I’d always wondered how he found the time and motivation to keep it going day after day, so I understand and respect his decision to stop doing it. But it’s still sad to lose a resource that’s been so consistently useful over the seven years or so that I’ve been reading it.
Sure, in this age of blogs, feeds, search engines and community-driven sites there’s no shortage of information. With a good feed reader you can whizz through long lists of stuff to read or ignore as you see fit. However, each such source has different characteristics (volume, subjects, selectivity, timing etc), and I’ve not yet found anything that hits quite the same sweet spot as Erik’s linkblog – a daily, concise list of well-chosen links covering a broad range of Java-centric news, articles, and announcements, without any unecessary bells and whistles, and with no hidden agenda. To be fair, it was never my sole source of information, nor even my main one. Mostly it just seemed like a convenient way to catch anything important or interesting that had otherwise slipped through the net. Without it, no matter what other sites and feeds I use, I still feel like I’m missing something.
Maybe it’s all in my head. Maybe the more sources of information you have, the more you worry about what else you might be missing. The feeling that somewhere out there is that magical, perfect feed that everybody else knows about, but that you’ve somehow never come across. Or is that just me?
Anyway, now that Erik’s linkblog has ceased to be, I’ve been looking for any other such linkblogs in the hope of finding a suitable replacement. I thought there would be lots of them, and it would just be hard to find any that I liked.
Instead, it looks like pretty slim pickings, and I’ve struggled to find anything similar. OK, del.icio.us is effectively one great big global linkblog, but I don’t think that’s what I’m looking for. Unless I’m missing something, the idea of a linkblog such as Erik’s seems all but dead.
Come to think of it, the links to the “Quick News Items” from the Java Posse‘s podcasts are probably the nearest thing I’ve found, though being just one part of their podcasts this isn’t quite frequent enough or comprehensive enough to entirely do the trick. (By the way, if you’ve not come across the Java Posse guys yet, they are well worth checking out – they do weekly-or-so podcasts covering varied technical stuff including news and general discussions and some cracking interviews, all done with a great sense of humour).
So what am I missing? Anyone know of any other good quality linkblogs for Java and general IT stuff? Anyone found a way to cure their own no-more-Eriks-linkblog blues?
Alternatively, maybe I should start a linkblog of my own? I guess the simplest way to get started would be to use del.icio.us to capture links during normal browsing, then publish from there to a blog once per week or so. But would it be any good, and would anybody ever read it?
Maybe we need a handful of us to all start such linkblogs, and let natural selection reign. Anyone willing, or already doing this? Maybe if lots of us started such linkblogs we could also start a site where they could be centrally registered, accessed, categorized, rated etc?
So is it time for “real” linkblogs to be reborn into the “Web 2.0” world, or are we all happy to rely on our own scouring of java.net, theserverside, infoq, artima, javablogs, javalobby, cafeaulait, DZone, Digg, Technorati, slashdot, del.icio.us and all the rest?