Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Unlocked Wordhoard -- Final Arbiter of Medieval Cool

Two weeks ago, I posted that I was considering changing my link policy, and asked for feedback on the proposed changes. And, boy, did I get it! A few folks commented online, but mostly I received private e-mails, ranging from the polite "Please don't de-link me" to the panicked "PLEASE, oh for the love of all that is good in this world, please don't de-link me!"

OK, OK, let's all just take a deep breath and relax. Think of Peter's attitude in Office Space, m'kay?

Some months ago, I had dinner with Jeff Sypeck of Quid Plura? We were talking with another colleague, and Jeff referred to the Unlocked Wordhoard as the "central clearinghouse" for medievalism. I was flattered, but thought he was just being polite. Some of the e-mails I received, though, made it clear that many other medieval blogs rely on the Wordhoard for much of their traffic.

Somehow, without me realizing it, the Wordhoard has become that girl at high school who decides who is cool and who isn't. Get invited to sit at her table for lunch, and you're labeled "cool" for the next four years. Have her address you with scorn, and you can expect four years of swirlies*. The new link policy was taken as an indication that the Wordhoard was about to become a mean girl, arbitrarily apotheosizing some while damning others.

Well, if the Wordhoard is going to decide what's cool and medieval, then by the Venerable Bede, I'm gonna make this a rising tide for ALL boats. The new link policy will be applied primarily to new entries on the blogroll, with a general grandfather-clause for those who are already there.** I think I caused a misunderstanding wherein a lot of people thought I was looking for reasons to cull the herd; that wasn't it at all. I just wanted the blogroll to reflect the Wordhoard's identity. Just because you go a week or two without a medieval post doesn't mean that I'll cackle maniacally and cross you off the blogroll with a big red marker. I might cackle maniacally, but that's just my way.

Ever notice that I've resisted putting comments below the fold? Every comment made here is splashed right on the front page, with no extra clickage necessary. Besides my general computer illiteracy, there is actually an editorial reason for that: Because I want the Wordhoard to be a place for a community of medievalists, not just a site for the pompous pronouncements of my alter-ego, Professor Awesome, PhD. The blogroll will continue to reflect that philosophy.

You're all invited to sit with me in the lunchroom. And if you're all there too, it'll be the cool table.

*"Bogwashing" for you Brits, and "Dunnyflushing" for you Aussies. See how international we are at the Wordhoard?
** I say "general" grandfather-clause to leave myself some wiggle room, in case I need it.


  1. You're all invited to sit with me in the lunchroom. And if you're all there too, it'll be the cool table.

    My, you've just made Medieval Nerdom an unprecedented offer!

    and i'm going to start saying "by the venerable Bede", what a brilliant phrase.

  2. That would also be a great medieval-themed superhero battlecry: "By the Venerable Bede, let those hostages go!" Or perhaps, "By the Venerable Bede, these Hostess Fruit Pies have real fruit filling!"

  3. "By the Venerable Bede, you thought I was weird!" is what i ought to have said on discovering that a classmate collects measuring instruments. Except that I was so flummoxed by the fact that someone wants to collect side rules, i totally forgot about the Venerable Bede. (sorry, Bede. It won't happen again)

    Medievalists are weird, is all I have to say.

  4. I comfort myself knowing that in order to de-link me, you must first link me. :)

  5. Every so often I'll find someone who's in my Google Reader subscriptions but not on the blogroll, and visa-versa. The worst is if your in my reader but not my blogroll, because then I *think* you're in my blogroll. Oversight corrected, Mythusmage.