New features and an invitation to guest-post!

Since Main Street Plaza is growing, we’re thinking of adding some new features — maybe even a fourth column! But since this is a community blog, that’s where you come in. What do you think of the features we’ve added to the sidebars? What else would you like to see? Would you like to post your own article(s) here?

Note that posting at Main Street Plaza doesn’t have to be instead of your current blog — rather it can be a way to increase your blog’s visibility! Have a look at some of our recent stats:

Also, you don’t have to feel limited to words on a page. For example, have a look at this silly video series I made with a certain BCC permablogger brother of mine many years ago:

Your turn!


C. L. Hanson is the friendly Swiss-French-American ExMormon atheist mom living in Switzerland! Follow me on mastadon at or see "letters from a broad" for further adventures!!

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24 Responses

  1. Chino Blanco says:

    There was never really any question who’d be sitting in the captain’s chair, was there? By the way, I thought the funniest bit involved your brother and the upside he found to being trapped behind a cloaking device.

  2. Josh says:

    As a new blogger and member here on Main Street Plaza, I would love the opportunity to guest blog from time to time. Good opportunity for the little guys, like me, to get some much appreciated visibility. I’m sure you wouldn’t be hurting for volunteers.

  3. Andrew S. says:

    A fourth column?


    Has the idea to give Outer Blogness a dedicated aggregator site panned out? I was thinking that could be used to reduce the number of columns on the main site here. I also understand that such a project probably just requires expertise and resources that MSP might not have…

  4. Chino Blanco says:

    Yeah, that’s probably why.

  5. chanson says:

    Chino — Interestingly, there was no debate at all. John didn’t want to play the captain. It was partially because he was more interested in other aspects of the production than he was in being the star. Also, we were at BYU when we started putting this together, and we figured it was bad enough that almost all of the actors we could scrounge up were white, so we figured it would be good to at least have the captain be a woman.

    And from my perspective, I wasn’t about to say no to being the captain. 😉

    Josh — Cool! Anyone who is interested in taking us up on this offer, please email chanson dot exmormon at gmail dot com.

    Andrew — I think the separate aggregator idea is still in the works. Good point — we should get back to that so that that space can be our “fourth column”.

  6. Matt says:

    Congrats, MSP! You are the uncontested home of the unwashed DAMU hoard. 😛

  7. Chino Blanco says:

    Hey, I just noticed Andrew Sullivan posted Mel’s vid. I predict we’ll soon be congratulating D&S on a banner month.

  8. chanson says:

    Ah, that’s cool! It’s a good video, and deserves the publicity. Thank the brilliant church hierarchy and the Streisand effect.

  9. Matt says:

    Thanks for the heads-up, Chino. It’s your baby.

  10. profxm says:

    Link aggregator!!! Ugh! The bane of my existence!

    I have attempted a number of solutions. I think I may have arrived at one, but I’ve recently run into a time crunch and haven’t been able to finalize it. If someone out there with some technical know-how has some ideas on blogroll aggregators, I’m interested in discussing the terms of my surrendering the project into your very capable hands. 🙁

  11. Andrew S says:

    Conceptually, the idea is similar to an RSS feed.

    You just through several feeds into a div and classify that div based on what you want in it (e.g., “liberal blogs” “isles of the sea” etc.,)

    I don’t know how difficult that is to implement in practice, but doesn’t RSS stand for really simple? 😉

  12. profxm says:

    Yeah, it doesn’t seem like it would be that hard. However, the software that exists for WordPress to do this isn’t really designed to handle, say, 100 feeds, which is about how many we have in the “Outer Blogness – Hot” category, let alone all the other mostly defunct feeds. The two plugins I found to do this are pretty buggy and have problems when you hit about 30 feeds (e.g., wp-o-matic and FeedWordPress). I’m thinking FeedWordPress might work if I could find the time to add all the feeds as it is still under active development, but I can’t seem to figure out all the details or find the time to finish the project. If you’re interested in tinkering with this, let me know and I can get things set up to let you take it over.

  13. Andrew S. says:

    Is it possible to have a different theme on a different page…like say Aggregator (free) or Accumulo (premium).

    Or, use the same program that Mo Arch uses: BlogRoll Z. (although I really don’t know the last time THAT was updated).

    I wouldn’t be opposed to tinkering with it, seeing as I might have to do it elsewhere, but there are two things. 1) I’d need access to stuff (e.g., Outer Blogness’s RSS stuff now, the site, etc.,) and 2) I’d need some kind of sandbox, because I don’t know what I’m doing and I don’t want to break anything on the live site when testing.

  14. Kari says:

    I have to say that as an infrequent visitor (about once/week) I find the sidebars to be waaay too busy. I’d vote for an aggregator long before another lane is added to main street.

    Why use wordpress? Why not just hard code it using existing open-source programs? Andrew suggests the programs MA uses. Shouldn’t be too hard to do if you already know the blogs and other sites you want to include. I too would be willing to work on the back end of such a project, but would leave the design of such a site to others.

  15. Andrew S says:


    It turns out that the software behind MA is really really crude. “hard coding” sounds good with a small blogroll, but with a roll of hundreds of feeds and sites, it’s a lot less promising. I mean, if you’re willing to work on the back end, though…maybe we’ll just have to take you up on that 😉

  16. Kari says:

    I tried to download the software, and got an error. So an e-mail to Rusty and he states he’ll send it to me next week. “crude” software I can handle, generally. No matter what software you use you still have to manually enter the links to the rss feeds for the blogs you want, so there’s a heavy investment of time/effort to get it started. But if it helps to clean up the mess of the sidebar here… 🙂

    Another option is to use RNews which, like the software for MA, is a PHP program using magpierss as the backend.

  17. Alan says:

    How would people feel about having access to posts written by each author? As in, you click the poster’s name and only that individual author’s posts show up? Is this too narcissistic a request? >_<

  18. Kari says:

    I’ve never looked for it here, but generally that’s a feature of a multi-author blog. I’m surprised that’s it’s not a feature here.

  19. Andrew S says:

    it’s generally something supported by theme, but it’s not difficult to add if the theme doesn’t support it out of the box. We should be able to do this.

  20. Andrew S says:

    It’s been added. Now, all we need is for authors to add in their profile information. you can do this from the admin panel by going to Users -> Your Profile, and filling in whichever of the details you wish to divulge

  21. Alan says:

    Thanks for setting this up, Andrew.

  22. Kari says:


    Would you e-mail me? I have obtained the software used for MA, and while it’s somewhat kludgy, I can’t find anything better out there and am willing to try to put something together.

  23. Andrew S says:

    Sent you a message. If you have the right email when you comment.

  1. March 29, 2011

    […] announced, but when chanson suggested that the site might be getting a fourth column, I felt the claustrophic panic attacks […]

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