Thursday, October 30, 2008

A-Z List Indexed With Topics

In last week's RR blog, jforbes lamented the fact that the A-Z list did not indicate what topics the songs were for. So I volunteered to put together a website doing just that, as long as The Guardian didn't take issue with it for copyright reasons.

Well, I have made a start to the project and you can see it at http://breakoutreport.com/rrindex/index.htm I am being quite ambitious here and not only have I broken the artist list up into individual A-Z pages, I will be listing the topics in an A-Z list and the topics by date published as well. Additionally, every topic will link to another page with the ten songs listed as well as links to the blog and column for that topic.

Right now only some of the links are active and I have added topics for only the Punctuation Marks and Numerals artists in the A-Z. I've also added pages for the two most recent topics.

So when you follow the link above, click on the A-Z by Artist link and then click on the topics to see how the layout works. You can click on any of the alphabet links in the A-Z by artists for the existing list, as yet not annotated with topics. You can click on the Topic by Date link for the ten topic pages I have done so far. For topic pages from this year I have added the B Lists as well but that is very time consuming and I am not sure I will continue to do so.

Originally I was going to call the site Themed Songs or Topical Songs but decided Readers Recommend: The Complete Index made more sense. I have yet to register an url but will do so if Maddy says the copyright issues are in order. I have put a copyright announcement at the bottom of each page. At this time I am not placing ads on the site but if The Guardian has no problem with my doing so, I may add some Google ads along the ledft side and bottom of the page as well as an Amazon.com link to Dorian's book...but only if there are no issues with that.

I don't know how long the blog and column have been running, but at least since 2005. That makes at least 200 topics covered so far. At fivw to ten topic pages a week, it would take me 20-40 weeks to compile the complete up to date index. If spillers are willing to pitch in, I will create templates that volunteers can use to put together pages and email them back to me. This might speed things up a bit.

I'd like your feedback...what do you think of such an index? Are there any additions you would make? Anything you think should be left out?

The link again is http://breakoutreport.com/rrindex/index.htm until I register an url and give it a permanent home.

16 comments:

ToffeeBoy said...

@ Marconisu7 - this is fantastic - looking forward to seeing it develop over the months. I'm happy to offer my help.

You will become known as the Bill Frindall of the RR world...

Abahachi said...

Wow. 'Ambitious' scarcely covers it; at the moment, at least, it looks like one of those endless 'painting the Forth bridge' sort of tasks. And that's without taking the obvious step of cross-referencing everything by the name of the person who first recommended a song... Yes, happy to help if you can provide a template or some instructions.

If we could come up with some sort of flag for genre, we could start running statistical analyses of the impact of the change of management on the patterns of selection - or, indeed, the impact of the change of blog format.

Since B list songs remain eligible for selection for another theme, probably makes sense to leave them out, esp. if that saves you some work.

Proudfoot said...

Makes Chaucer's Canterbury Tales sound like knocking up a haiku.
However I think the linking of A-Z with topic is a killer idea. As you noted there are now 200 topics and whilst I can remember lots of songs have made an A-list it's not always obvious which theme they were chosen for. Excellent job.

Proudfoot said...

Would love to see who nominated what but, good lord, what a task. Didn't fourfoot (no relation) do something like that a year or so back?

glasshalfempty said...

This void has been crying out for some dedicated soul to fill - glad you've jumped in, Marcy.

Happy to help if you do a template or summat...

Chris said...

This looks like a wonderfully altruistic mission: huge appreciation from me!
I'm not sure of the value of a date index as I can't remember a time when I wanted to know what was listed on a specific date.
How easy would it be to have searches on a word/words in topic and song titles? If you can't quite remember the name of a song a partial search would be very useful. Similarly, it may be useful to know if a topic has been used that 'has something to do with...'.
I would be happy to put in some time assisting the compilation. Just let me know how.

DarceysDad said...

Woah there fella!

Marconius, have you not had a copy of fourfoot's spreadsheet? Much of the information you're after is already available to data sort via Excel!

Email me and I'll try to get it back to you by return ...

DsD

Abahachi said...

Spreadsheet? What spreadsheet?

Proudfoot said...

Thanks DsD, can't find that spreadsheet and wouldn't want fourfoot's Herculean stat crunching efforts to go to waste. Where is el quadrupedo these days?

Shoegazer said...

That is some undertaking that will keep all of the Marconius 7 busy for some time. Thanks for taking this on.

Marconius7 said...

Thanks for the positive feedback. I'd love to get the forufoot spreadsheet. Didn't know one existed. You can email it to me at marco@breakoutreport.com
I have been thinking of listing who was the first nominator for all the songs but that would really be a Herculean task. It is a low priority for now but may start doing it with each ne list and add one back one each week. We'll see.
I'll put together some templates and organize a cooperative effort later this week. My thought was to make a template available for download that volunteers can fill in and email back. Each template would be for a Topic Page. I would make the templte available as an html document for those who have html editos and as text or spreadsheet document for those who don't.
This is not altruistic on my part. Call me whacky but putting this together is fun and will keep me amused for many hours.

Marconius7 said...

PS: Who is Bill Frindall?

Marconius7 said...

Googled Bill Frindall and found out he's a cricket statistician. Thanks.

steenbeck said...

Wow! Thank you so much.

SkippyisaCult said...

Template me in. It might be too ambitous to sort out the original nominator of the song, and the opening of the site just around midnight certainly seems to favour the insomniposters, I would find it fascinating to see how many nominations there were for each A-list tune in the week it got listed.

I rather got the impression, too, from Maddy's response to jforbes that the Grauniad didn't have the resources to add the topics retrospectively they'd probably be happy to run with the idea in the future: so it may be that if the backlist was compiled retrospectively, they'd keep it up in the future

treefrogdemon said...

And me, I'll help.