From the archives: A roundup of old “Did you read” blog posts

I’ve gone back and gathered links to old Chicago Reader “Did You Read __________?” blog posts that I contributed items to from 2012 to 2016. These posts were all “authored” by “Reader staff” with attibution to the individual contributors appearing in the body text next to their contributed items. So like some other things with the top-level byline done in this way, they don’t appear on individual contributors’ author archives pages.

I got the post URLs using Google Search and then wrote a PHP script pulling all the URLs from the Search results into an array and fetching each post’s headline, subheadline, and publication date, sorting it all in reverse chronological order, and then outputting a useful list of links in nice HTML for presentation on the web. It’s probably most but not all of these posts that I contributed to.

(Among possibly other things, this let me add these to my Muckrack portfolio.)

“Did You Read __________?” [snapshot in the Wayback Machine at] was a topic series—you can think of it simply as a blog—that started in January 2012 in The Bleader blog (previously “The Blog,” sort of a single-company blog network or parent blog under which individual blogs or sub-blogs existed) on that ran initially as a more-or-less daily place for Reader staff to share interesting things, usually articles, from elsewhere on the web, sort of quick-hit link sharing. It shared links to “stories that fascinate, alarm, amuse, or inspire us.”

It was the successor to “What the Reader’s Reading” [Wayback Machine snapshot], a regularly updated feed of links from early 2010 to late 2011 powered by a news-aggregation platform called Publish2 that the Creative Loafing folks were especially excited about but did actually do some cool microblogging things including tagging and categorizing content and, if I recall, also had some rudimentary social media-type features built in. Links shared this way were presented in various places on the site, especially on the Reader homepage and on section-specific posts (e.g. music-tagged links [Wayback Machine] on music posts) and on section table of contents [Wayback Machine] pages.

Later, the idea of daily “Did you read” posts as compilations of staff contributions was dropped and freelancer Kate Shepherd wrote all the posts for the rest of the series from January 2016 until it was discontinued after Valentine’s Day in February 2018—at a particularly tumultuous time in the Reader’s history.