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Hi, my name is Jim Macdonald, and I have an odd assortment of interests. In no particular order, I love Yellowstone, I am an anti-authoritarian activist and organizer, and I have a background in philosophy, having taught at the college level. My blog has a lot more links to my writing and my other Web sites. In Jim's Eclectic World, I try to give a holistic view of my many interests. Often, all three passions show themselves interweaving in the very same blog. Anyhow, I think it's a little different. But, that's me. I'm not so much out there, but taken together, I'm a little unusual.

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    Saturday, June 30, 2007

    Widgets and RSS feeds, and other changes to Yellowstone Newspaper

    Check out the left sidebar of the blog as well as the bottom of this particular one.

    When I began publishing the Yellowstone Newspaper in 1999, I never intended it to be anything more than a personal research tool that I felt might as well be shared with the public at large. Of course, it has proven to be a useful tool for people over the years that I have had the time to make this a priority. When I stopped publishing in 2003 when the Iraq War started, I was averaging approximately 100 unique visitors a day, which isn't bad for a personal Web project hidden in the nether regions of the net. Currently, stats show me averaging between 35 and 40 unique visitors a day as the paper has gradually picked up readership. I was over 60 a day during the height of the fire this week near West Yellowstone.

    It occurred to me some time ago that I should make this content available for people through feeds, but I still have been and am working from the same static page I began with back in 1999. I've put in a little bit of styling, made some tweaks, but it's the same basic static code that I go into every day and change. That's created a challenge in getting people to realize that I've got a resource here that can be very useful for people following news in Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and in Greater Yellowstone and should most days save them the trouble of sorting through Google news since I've already done so. There are a few other decent complilations of Yellowstone news on the Web, especially the one at Yellowstone Notebook, but I am sure this is the most complete. And, if you can stand my editorial asides and my obvious radical political leanings, it's all there for you from as many sides of the news as I can find.

    So, I've created rss feeds for each section of the Yellowstone Newspaper, which is still in the same static HTML code. This way, you can have filtered content and use the feeds that make sense to you (probably in most cases the actual newspapers' feed, but perhaps other feeds depending on the purpose of your site). Starting this month, you'll also notice that I will publish all government (federal, state, local) press releases and reports in the section that has typically been reserved for news and press releases from outside sources like activists, blogs, corporations, and anything not a newspaper and generally not simply an opinion piece (though, press releases almost always stretch the meaning of "news"). The government, I've decided, should not be exempted from that designation, and now it's in its proper place. The other reason is that government press releases often come online days, sometimes weeks after the release, and they should more easily be found here.

    You'll also notice that I've created a series of widgets that can be uploaded directly to your site. I've done this already for my blog, in part to handle a problem I have with the old blogger in rendering recent comments (the workaround is quite an interesting technical feat in itself that I discovered elsewhere online). Of course, those of you who know all about RSS feeds don't have to use them, but I thought it might be easier for people who want a fairly easy way to put Yellowstone Newspaper content on their Web page, myspace page, blog, or what have you.

    Anyhow, I want to point you directly to the feeds.

    Subscribe to Yellowstone Newspaper: News from Newspapers
    Subscribe to Yellowstone Newspaper: News from Activists, Blogs, and Government Sources
    Subscribe to Yellowstone Newspaper: Opinion Pieces

    And, here are the widgets!







    I also want to point you to the blog widgets in case Jim's Eclectic World is something that interests you. The feed for Jim's Eclectic World is here. The widgets for the blog are here.



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