Recently I have found myself talking about what we put in the gutter of a blog. I’ve heard that the term gutter comes from publishing — that space near the book binding which you want to keep blank, since it is hard to read anything printed there. I’ve also seen web page design documents that refer to the gutter as the space between collumns. I’ve heard this terminology over the years and it has never been an issue for me. However, it feels unsettling, even disturbing to call the collumn on the right of my blog, a gutter. Nonetheless, this term seems frequently used in the blogosphere.
When I think of gutters, I think that I should really clean out the leaves and other debris that may have collected in the gutters on my roof. In real life, I don’t much look in the gutter at the edge of the street, particularly in crowded neighborhoods, where I’m likely to see unsavory items discarded there.
In blog surfing, my eye is drawn to the left or right side of the page. Far cooler than a google search, I browse the web through the recommended links of my favorite bloggers. Nifty tools, like blogrolling, are appearing to help people put interesting and timely bits of information in this precious screen real-estate.
Who wants to live in the gutter? I keep some of good friends there, people I admire, and places I like to visit. I feel honored when I find myself in someone else’s gutter.
It’s funny. But is it funny (ha ha) or just funny-strange? you tell me.