What’s a Postroll?

How can a blogroll page function differently?

On this postroll page—inspired by Brandon’s—I’ll list n share-worthy posts, aiming to add two or more new posts a week. This means that older entries will eventually cycle out of the list. (As of 2024-07-05, I’m still deciding how many n will equal, a number which will almost certainly intertwingle with how quickly I add new posts.)

This approach is not quite analogous to a mixtape full of things that work well together, but it will hopefully highlight particular posts in a different way than my blogroll page’s more general “hey, check out this feed (or band / musician)” can do.

My Postroll Proper

This list is numbered chronologically, with “1” indicating the newest addition to the list. (It feels worth reiterating: 1. does not mean “best”, and it is also unrelated to when the post was published. The first link is just the most recently thing I’ve added to this list.)

  1. As soon as you encounter the three-digit number in the title of John Coulthart’s Weekend links 732, you can realize how long this blog has been running. It’s been a constant in my RSS readers for coming up on two full decades—I feel like I probably first heard of it through Arthur magazine or something! This particular week includes a mention of a new album where Shackleton (purveyor of often-otherworldly bass & percussion music) collaborates with Six Organs of Admittance (conjuror of often-psychedelic folk), links ranging from a pulp paperback book artists to a Wire magazine article on experimental radio to a collection of 60s acid rock buttons, and a great Japanese woodblock print from the late 1800s.
  2. Anil Dash’s Today’s AI is unreasonable succinctly describes what I also find regrettable about the current generative AI hype: they generate bullshit by design, this bullshit is inconsistently generated in ways that cannot be easily debugged by users, and systems designed around these types of unpredictability and unreasonableness tend to remove agency from users.
  3. Sara Joy’s This is My Church resonates with me both regarding particular communities (I helped start a swing dancing club at UC Riverside as an undergrad) and regarding the ways that social media and blogging communities feel to me now.
  4. Tracy Durnell’s The injustice embedded in our infrastructure quickly weaves together a game, a book, an email, a city’s community budget process, and other people’s blogs while making the post’s point. This is a really nice example of how a blog post can act as a condensed essay, taking a reader on a quick travel through a set of ideas and perhaps coming away with a changed perspective.
  5. John M. Jackson’s Befores and afters profoundly resonates with me in terms of no longer feeling like I’m “part of the new guard.” Although I’m actually new enough as an instructional designer to not even know whether there’s as much of a sense of “newer” and “older” guards in this field as there is in librarianship, I definitely feel like I’m traversing similar thresholds in life. As a side note, I also appreciate how John tends to add sections like “What I’m reading” and “Garden update” to his posts.
  6. Keenan’s An alarmingly concise and very hinged summary of what it was like to build this site from scratch relates how they built their site… a story told with enough zest and humor that I feel better about the peculiar blend of empowerment and continual facepalming that drive my own site.
  7. Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s Generosity and Pragmatism shares an insight from Deb Chachra’s How Infrastructure Works about how being generous is simultaneously being pragmatic. This post is also a great example of a type of blog post that hovers somewhere between a long social media post and a miniature essay.
  8. Arthur Boston’s When Do Checks Become Review? asks what lines we can draw around peer review and integrity checks.
  9. Olu Niyi-Awosusi’s Weeknotes #4 (Week 24, 2024) showed me how nicely one can style a site made with Quartz—and the look of Olu’s Bear-based blog inspired me to trim the author sidebar links and some other elements from most of my own blog pages. Their various weeknotes are also a great example of that genre of blog post!
  10. Spoiler alert! W. Evan Sheehan’s Twelve favorite problems currently only has a list of 5. I can’t remember previously hearing about this “favorite problems” framework, which Evan ascribes to Richard Feynman, but I’m instantly a fan.
  11. Vic Kostrzewski’s My mental health stack – everyday things I use for my mental health shares a lot of technologies that I don’t use, but I deeply appreciate this sharing of struggles and approaches.
  12. Mandy Brown’s Common future reading note connects Ursula Franklin’s earthworm theory of social change to climate change, since talking about the weather is increasingly one way of talking about our common future.
  13. Sri Seah’s GHDR Report 0404: Powered by Prosocial Motivation shares a great insight into motivation—and I think I’m often motivated similarly, by feeling connections with other people. (The post also touches on how Sri has “conversations” with ChatGPT, a use I’d rarely considered before outside of working with students.)
  14. John Maxwell’s All I Need to Know about DH I Learned in a MOO shares welcome insights about some early formats of online communities.
  15. Robb Knight’s Slash Pages is a brief and welcome backstory for why he started Slashpages.net.
  16. P.L. Thomas’s What Works?: The Wrong Question for Education Reform shares his personal educational history as well as pointing out various ways that “what works?” is untenable as a question for education reform.
  17. Brandon’s On Adding A Blogroll Slashpage gave me the idea for this alterative format in the first place.

Other Peoples’s Postrolls (OPP)

Do you have a postroll page? Let me know and I’ll try to add it here.

(I can’t commit to maintaining this kind of list forever, for the same reasons that maintaining a blogroll can be awkward. But I’m excited to point to some other postrolls for now.)