The official list of blogs

The official list of blogs

Now that Gerard Serafin has sadly passed on from us, the Lord’s mercy be upon him, and even though we didn’t always see eye to eye on various things, I was thinking that one of the valuable services he did for the Catholic blogging community was to maintain the unofficial list of Catholic blogs, which we often refer to as “St. Blog’s Parish.” New blogs arrive, old blogs go dormant, and the list quickly goes out of date. It’s something that needs to be maintained.

I’d be willing to host the list here on my site, but I need to figure out how to keep it up to date. I’m thinking of asking Catholic bloggers to put a button graphic on their site, encouraging new Catholic bloggers to “register for the parish.” And since I don’t know anyone who has enough time to read every single blog all the time, I’m hoping to use some technology to determine when blogs go dormant.

What do you think? Is it worthwhile? Is it insensitive to the memory of Gerard? I’d especially like to hear from other bloggers to see if they’d be willing to do put the badge on their page.

  • I think Gerard would want the list to be maintained. 

    I’ll put the button on my blog if I can figure out how to do it. 

  • I think it is a great idea.  We should also, as a Catholic blog community, make sure his site gets mirrored.  If no one keeps paying his web hosting bills, the many articles he provided (some found nowhere else) may be lost to cyber oblivion.

    There is, of course, the St. Blog’s web ring.  Perhaps the list on his page can be harmonized with that, and the web ring be our “official” site from then on.  It saves you (or anyone else) from the hassle of manual updates.

  • The problem with the web ring is that people would be required to put the HTML code for the ring on their blogs, which is, I hate to say it, beyond some people’s understanding. Plus the beauty of a web page listing is that it can be Googled.

  • I might be willing to help you out.  I could develop a database of Catholic blogs that I could output as xml and be formatted by a style sheet.

    Since most blogs have an RSS feed now I might be able to ping that to see if any have gone dormant.

  • Any way I can help Dom let me know.  I’m not that computer savvy but I can put something on my blog like a HTML code.  What is RSS?  I have a long way to go.  Anyway, I still pray for old Gerard.  I miss his kindness.  I used to send the old guy emails and he would always answer them.  I also had my differences with Gerard.  But I think the Church is big enough for the both of us.

  • I have already created a directory of Catholic Blogs but would love to hand it off to anyone with more skill.  It is a lot to maintain – 315 Catholic blogs with names and locations.  It would be great to have a directory that could be sorted by blog name, location, or category.

  • Gen X,

    Good job. I didn’t know about it. (By the way, my blog title is not; just Gerard never fixed that.)

    That’s a lot more blogs than I have listed, too. If we could work together, say with Jeff , to automate it and also make it easy for people to put RSS on their sites, it might work well.

    Fr. Ethan,

    RSS, in a nutshell, is an automated process that allows special software on your computer to download your new entries on your blog. You just put some special code on your blog and it grabs everything. That’s the short version.

  • A note on rss: it grabs content for you.

    The enormous advantage of it is that you do not have to poll or revisit sites to check whether there’s new content.  Your rss reader periodically checks the sites to which you subscribe and gets the new content.  Sometimes only titles, sometimes titles and a portion of the content, sometimes titles and full content, sometimes comments as well.

    The rss reader I use also saves (archives) old content, and expires content at rates I choose.  I use a Linux aggregator. Its name is akregator.  There are rss readers for folks with Macs or using Gates’ stuff, as well.

  • This would be great to have a bunch of bloggers work together to make a good official Directory.  Keeping it updated to avoid too many dead links would be important.  I think Gerard would be happy with this – it would be a tribute to him.

  • In memory of Gerard, Sacred Heart Media (best known for is currently developing the Catholic Blog Network, a high-quality, highly usable directory of Catholic blogs. A user will be able to browse by author, blog name, and the availability of RSS/Atom feeds. In addition, users will be able to keyword search the descriptions of each blog. New and popular blogs will be featured on the homepage, and free Catholic content will be offered to all who apply.

    The URL (coming soon) is:

    When the site is ready to go live, I’ll let you know.

  • Go for it, Dom—just make sure you add me to it. 

    I really can’t see how Gerard would have found it disrespectful or insensitive.  He put a lot of work into it, and I do not imagine he’d want to see it fall into disuse.

  • I have a number of pages that are interest to people like this:

    St. Blogs Parish Blogs updated in the last 24 hours[/url] This gets updated every six hours.  I also have XML/OPML lists of blogs and rss/atom feeds.  I have dreams of a totally awesome Catholic blogs aggregator.  We should get in touch with each other and share ideas.

  • Mirroring Gerard’s website is as easy as ‘wget’, which I did a few days after his death.  I don’t know how to archive an entire blogspot blog and all its comments.  Perhaps someone would need to log in as Gerard to do that.

    A central directory of some sort is a good idea.  I liked Gerard’s idiosyncratic approach in which he ranked the older blogs following a system known only to him that put my blog pleasingly (and mysteriously) high in the list.

    I wonder whether some new sytem can have the personal touch Gerard’s list had?