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There’s always something to howl about

Who wants to play the Scenius game? Rebuilding The Long List as a micro-blog

All right, let’s play a little, shall we?

One of the things that came out of our little scenius on Thanksgiving (which continues through today) was a better way of handling the job I used to do with The Long List of Odysseus Medal nominees. I’ve been ignoring that chore since last Spring, a plausible clue that I just might end up ignoring it forevermore. Even so, it was a good idea, and I learned a lot of cool stuff from the code I wrote to manage The Long List scroller that used to live in our sidebar.

What I want to do for now is to implement another kind of sidebar scroller, this one more like a micro-blog of useful and informative posts — mostly marketing, but other matters of importance as well. There were people who used The Long List as their feed reader, and this should work even better in that regard.

You can see it in our sidebar right now. It’s the scroller box headed “SCENIUS: SWITCHED-ON MARKETING” — with links to 50 highly-relevant weblog posts.

If you want to play along with the development process, you can be a big help.

How?

Break this software:

<!-- BEGIN Scenius -->
<p><div style="display:block; width:95%;
height:320px; overflow:auto; padding-left:6px;
padding-right:6px; padding-top:3px;
border:1px solid #a9a9a9; ">
<?PHP $ch = curl_init();
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, 
"http://scenius.bloodhoundblog.net/");
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HEADER, 0);
curl_exec($ch); curl_close($ch); ?></div></p>
<!-- END Scenius -->

I’m serious. I want you to install that code in your sidebar and see if you can break it.

There are two ways we know of that you might be able to break it.

First, the PHP may not want to work for you. If that happens, I would love to see a screen shot in your email to me about what happened. So you know: I do not believe this will happen. We broke it every which way yesterday, and I think I have code that should work on any true Apache web server.

The second way that this code could fail is that it might not look right. It should come into your sidebar as a well-behaved citizen. It should inherit your sidebar’s style sheets, and it should scroll top to bottom but not left to right. If it looks weird to you, I will want to see it.

And what if you can’t break it?

Leave it in your sidebar. You’ll be giving a lot of link love to real estate webloggers who deserve it, and you’ll look much more dynamic to search engines going forward. That’s a win-win-win, a Bloodhound kind of solution.

There’s more to what we’re doing — more every day! — but most of it is arcane enough that we won’t be discussing it in depth until BloodhoundBlog Unchained. But it’s all like this: Good content plus good SEO plus good SEM plus good SMM plus good neighborliness.

That a lot of good — good for your readers, good for the writer’s you’re linking to and good or you. Plus which, it’s slicker than whale snot — and we’ll teach you a ton of ways to make the underlying technology even slicker.

If you don’t know how to get this into your sidebar, speak up. Otherwise, how about let’s see how this looks on your weblog?

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