As much as a blogger might reveal in postings, I find that sidebars are often a better window into the thinking and the attitude of a blog. I've been working on my sidebar lately and have been adding various elements to it in the past month. It is, I suppose, a form of decorating; some blogs I read regularly have striking visuals - Uncle Ben over at Hammerswing is currently doing some really neat stuff for the holidays. I don't really have the technical chops to do much other than tack stuff up on the side. It was the same approach I took to decorating my dorm room years ago - one year I had vintage travel posters that I stole from my dad, another year I went out and bought Picasso prints, the next I put up a bunch of sports pennants.
Sidebars can be a measure of things, or people, that we value. The bloggers and other links that I've gathered in the "Me Gusta" section are people whose work I admire. We are fortunate in Minnesota to have a strong blogging population and every link that I've posted is someone that I strongly recommend.
I've lately added some images on the sidebar as well; while the images are a bit distorted (again, my technical chops aren't so good), but the three faces you see are all people whom I greatly value. The first image is that of my childhood hero, Roberto Clemente. I was about the age my daughter is now when Clemente dominated the 1971 World Series, the first Series that I remember well. He was a fierce, proud and consistently exciting player and he died a tragic yet utterly noble death, attempting to bring relief to the victims of the earthquake that hit Nicaragua late in 1972.
The second image is that of the great Irish poet William Butler Yeats. Yeats was a force even as he approached the end of his long life; his verse was strong, deceptively plain-spoken yet always brimming with ideas and passion.
The third is. . . Bob Newhart? Doesn't seem to fit, does it? But it does. As much as I admire firebrands like Clemente or Yeats, I've never been one myself. Can't really pull it off. But the gentle smart-aleck thing comes quite naturally. And there's never been anyone better at it than Newhart.
So here's the question. Even if you are not a blogger, you likely have a mental sidebar. Who would be three people that you'd put on your sidebar? And why?