Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, August 10, 2010

You can tell I'm in WordPress development mode this week ... Here is another new development, this time Andie and I have teamed up with Vincent Brown of Talking Pyramids.

I used to have a page like this at PageFlakes but it died so we have created a new Ancient Egypt blog portal in WordPress.  It's an alternative for those who don't use a newsreader - it gathers the extracts from the most recent posts on your blogs and displays them on a single page.  Simple.  The top row is Andie's Egyptology News. Our themed blogs are on the second row.

If there is interest I need to update the site to the latest version of WordPress and tweak a few things, so the purpose of this article is to gather feedback on the level of interest.  We would also like to know how the site should be developed.  For instance:

  1. Which other blogs should be show?  We can't guarantee to show every blog you would like as we need the permission from the blog owner.  That's one reason why we only show a short snippet.  The idea is that people can find interesting articles to read on the originating site.
  2. Since there are overlaps between blogs, we think we should only show one blog for each area of interest.  For instance Vincent has the world's best pyramids blog with a pretty comprehensive coverage so there is no reason to include any other pyramid blog.  Andie has the best general Egyptology news blog. (EEF is great but not a blog.)  Do you agree?
  3. We have opted for a single page.  We could have other pages - for instance a page of other general blogs about Ancient Egypt, or a hieroglyphs page.  Is there a wish for this?
  4. Do you have other thoughts or ideas?
Of course, nobody might find this useful at all in which case we will quietly abandon it!

(As an aside, you'll notice this links back to Egyptological - Andie and my new magazine site which I have mentioned before and which is still under development.  However, just as Andie and I are working with Vincent on the Portal, we would be happy to work with other people on other ideas for affiliated sites.  If it is a good idea we can offer hosting on Egyptological and help with the development.)


Amy Calvert said...

I think this is very useful, Kate! Good idea. It is nice to be able to see several blogs at once--I check Andie's regularly (which I agree is the best general news blog) and Vincent's, but sometimes forget to look at others and miss something interesting. Would there be a way to bring the weekly EEF news reel in also? That would be helpful.

Kate Phizackerley said...

Thanks Amy,

I agree about EEF but that is something which might be impossible.

Stuart Tyler said...

Dig Diaries are always good to see:

Avenue of Sphinx's
Temple of Mut
Amenhotep III Mortuary Temple


Just an idea. Cant wait to see the finished article,


Kate Phizackerley said...

Vincent and I think that's a great idea Stuart, although it will obviously depend on whether we get the approval from the teams.

Stuart Tyler said...

I am delighted you like the idea. Its something i thought about, before starting the Hatshepsut blog.

I soon realised time would not accommodate this. I will eatch your progress with anticipation,


Anonymous said...

In what way would it be different from an existing overview like:
As there is likely a big overlap
between blogs, having the titles only like in the above site seems to me sufficient.

Ben Morales-Correa said...

I don't see why you need permission from the blog owner since this is RSS and it sends traffic to the owner's blog.

Kate Phizackerley said...

Legally there is no problem in using a short excerpt from an RSS feed without permission. (Using a full feed without permission could be problematic). However, this is a project by the community for the community and we think the courtesous thing is to ask rather than assume. I know for instanace that Jane Akshar is always reluctant for content from her blog to be directly reproduced and I wouldn't display that unless Jane said it was something she wanted.

@Anonymous, I wasn't aware of the Alltop page, thank you. Personally I do prefer having the start of the text as well.

Anonymous said...

Kate,why not have the blog portal 99% ancient egypt, but also include a general archaelogical blog such as archaelogy news which reports stories from the newspapers for all ancient cultures (many of them Egypt). This reflects my own interests which is mainly ancient egypt but also interested in other ancient civilisations and gives you a bit of balalance and perspective. Just a thought Daveh

Kate Phizackerley said...

Jane Akshar has givern permission for use to add Luxor News to the blogs so I'll add that next time I FTP in.

There's a feeling that we should have a smaller font and a more condensed layout. That will take longer.

Andie, Vincent and I are all on board with the idea of dig diaries - just give us time to contact them and redo the layout.

@Dave, I'd like to take away the idea of some general archaeological blogs as well as it breaks our wish to stay strictly on target for Ancient Egypt. If we do, they would be a separate page. I'm not saying no because I can see the attraction - and always follow some in my newsreader - but it's perhaps not the priority at present.

Kate Phizackerley said...

I jumped in and made some changes to the format. Not sure what font size people prefer but I reduced it quite a bit. I've removed some white space and may remove more.

I've added Jane's Luxor News and reordered the other blogs. This will be a work in progress so feel free to keep feeding back to Andie, Vincent or me.

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