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To Blogroll, Or Not To Blogroll?

This weekend Apothegm Designs will start the torturous process remaking look of the Wizbang network of sites. As part of the preparation process I've been examining various portions of the current layout to see where space can be saved, or better utilized.

Inevitably my attention turns to the blogrolls. Once upon a time they were for my own use, but with the advent of RSS I've found that I don't use the blogrolls at Wizbang for blog reading. I find myself following links in stories and trackbacks more often, but that's just me.

What I'm wondering is if there's not a better, more impactful use of that space; space which I've had to tighten up over the years, as the two blogrolls are too large to list on the front page. I suspect there will still be blogroll(s) of some sort, but I'm thinking of moving toward one (or more) static listings. In fact, I'm seriously considering the Steven Den Beste model of a monthly (or quarterly) rotation of the lesser known or particularly exceptional sites, in addition to a more convention blogroll.

I guess what I'm curious about is how many Wizbang readers use the two blogrolls for surfing to other blogs? If you do, how often? If not, why not?


Comments (20)

Never use 'em.Why ... (Below threshold)

Never use 'em.

Why not? There are limited hours in the day. I already have my own list of blog favorites which I don't have time to read every day. So, like you, I follow links or trackbacks on subjects that interest me or are developing stories.

Just no time to peruse your blogroll, sorry.

Same here. I click on othe... (Below threshold)

Same here. I click on other peoples' blogrolls only occassionally, and when I'm in the mood to check out a blog I've never heard of.

That being said, I think the point of having a blogroll is more to give homage to your favorite blogs rather than to direct traffic to them.

I have no illusions that my few readers ever look at my blogroll. I keep a blogroll mainly for my own convenience, but also to show a particular blogger that I think their work is good -- even I don't visit but once a week or even less.

In short: Other than to give me a quick way to get my faves, my blogroll is a nod to the bloggers I blogroll, not for my readers to peruse.

But, if they peruse it, all the better!

I don't know that I've ever... (Below threshold)

I don't know that I've ever clicked a blogroll link in the past year. I'm busy. I use an RSS aggregator to read feeds, only clicking through to the articles of interest (hey, I made it to this one). When I read the articles, if they link somewhere, I'll follow it, but I don't have the time or energy to blindly follow links from random sites. If you've got a better use for the space, go for it. If a site is worthy to be mentioned, you'll mention it in your posts.

I don't use your blogrolls ... (Below threshold)

I don't use your blogrolls either. That's what mine are for.

Since I believe in the importance of the link some sort of blogroll should stay. Links are currency in the blogosphere and a sign of respect and appreciation even if rarely used.

A way to free up space would be to have a blogroll with just updated weblogs. As I wander through the blogosphere I find I'll often click on recently updated weblogs.

Never use the blogrolls the... (Below threshold)
CayuteKitt:

Never use the blogrolls these days, and probably haven't since the first two months following the 2004 elections. Time isn't a factor for me, but the annoyance factor in having to search thousands of blogs for responsible sources for hard news (gave up on the MSM) is a huge factor.

All of my blogsurfing is via links embedded in articles written by the bloggers I've come to trust regarding hard news, facts, research, and solid, grounded and substantiated reporting and/or commenting, and with links off of those links to check out blogs I haven't read yet but whose owners seem to have the respectful regard of the bloggers I do follow regulary.

I hadn't really thought abo... (Below threshold)
Jo:

I hadn't really thought about it until I read your post. The only reason I can see for one is reciprocal links now. I only use the links on my blog roll for those blogs whose feeds don't work, or the one that doesn't have a feed. I put two of my blog rolls on a seperate page (WPress) and the only one on my front page is the sites I read daily, friends, people I would suggest others read.

I use Wizbang's blogrolls. ... (Below threshold)

I use Wizbang's blogrolls. I don't click 'em, mind -- but I use 'em to help maintain my TTLB rank.

Honestly, I use Adblock wit... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

Honestly, I use Adblock with Firefox to block out frames not containing the meat of the blog I'm reading so I don't even see your blogrolls.

Also do not use the blogrol... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Also do not use the blogrolls - but if you are doing a redesign, what I'm looking for is a splash of color :)

I really don't use the blog... (Below threshold)

I really don't use the blogrolls at Wizbang. While I enjoy Wizbang for it's content, I wouldn't use it for it's referrals, which is really what the blogroll is.

For me, a blogroll from a single blogger's website, assuming I like that blogger, would be more useful. Wizbang has too many cooks in the kitchen.

I used to use the Blogrolls... (Below threshold)
Arthur:

I used to use the Blogrolls but for a long time (a year?) I've been mostly using my bookmarked blogs - plus linked stories.

A blogroll is a useful thing but maybe you should LINK to it instead of having it take up so much space on the main page.

I finish reading the day's ... (Below threshold)

I finish reading the day's posts, and peruse the blogroll to pick my next destination.

I can't say I use yours for... (Below threshold)
Jay:

I can't say I use yours for surfing, but I sure appreciate the surprisingly large amount of traffic it sends me. I hit Wizbang several times a day from my roll. It's one of my top 5 blogs that I go to multiple times daily, even if there's time for no others (along with Instapundit, Dean's World, Outside the Beltway, and PoliBlog).

I probably get as many hits a day, maybe more, back from Wizbang. Naturally I'd love for that to remain true.

Never use them...why would ... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Never use them...why would anyone want to go somewhere else? ;-)

Like you, I've largely stop... (Below threshold)

Like you, I've largely stopped using my own blogroll--although I've been making an effort to return.

Clearly, though, they get used as smaller sites get a lot of their traffic from others' blogrolls. When OTB was younger, my traffic always jumped when I was showing as "fresh" on blogrolls at ScrappleFace and VodkaPundit.

I actually wound up facing the same issue by having an AJAX rollup of my blogroll and archive links, so that they appeared only if someone called them.

Since I added a counter to ... (Below threshold)

Since I added a counter to my site and can see where I get hits from, I know that I get about a third of my (limited number of) hits from wizbang. Most of my other hits are local to NY from my Albany site and NY site blogrolls. So, yeah, I'd probably lose hits, unless the hits are from people clicking through when I comment, not from the blogroll.

I don't use them anymore. ... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

I don't use them anymore. In the early days I used blogrolls to find new sites. Too many on my daily read now to add any new unless they stand out -- Perpetual Refugee was an excellent recommendation recently by Michael Totten.

Hmmm.The only time... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

The only time I ever use a blogroll is if I'm on another computer that isn't set up for me and my preferences. Then I use blogrolls as remembering many URLs is a waste of time.

Otherwise RSS readers & FireFox pretty much covers the whole enchilada.

1. IMHO You'd be better off having a blogroll *page* and then having a link to that page. On the blogroll page have the link to the blog and perhaps a couple links to current or past posts that you found were worthy enough for inclusion.

This way anybody interested could see that bloggers best work and use that as a yardstick rather than whatever was cooked up at that moment. Some bloggers excel at different things. And if that "thing" isn't active then that blogger will probably do a "cat in tree" type post. And that's a hard thing to judge a blogger by.


2. Again a separate webpage for the blogroll with a single link on the main page. This blogroll is a dynamic list created out of all of the links posted by the writers of the blog.

In essence it becomes a single point research page so people can quickly find references rather than scrolling and searching through posts and comments.

...

Frankly I think either one would work well. And it woudl free up the substantial main page real estate that is usually taken up by blogrolls.

I still use my blogroll qui... (Below threshold)

I still use my blogroll quite a bit. I've been selective in who's on it and how it's set up, and when I just want to cruise around and see what's on everyone's mind that's my launching point. But I use my own, not Wizbang's

As Wizbang grows it's hard to see the utility of a large blogroll. I agree with ed that having a link to a separate page with blogrolls might be useful, particularly so if, as he suggests, there are links to particular posts.

Of course, and it should go without saying, adding me to your blogroll would make it that much more valuable ...

Leave the site as is. If yo... (Below threshold)
cubanbob:

Leave the site as is. If your going to add a blogroll just add a link to a separate page.




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