Don’t Touch that Blogroll

There's an interesting discussion going on over at Burningbird about the wisdom of blogrolls. I have to admit I've often had doubts about the need for, and wisdom of having, blogrolls.

When I first started blogging, I used my blogroll to list sites in the order I was most likely to visit them, with the ones I visited the most at the top of the list. I seldom use my blogroll that way anymore. I've switched to NetNewsWire to tell me when sites have updated. For sites that still don't provide RSS feeds, some of my favorite sites, I use URL Manager Pro.

Still, as Euan noted at Shelly's site, "However I would find it hard to delete my blogroll - they feel like a statement about me as much as about them. I once described them as my village." I feel like my blogroll is also a history of my "village," with the sites at the top of blogroll generally the ones I've linked to, and been linked to, the longest. My "oldest virtual friends" as it were.

I once almost automatically linked to sites that linked to me because it felt like the courteous think to do. I changed that policy recently when I began to feel some sites were simply linking to mine in order to draw readers to their site because there was no indication that they had ever actually visited my site. Recently, I've only added links when someone actually drops in and leaves a comment, a sure indication that they at least occasionally read what I have to say.

I used to visit the sites on my blogroll daily. I don't do that anymore, but I do visit all of them semi-regularly. Unfortunately the ones without RSS feeds sometimes get neglected because I'm sure a creature of habit, and technology. Still, if I quit visiting them, I eventually take them off my blogroll.

Of course, what I'm saying here is in some ways irrelevant to Shelley's main argument. You'll notice that I don't have any links to "A-listers" and that's because I generally don't read them and am pretty sure they don't read me. For me, bloggers are "virtual" friends, not authority figures making pronouncements on high. I've always enjoyed discussing ideas with friends, but I've never relied solely on them to provide the information I need to make important decisions, which is not to say that friends' ideas aren't sometimes better than those proposed by "experts."

I guess this is just a very wordy way of letting Shelley know that I won't be dropping my blogroll soon, even if she does help me port my site over to WordPress.

11 thoughts on “Don’t Touch that Blogroll

  1. “Loren, I’m done porting you. Doesn’t it look nice?”

    “Great, Shelley.”

    *pause*

    “Where’s my blogroll.”

    “Your what?”

    “My blogroll.”

    “Blogroll?”

    “Yes. Shelley. My. Blogroll.”

    “I’m sure it’s there somwehere.”

    “No, it’s not.”

    “Well, *tee hee*, I must have dropped it *tee hee*”

    “Ooopsie!”

    *pause*

    “Loren, what’s that grinding sound. Is that your teeth?”

  2. I second all your reasons. But I’ll add this one I’ve noticed, especially with my Thoreau blog. The more people that link to you, the higher up in the Google search world you become. After utne.com linked to Thoreau, its readership doubled, as well as its links. Now, when you type Thoreau’s Journal (but not journals plural interstingly enough)in Google, the Thoreau blog is the top choice.

    And I always have a warm spot in my heart for In a Dark Time, one of my first links. I’m sure you get much google traffic on all the poets you’ve written of. Anyways, blog on.

  3. I like the way you describe you blogroll as a “village” that is there like a living history. I think of mine much in the same way and really haven’t considered dropping it.

  4. I also tend to read my favorite blogs through Bloglines, but I do still visit, clicking my blogroll, about weekly — and other folks’ blogrolls are important to me, as that’s where I have found most of my own favorites. I would hate to see them disappear.

  5. me too – I use it also as way of pointing any poor sod silly enough to read me to places that I find interesting. In one way it is another means of further leaving clues to who I am for my visitors; part of who I am is defined by the “vilage” I take up residence in.

  6. I believe I can recognize most of those stages. In my case, I also have to deal with the issue of my own instability in which I lose patience or become bored with some blogs. Then I want to drop them and sometimes do. Sometimes I drop one and then put it back on! I’m beginning to think that in future I ought not to drop anyone and just let them pile up.

    I’ve considered a secondary category of links like “Really Good Blogs That I Don’t Read As Much Anymore”. I have a post under construction about some past links that I’ve dumped and maybe that will give me some ideas or clarify my thinking. I don’t really WANT to think about it as much as I do and I need to reach some sort of long-term treaty (with myself) about it!

    I liked your remark about the “A-List” blogs. I find myself veering away from blogs with way-huge stats or 50 comments per post. Like you, I feel the best blogs are a little bit personal.

  7. Hi Loren,

    This prompts me of course to leave a comment! (My first on this blog…) I’ve recently linked you to my blogroll, and if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be visiting you right now. It’s been a while since I last visited, and if I hadn’t put that link in, well, I would have forgotten how worthy your site is, as a way to sample poets I’m interested in, compare/share, etc. That to me is the best argument for having “this village one can call one’s own” in web city…
    Cheers,

    Brian

  8. I use both bloglines and my blogroll. Bloglines for all the sites I sometimes visit, even the ones I only visit monthly. But my blogroll shows my ‘taste of blogs’. Which people, and which styles I really like. And trusting that most people do the same, I use their blogrolls to surf the net for new interesting blogs. “If I like them and their style, I might also like their favorites”

  9. Hi Loren – I’ve been lurking quite a lot recently without saying nowt so thought I’d pop up and say thanks for all the work you do here – I always love the poetry and am having fun this evening exploring your blogroll… after that I’m going to put one on my own blog, I don’t know why I haven’t caught on earlier. Fiona

  10. Warm Greetings Loren, here are a few new poems for your blogs. Feel free to pick any that fit the bill. All rights are reserved by author.

    ****************

    The final Gesture by Michael Levy.

    His life just seemed to
    pass by without any love or joy,
    in the fullness of time
    he died a billionaire, his lawyer
    followed the instructions
    of the will to the letter,
    all the relatives and friends
    gathered in the great hall,
    All were given a new short pencil
    that had not been sharpened,
    Then the will was read,
    it declared:
    Here is my gift to you all
    hold your pencil it your right hand,
    look carefully at both ends,
    keep it with you at all times,
    and remember…
    Don’t live a pointless life,
    I leave all my money to charity!

    *****************************

    Re-Released by Michael Levy

    Just-as-soon-as the book was released it became
    public annoyance number one,
    After all, who wants to read veracity
    tinted with inspiration, delight and mirth,
    It had a price on its head
    right from the get-go,
    that seemed to be
    too costly to the ego’s, of average Joe and Mary,
    and not expensive enough, for the raspy command
    of lord and lady muck-in-tosh,
    It became a rigged trial,
    by a media embroiled in a drollness of fallacies,
    So, the unpretentious writer decided
    to capture it and put it under house arrest,
    Two years hard labor was its sentence,
    holding up a wonky bookcase in the cellar
    brimful with bestsellers,
    It was best locked in the cellar, for he could deem
    his book was the…. best-book_in-seller,
    supporting the most
    inspirational books ever written,
    Then one spring day
    the author had remorse and
    re-released his pride and joy,
    out in the big wide world
    to a audience with a more robust appetite
    for truthfulness,
    And everyone lived happily ever after……
    Dream on dear-hearts … dream on
    **********************

    Oscars for Shadows by Michael Levy

    Staid lives pass-by, mostly unnoticed,
    occasionally, there may be a soiree
    on the terrace of ambitions,
    friends and family
    will applaud and cheer, feed the ego,
    for a few irresistible moments,
    but, on the whole,
    a life will sail past, furbished in hush,
    nobody will notice its golden interior,
    illuminated in elegant ingenious creativity,
    time expires in modest silence,
    a few vivid shadows may
    be vocalized
    in lament,
    as the picture book pages turn.
    **************************
    A Place to Live. By Michael Levy.

    Rivers of wisdom stream
    into infinities imaginations,
    flow into the minds
    of empty slumbering silence,
    blooms of love
    flourishing on trees of joy,
    seeds of contentment
    sown in tranquil hearts,
    what a beautiful place
    to spend the rest of our lives
    ***********************
    The Wisdom of The Dead by Michael Levy.

    Dead people are
    the most intelligent people
    not on earth
    for they now know
    the truth
    and realize what
    put them
    in their graves
    If only un-dead people
    would awaken
    to fathom
    the wisdom of the dead.
    ************************
    Entries from a banjo diary by Michael Levy.

    Man cannot live by bread alone
    doctor-doctor
    the baker has no bread
    headmaster-headmaster
    trouble at the flour mill
    professor-professor
    fields produce no wheat
    teacher-teacher
    humanity steamrollers earth
    educator-educator
    footsteps echo in empty shoes
    instructor-instructor
    that was life … that was
    entries from a banjo diary.
    *****************
    Wars Awesome Gale. by Michael Levy

    Narcissism runs fast
    in partisan vein,
    Oh, how steadfastly
    pride fades away,
    with so little a gain.

    Ceremonious parades
    drenched by times noble reign,
    How sadly drips blood;
    an erroneous mortal drain,

    Will the world preserve
    the sacrifice we devoutly bestow?
    As we minister to the caricature self,
    so loyally we know,

    Laments flow strong
    an’ death tides surge higher,
    Fight wars awesome gale,
    the consequence dire,

    Their loves drift freely
    n clouds in the sky,
    Crossing beyond bridges,
    where no body can lie.

    To the east,
    to the west,
    no new seeds grow,
    The sequel,
    in a million years,
    may project a different show,

    Engagement with foes,
    married to spite
    Non did return,
    so silent the night.
    ****************
    In Decline by Michael Levy

    It seems the more
    the writer submits
    true-to-life inspirational words,
    the more the media
    declines them,
    How long, one wonders,
    can the media
    keep on declining,
    before they hit rock bottom?

    *********************

    Fashionable Syndromes by Michael Levy

    Oh my God! I’ve developed
    a syndrome syndrom
    I’m not sure what it is
    But I’m sure some quack-er-jack will tell me
    It may not exist yet
    But I’m sure i’ve got one
    I do want to be in vouge and
    unless I’ve got a syndrome
    I don’t feel worthy of being human
    No, don’t stand too close to me
    or you may catch mine
    Better you get your own from
    some professional psychopath thingmajigy
    I think that’s what you call
    those people who make up pretend illness
    so that they can poison you
    with prescription drugs
    Mind you, if you have a simple mind
    and greasy fingers
    your forthcoming syndrome
    may just slip through your grasp
    and then you will be healthy
    **************************
    A Truly Remarkable Existence. By Michael Levy.

    There are place’s on earth, where once buffalo’s roam
    now; large skyscrapers fill with luxurious commercial trappings,
    which accommodate no true pleasure nor sincere cheerfulness

    However;

    There are place’s on earth
    where there is no need to read,
    or workout mathematical equations,

    There are place’s on earth
    where there is no demand for scientific findings,
    nor any necessity for philosophy,
    or religious understanding

    There are places on earth,
    where all effects live with natures intelligent wisdom…….

    Where the simple joys of life do exist…….

    Where eagles soar around high mountains,
    where spiders relish homespun silken webs,
    where ants assemble domestic hills,
    where bees shape family hives,
    where exotic flowers dance in the breeze,
    to infuse the air with ambrosial perfumes,
    Where all animals frolic and play in sprightly abandonment
    Where every baby enjoys the moments of innocence
    in unaffected love & joy

    In the course of time everything returns to dust,

    All creatures large and small that found no justification
    for dependence on an intellect, to enjoy life,
    and followed natures authentic sequence,
    will have undergone a truly remarkable existence.

    All rights are reserved.

    **********************************
    “You can bend it and twist it … You can misuse and abuse it…But even God cannot change … The Truth.”_Michael Levy.

    ************************************************************************************

    *************************
    Michael Levy is the author four books “What is the Point? “Minds of Blue Souls of Gold” “Enjoy Yourself – It’s Later Than You Think” and “Invest with a Genius.” Michael’s poetry and essays now grace many web sites, journals and magazines throughout the world. His web site in ranked number one/two in the world out of 3,000,000 web sites when “Inspirational books” are the search words on Google’s search engine.
    Web Sites : http://www.pointoflife.com

    “It is not education that breeds success, rather, it is the success (spirit) in the breed …That educates others.”_Michael Levy.

What do you think?