Critical Section


Blogrollcleaning

Thursday,  11/13/03  05:31 PM

This afternoon I went through my extended blogroll, clicked every link, and 1) verified the site is still there (most were) and 2) verified the blog is still being updated (many were not).  I deleted all the dead and dying links.

You'd think noticing that a bunch of people had stopped blogging would make me sad.  But it didn't.  In fact, it kind of made me happy.  Like I was part of a little club.  If everyone were blogging, then my little voice would get lost in the wilderness.  Or something like that.  It takes persistence, messed up priorities, a raging ego, and flat-out weirdness to keep on blogging, day after day :)

There are some blogs I miss.  Daniel, etc. was a great blog.  And now it is gone, with nary a trace.  It is actually better to disappear like that, stored only in the memory of those who visited (and in Google's cache :), than to stay up in a frozen limbo.  Some people even leave their site with a page that says "I'm coming back someday".  A great gravestone.

In a few cases, the blog was still there, the blogger was still active, but I didn't see anything interesting.  And if I don't find it interesting, I'm not going to link it.  Your mileage may vary!

I find the shorter someone's blogroll, the better.  I like following people's recommendations.  But if you have 200 sites in your blogroll, are you honestly recommending them all?  I doubt it.  If you simply link every site you've ever visited (or every site which has ever linked to yours) then your blogroll doesn't mean anything.  It is simply using up bandwidth.  I think anyone who has over 50 sites in their blogroll should clean it up!

Compounding the problem, a lot of people link to the same sites.  For example, I like Dave Winer and Glenn Reynolds.  Well, guess what; so do a lot of other people!  If you see Instapundit on someone's blogroll, it doesn't do much for you...  On the other hand, how many people have visited The Slumbering Lungfish?  Aha!  I knew it.

I while back I decided the best solution was to keep my on-homepage blogroll short, limited specifically to the sites I visit every day.  (Nowadays they are the sites whose feeds I subscribe to with SharpReader.)  And I moved all the other sites I like onto my extended blogroll.  So if you're in the mood to check out some new sites, there you go...  And each time the home page is loaded, I pick two sites at random from my extended blogroll and link them at the top; my "blog roulette".  So you can serendipitously discover new sites that way...

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