Troppo – your portal to the best in blog reading

Want to save time and identify the best in Australian blogosphere writing?  See these features built into the recently re-designed Troppo front page. If you can’t find several excellent articles every day of the week among that lot, you’re very hard to please:

  • “Blog reading selections” at the top of the sidebar links to various human-curated “best of” features, both blog and twitter-based.
  • A bit further down the sidebar is “Missing Link on Twitter”, Don Arthur’s continually updated “best of” service.  Someone else on Twitter recently rated it as the best source for locating excellent blog writing.
  • Blogroll (now updated) – also in sidebar.
  • Bottom of front page – RSS feeds to what I regard as the 12 consistently best Australian blogs.  They cover politics, law, economics and culture/arts.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic at Charles Darwin University, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law) and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 12 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in he early 1990s.
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18 Responses to Troppo – your portal to the best in blog reading

  1. FDB says:


    If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion – actually one I’ve made before and seen others make without ever seeing a direct response from admins, though one may well have been offered – would it be possible to make the email subscriptions to follow-up comments opt-in rather than opt-out?

  2. Ken Parish says:


    Nicholas has a strong view on this that the opt-out or “nudge” approach is the way to go. I don’t have a strong view either way, mostly because my inbox is full of crap emails every day anyway, so deleting a dozen or two more is neither here nor there for me. For those who can’t afford the additional 30 seconds involved in hitting the delete key, or who fear RSI, or who are just plain irritated by finding unsolicited emails that aren’t from Nigerians offering millions of dollars, things may well look different …

  3. JB Cairns says:


    think of it as a opti-call!!!

  4. FDB says:

    I find it pretty annoying Ken, though admittedly nowhere near as annoying as the original Nudge approach.

    As you say, it is unsolicited email. That’s straightforwardly spam in my book.

    It’s weird getting spammed by a website I frequently visit willingly. I don’t think I deserve it.

  5. Yobbo says:

    I agree with FDB. People gave you their email addresses in good faith that they would not be used maliciously, purportedly so that you could identify trolls.

    Now that you have our email address, you spam us.

  6. Patrick says:

    I like the opt-in. I think I’m with Ken on deleting emails that I don’t want to read, especially since in practice I get them all on my phone and it is really easy to to scan the email and delete it.

  7. Nicholas Gruen says:

    Hi all,

    What experience I have of these meta issues suggests to me that it’s important not to become too moralistic about different approaches. Ultimately it’s a free world. If you don’t like it, you can go somewhere else. And likewise I’ll be disappointed – and maybe change my tune – if enough people threaten to leave the conversation as I value that.

    I strongly support default opt in and not just for Troppo. I am disappointed when I comment on other blogs and then have to set reminders to go back and look to see if anyone has responded – after all I’m there for the conversation, not to just pontificate, though I won’t pretend not to enjoy a bit of that – after all the name the family give Troppo in my household is Pontification Central.

    Anyway, since we’re here for a conversation I want to stimulate it and am not shy of occasionally irritating people, especially about politically correct things like this compared with the alternative. On the other hand I agree with Ken that, within that intent we really should do whatever we can to prevent irritating people and sending them email that they don’t want. We need to have a simple system enabling people to choose not to be spammed – not just thread by thread, but more generally and support Ken’s suggestion (in conspiratorial emails between the Troppo cabal that readers must never see) that we try to find a plugin that will enable that. (Perhaps we can pay Jacques or someone else to write on if we can’t find one.)

    More generally, we don’t have very sophisticated sign-ins here, even though we kind of pretend to. People can post here without giving us a valid email – and do all the time, even though it seems like this isn’t the case. That’s also deliberate in that I’d rather make it as easy as possible to comment. I also fight back a bit of spam – probably spend more time doing it than other Troppmesiters – and at least at current spam loads, I’d rather do that than have elaborate sign-ins or fancy Re-Captcha heiroglyphics to decipher.

  8. Patrick says:

    Amen Nick. Also, apart from the massively-more-left-than-me links collection (how did the semi-literate Political Sword mob end up in centrist??) I like the new site design even though I never had a problem with the old one.

  9. Yobbo says:

    By the way, if you’re going to present yourselves as a portal, you should probably update some of your links. Most of the blogs you link to don’t even exist any more.

  10. Nicholas Gruen says:


    Looking at the links to posts on Coreecon, they link to feedproxy, not the specific posts. That may be as it’s supposed to be, but if so feedproxy is letting you down – they all fail.

  11. Nicholas Gruen says:

    Hmm – maybe corecon is down . . . I can’t get it to come up even when I go directly.

  12. James says:

    Why are the comments displaying in reverse order?

  13. Laura says:

    Fascinating conversation. Not.

  14. conrad says:

    Given that there are now replies allowing embedded comments, why not add like/dislike also?

    • Patrick says:

      +1 :-)

      Also is it possible to automatically ban comments mentioning catallaxy or ‘the cat’?
      Little good ever send to come from them!

  15. Just a quick compliment to all at Club Troppo on your new layout and a suggestion (because I know how time consuming maintaining them can be) that the out-of-date blog links on the sidebar be deleted. I’m sure — should a good new Australian blog come along — Ken and friends can simply add it to the RSS feeds at the bottom of the front page.

  16. Ken Parish says:

    Thanks Helen. You just shamed me into updating the blogroll, something I’ve been contemplating for ages but not finding time for. At this stage I’ve just deleted dead blogs and updated links for ones that have moved. I’ll add new ones from my Google Reader, which is much more comprehensive and fairly up-to-date, when I get time (maybe this weekend). In the meantime, I was actually quite surprised at what a high proportion of first generation bloggers are still writing. It was really pleasurable to surf around checking the links and reacquainting myself with old friends whose blogs I hadn’t read for ages.

    BTW For some glad blogosphere tidings. I had dinner with veteran commenter Nabakov when in Melbourne recently. He tells me that Tony the Teacher and Pam/Boynton got married not so long ago and have just had a child! What a wonderful thing. Congratulations!

  17. Tony says:

    KP, many thanks from TJ, PJ and PJ.

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