Back by occasional polite request

Smorgasblog is back, at least for the time being, and has taken the place of the Google Reader-generated automatic list of recent posts from my blogroll in the right-hand sidebar. Except when I screw up and forget to categorize an item as “smorgasblog” before publishing, these link-and-quote posts will not show up in the Via Negativa feed; you’ll have to visit the blog to see them, as before. The difference this time is that I’m not coding everything by hand, but am instead using the Sideblog plugin from Kates Gasis. I currently have it set to display 10 posts at a time, and have included a link to the category archive in case you get behind.

I ended the original incarnation of Smorgasblog after a year and a half because I found it too time-consuming, especially as qarrtsiluni became more labor-intensive. I’m hoping this stripped-down, easier-to-maintain version won’t be such a distraction, and I’m planning to update it in a less thorough, more lackadaisical fashion than before. We’ll see how it goes.

The specific impetus to resume smorgasblogging today came from reading recent posts at Velveteen Rabbi and frizzyLogic and feeling an overwhelming urge to steal a little bit of their magic. So blame the Rachels, frizzy and velveteen, for blogging too well!

UPDATE: Unfortunately, it appears that the latest version of WordPress (2.5) has a bug which prevents me from excluding next and previous posts belonging to a given category (in this case, Smorgasblog) from the navigation links on single post pages. So while Smorgasblog posts won’t appear on the index page or in the Recent Posts sidebar listing (thanks to Rob Marsh), they will interrupt the flow for those who navigate from post to post, for the forseeable future.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. Your smorgasbords led me to some amazing things I might have otherwise missed. Glad they’re back.


  2. Dave–thanks for bringing back the Smorgasblog–I’ve appreciated the places it has taken me.


  3. Nice to see it back Dave. Now to write something well enough to make it back on it.


  4. Glad to know y’all will be following! Feel free to imitate on your own blogs, too – offers one, very easy way.


  5. I noticed you seem to have some gaps in your table of contents: I’m guessing these are the smorgasblog posts? Just a heads-up. I think you can exclude categories with the Smart Archives plugin, so it’s easily fixed if that *is* the problem.


  6. Thanks for the heads-up, but I’m only seeing one empty bullet-point, at the beginning (bottom) of June. Are you seeing more than that?


  7. Yes, I’ve emailed you with a picture. It only seems to be Safari, though. If you look at the source code, the links to those pages are actually there, they’re just ’empty’: i.e. using guillemets in place of angle brackets:

    «li»«a href=””»«/a»«li»

    and Safari obviously makes a different decision about how to display them.


  8. Thanks, man. Got your screenshot, and checked it on Safari for Windows – same thing. What surprised me even more, though, was how long it took to come up in Safari, which makes me think that rather than edit the plugin I should eliminate it altogether in favor of a more standard archives page.


  9. O.K., it’s fixed now. I forgot how easy it was to edit the line of php – I guess it’s called the “call”? – that appears on the page. Almost not intimidating at all!

    I’ll still probably shop around for other plugins. One that uses AJAX to expand the months when clicked would be cool.


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