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We now interrupt our regular programming to bring you a public service announcement

I’ve been in a bit of a quandary about the headlines in my sidebar lately.

A little while back I asked if people were still reading them, and a number of you responded that you were. That’s also been evident from some of the comments in relation to the different news blurbs that I’ve posted, so obviously they’re serving a function.

What I’ve been considering, however, is whether their placement in the sidebar is entirely sensible. For one thing they take up a lot of space, yet are also very constricting, in that if I want to say a bit more about a particular item [verbose – moi?] I can’t really do that without half the page turning into a headlines widget. I’ve considered giving them their own page, but then they aren’t prominently displayed and probably wouldn’t be seen by many people, which would sort of defeat the purpose of doing them. I’ve wondered about the possibility of writing the headlines somewhere else – on a page or even a separate site – and then feeding them into a widget through feedburner, but the former option doesn’t seem to be viable unless I start a new page each day, and the second would mean effectively setting up a whole new website, which I’m not in a position to do at this time.

Important as those considerations are, however, probably the main reason for wanting to move them from the sidebar is so that they are not lost once I remove them from the widget. Right now there is no option to keep them on file anywhere except to simply copy and paste them into a separate document on my PC, which note bene I have been doing – although occasionally I forget. One reader actually contacted me to ask about this very issue [hi Grif!] and has kindly been exploring possible options for posting and preserving the headlines, but so far there seems to be no easy solution.

So I think the best way around this is simply to put them into a separate post each day, marked ‘Headlines’ and followed by the date. This gets around all the basic considerations, i.e. they remain preserved on the site [in their own little category called ‘headlines’, natch] and I can also add little blurbs by way of explanation or whatever. Also, this would allow people to comment right beneath the actual headlines, rather than commenting on them in the comments section to a completely different post. That way people who are alerted to updates via this site’s feed* will also know when headlines have been posted [and obviously those who have no interest in the headlines can just ignore those alerts].

The drawback is that this may mean more than one post a day, leaving less exposure for each individual post, but I guess we’ll just have to live with that.

/public service announcement

Carry on!

According to EPI it was set to blow over the Westman Islands at 3 pm and then move north [i.e. in our direction]. It’s now around 4.30, so anytime now. Bring it on! I love a good storm, myself. As long as I’m all snug indoors, obviously. Of course it’s not much fun for the people out at sea fishing – that can definitely get hairy, although they’ve got a pretty good weather-alarm system going so accidents out at sea due to storms are quite rare. Right now it’s 3°C [37F], the sun came up at 11.10 and went down over an hour ago at 3.32 pm.

* For those who don’t know, a “feed” is a way of subscribing to the content on this site, so that you receive an alert each time it is updated.



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • JoeInVegas December 11, 2008, 5:23 pm

    Sorry, I don’t come to read the headlines, I much more enjoy your writing. But thanks for keeping everyone updated – you say things we can’t read elsewhere.

  • VioletSky December 11, 2008, 7:02 pm

    Having more than one post a day seem to be a minor drawback – so this sounds a good compromise.

  • James December 11, 2008, 7:16 pm

    My vote would be for simply dividing your daily post into 3 parts: Article, Headlines, Weather.

  • alda December 11, 2008, 8:16 pm

    James – yes, but often I don’t get a chance to write a longer post until evening, or maybe not at all, whereas I can do the headlines quite quickly and easily earlier in the day. Provided I don’t have other work (paid work) that takes priority, that is.

    I’ll try it this way, and if it’s not working, I’ll change it.

  • Marc December 11, 2008, 8:22 pm

    Apparently your PM is preparing an admission request to join the EU. EU officials are already working on preparatory stuff to facilitate a swift admission procedure. Does this get reported in Iceland? Or is this just spam I am picking up in my local newspaper?

  • hildigunnur December 11, 2008, 8:32 pm

    Storm’s here, the doors on my car almost got blown off, a while ago 😀

  • Vikingisson December 11, 2008, 10:58 pm

    I love a good storm. I caught the famous wind when I was there but nothing this gringo couldn’t handle. (so what do Nicelanders call us norteamericanos? Hopefully better than ‘Pinche gringo pendejo’. 🙂

    Alda, perhaps we can come up with an easier way to archive the headlines. Are you getting them via RSS? I think you are using wordpress so there should be options that are nearly automagic. I like the idea of commenting right on the stories. You might then widget the comments when you shrink the headlines.

  • alda December 11, 2008, 11:15 pm

    Marc – it gets reported a lot here, but perhaps with a different slant. The IP (the PM’s party) has traditionally been strictly opposed to the EU but have announced that they plan to discuss possible membership at their annual meeting in January – in fact the meeting was brought forward so that they might address the issue sooner. This is a substantial departure for them. As for the EU already making preparations, that’s the first I’ve heard of this, although there was a satellite meeting yesterday with Oli Rehn (sp?) who is in charge of EU enlargement and he’s all encouraging, saying it wouldn’t take long to be granted membership, seeing as how Iceland has a large share of the legal stuff already implemented through the EEA agreement.
    What you’re saying seems to be taking this a bit further, though – but might just be a different take on the same facts.

    Hildigunnur – sure is! AAH literally blew in the door a short while ago. (Although a quick glance out the window right now seems to indicate that it’s blown over.)

    Víkingsson – I’m not getting the headlines via RSS – I write them up myself directly into the widget.

  • Binna December 11, 2008, 11:23 pm

    It would be good if the headlines and also the quotes of the day could be saved!

  • Muriel Volestrangler December 11, 2008, 11:39 pm

    Alda, I appreciate your news headlines very much. You can put them wherever you like. If you post them separately, that would have the benefit of keeping out the worryers like me out of the normal comments sections with frantic predictions of gloom-and-doom (sorry, there’s always one pessimist in the crowd!).
    I do have a suggestion. I would like to see a picture of Thorvaldur Gylfason or Jon Danielsson holding their heads in pain next to each news item announcing the latest action by the Icelandic Government (poor Jon Danielsson must be absolutely apoplectic after the EU announcement). Or maybe the Government decisions could go in a special “Homer Simpson – Doh!” section.

  • Grif December 11, 2008, 11:44 pm

    When looking into the matter I was quite stumped that this is so hard to implement ‘just the way that Alda likes’.
    Given the options I think the one Alda chose is the wisest for the time being.

    Unless of course there is something that I overlooked… After all, I’m still learning around the ropes on wordpress myself :p

    Indeed, if Alda received the headlines from RSS, the matter would have been completely different as there are lots of plugins on the intertubes that do this.
    And creating a separate blog to do just this would mean lots of overhead and an incoherent system. (Once again, that’s what I learned from it… I’m not infallible…yet :p )

    btw… I upgraded my wordpress installation to 2.7 (it hit vanilla today), I don’t see the need for most users to upgrade their live servers asap…especially if they use Thesis… The new wordpress messes up some configuration windows. For most users it’s still workable and for the others there is a small patch on the intertubes. Especially since the gain is still quite low (especially for the people who have a working site set up).

    For the storm to blow over…might also be that you’re currently in the middle of the … errm… depression (no pun intended)… maybe don’t let out your cats out just yet :p

  • Grif December 11, 2008, 11:46 pm

    Extra small note…

    Whoa….what a rant :p

  • alda December 12, 2008, 12:05 am

    MV – sorry, there’s always one pessimist in the crowd! Just one?? Surely you jest …

    Grif – thanks for the heads-up about Wordpress. I’m totally scared of this updating business. Why can’t they just make something that lasts! 😉

  • Vikingisson December 12, 2008, 12:07 am

    ok Alda I see what you’re doing now. It would be just as easy to drop a selection of news items into a page and then auto widget some kind brief highlight. You could page/subpage by date or whatever feels right or categorize. It would then be easy to present the news in an organized fashion for future lookups and searches.

    speaking of little pictures you can assign an avatar to a post/page which might be interesting depending on the mood of the news that day. Over time it could work like tags and get a sense of how the kreppa is going. 🙂 Let’s hope the trend ramps up toward the positive.

    I hope that inflation doesn’t get any more out of control. It would negate the increase in tourism that should be a good thing to have. I’m trying to plan my next visit for the Springtime.

  • Lisa in Toronto December 12, 2008, 1:58 pm

    I have no problem with an extra post of headlines.
    (Actually I would more likely read them this way, and I would benefit from your comments!)

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