9/21/2006

Carnival of Brass: update

The Carnival of Brass has thus far been an initial success, and I would like to especially thank Dean Esmay, Haroon, Ali, and Thabet for hosting the Carnival on their sidebars. Their high-profile example has inspired several other blogs to follow suit and thus greatly increase the overall utility of the Carnival for all bloggers. I am also grateful to the numerous smaller blogs that have also hosted the Carnival as well.

However, we are still far short of the full potential of the Carnival to serve as a uniifying force for the Islamsphere and as a "force multiplier" for our ideas in the broader blogsphere at large.

For one thing, not enough bloggers are contributing their own links, to either the @brass_crescent (blogs) or @COB (media) feeds. At present I myself account for over 75% of the links on both feeds, which means that the Carnival is dominated by my personal taste. This is not desirable. I especially appreciate thabet's help in this regard; he has submitted quite a few links himself and many of the links I submit are lifted from his personal bookmarks.

Second, we do need more blogs in the Islamsphere to add the Carnival to their blogs. And not just the @brass_crescent feed, but also the @COB feed. Remember that the Carnival has two feeds - one for blog commentary, and another for articles in the mass media. The @COB feed gets as much fresh content as @brass_crescent does, and for maximum impactwe need everyone who wants to participate to use both.

To these ends I want to make the following revised javascript code available. Unlike the code given in the FAQ, the headlines here are only 5 long, not 15. That should make the footprint of the Carnival much smaller and more conducive to inclusion on blog sidebars. The code, which you only need to cut and paste into your blog template, is as follows:


<script type="text/javascript" src="http://del.icio.us/feeds/js/azizhp/%40brass_crescent?extended;count=5;
title=blogs%3A%20%40brass_crescent;icon=rss"></script>

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://del.icio.us/feeds/js/azizhp/%40cob?extended;count=5;
title=media%3A%20%40COB;icon=rss"></script>


Note that you can change the number of headlines from 5 to whatever you want - just edit the part in green to your taste. Likewise you can also put any title you want, just edit the part in red (the %3A means a colon, ie : , the %20 means a space, and %40 is the @ symbol. You can also style the feed with CSS to match your blog layout.

I would like to make an appeal to please do use the code above and put the Carnival on your blog sidebars. The great advantage of the Carnival is that it unites us and amplifies our voice. Its real time, and there's no host, so the admin overhead is minimal. Its a platform for us to share action items and important events just as much as it is for introducing new and fresh voices. And it's the best way to get our message out to the wider world - we are not silent.

And of course, please participate by submitting links as well! You will need a del.icio.us account but once you've got one, and you've added me to your network, it is very easy for you to send links for submission. If you tag a link with "for:azizhp" it will even show up directly in my inbox! Let's take full advantage of these technologies to support ourselves.

5 comments:

Zack said...

Aziz: I plan to put it on my sidebar once it is cleaned since right now it usually runs longer than the main column. So thanks for this custom count option.

Aziz Poonawalla said...

thanks Zack! every sidebar helps.

Zack said...

I included it but I used the Feeds.App Lite plugin included with Movable Type 3.32. It was pretty simple to do it that way and no Javascript.

Anonymous said...

thats great! But how about adding the feed for @COB as well as @brass_crescent ? I know your sidebar is lengthy as it is.. :)

Zack said...

Ok, Aziz, just for you :-)

BTW the reason I went the Feeds.App route was because the Javascript does not work for me. I serve my blog as application/xhtml+xml and the javascript code uses document.write which is not allowed in that case. But the javascript should work for almost everyone else.