn’t anybody feel a bit… overwhelmed, by all the blogs? The LDSelect just points up what I’ve been feeling for months, too much blogging, too little life.

  30. Clark, Ben:

    Oh absolutely! We totally schooled you. Too bad you missed it. Maybe next time.

  31. “There was a M* vs T&S feud?”

    Didn’t you know? Ebeneezer Robinson “forgot” to mention S.W. Richards editorial. The feud lasted for months…

  32. Anon,

    I don’t know that it fully addresses your concerns, but Dave does have a privacy policy.

    (For that matter, T&S has a privacy policy too: “All your IP are belong to us.” ).

    As a general matter, WordPress collects IPs. I’ve commented at many bloggernacle blogs; a lot of people have my IP address. (I commented at Banner, where Dave was an admin, so he specifically already had my IP address as well, if he wanted it.)

    I appreciate the fact that concerns arise on the privacy front. These can be avoided in many ways, including through the use of any number of relatively simple internet proxies. However, they will always be a potential concern, and people should think over any potential privacy considerations before making any decisions.

  33. “Should we pencil it in for June?”

    June is a good choice; historically, a very slow month for the bloggernacle.

  34. “I appreciate the fact that concerns arise on the privacy front.”

    That’s a very kind sentiment Kaimi. As for me, I don’t appreciate privacy concerns in the slightest. Welcome to the internet. All your IP adresses are belong to everybody and their mother.

  35. Frank: I am curious how MA promotes small blogs more effectively than the new portal would.

    Well presumably the new portal is more like an RSS feeder than the MA portal is, so one could choose to only include 3-5 popular ‘nacle blogs and never even know about (let alone visit) the great variety of other voices in the community. That was the very problem that the MA portal was designed to alleviate.

  36. Ryan: we have been trying to contact MA for quite some time now… hoping for news on our submission.

    I think y’all were added last week actually.

  37. Randy,

    Our comments feed is available by RSS to anyone who wants to include it. I presume that Ldselect is getting our comments from there.

  38. Geoff,

    But those who wish to follow the wider Bnacle are free to do so. In fact, the default is set up that way. Thus, unless one actively _chooses_ to ignore the others, which is a choice that I think people are better off making for themselves based on their available time, the default looks much like MA, with a few bells and whistles, right? Seems like it promotes small blogs to the extent that the individuals who use it _wish_ to promote small blogs.

  39. Thank you Geoff. some of those smaller islands are hard to see when our heads are way up in the clouds so I didn’t notice :)

  40. Well, I have to agree that the Bloggernacle really is a little small for two aggregators. I don’t see much point, even if it is nice.

  41. Technically there are three aggregators. It never quite got the press of MA but Planet LDS preceded MA by quite a bit. I used to use it primarily but since it displays all the text in the rss feed that means for far too many posts it displays the full post.

  42. I’m actually using the “checkbox” aspect of the LDSelect site almost like a “checklist as I systematically comb my way through the ‘nacle. No worries on ghettoization. (Is that a word???)

  43. “As punishment for MA punishing T&S, DKL (with T&S’s encouragement) aims to bury the MA and make it obsolete.”

    Because, as we all know, DKL is more or less the golden boy here at T&S and nothing is dearer to his heart than we are.

  44. Though slightly delayed by both DKL’s scholarly pursuits and his incessant threadjacking version 2.0 of LDSelect has been released. It looks a bit spiffier, but the real innovation is on the comments column.

    First you will note that the name of the thread is now present with the comments.

    Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, you will see a “filter” box at the top of the column. Type the name you blog by there (or even just the first few letters) and hit enter. Now only threads that you’ve commented on, and therefore might be particularly interested in, will apear. For those of us that spray our comments about carelessly like pearls before so many virtual swine this feature can say you a lot of needless browsing in search of responses that aren’t there.

    Any use of the filter to track where DKL is casting his pearls rather than your own is discouraged but not prohibited.

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