Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A General Theory of Blogrolling

Well, not really. There's an interesting discussion going on around the blogosphere, about the function of blogrolls, the idea of blogger communities, and the differences between righty and lefty blogs in that regard. There's a real concern about smaller, lesser-known blogs not getting the traffic that bigger, more A-list bloggers get. One part of this involves a bit of well-intentioned, but ill-executed nonsense called Blogger Amnesty Day, started by Atrios, who runs A-list lefty blog Eschaton. I could explain what happened, but I'll let Jon Swift do it better than I can:

But the more I learned about this Amnesty Day, the more I realized that it was a very strange amnesty indeed. The amnesty he granted turned out to be amnesty for himself. He wanted to assuage himself of the guilt he might feel at kicking blogs off his blogroll instead of granting amnesty to others to swarm across the border into his domain. "Everyone feels a wee bit guilty about removing blogs from their blogroll, so they're hesitant to add new ones to an ever-expanding list," he explained. So Atrios deleted his entire blogroll and disappointingly repopulated it for the most part with the usual suspects. Then others in the liberal blogosphere followed his example, including Jesus' General and PZ Myers at Pharyngula, who already takes a very Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest approach to blogrolling (see updates below). Then Markos at Daily Kos joined this ruthless bloodletting. "It sucks and it feels bad," he said, daubing the tears from his eyes as he typed. So the end result of Atrios' Amnesty Day was to make some blogrolls smaller and even more exclusive than they already were.

Not exactly how it was supposedly to work, huh? Now it's clear that I run a small and little-known blog, and I am but a Lowly Insect on the TTLB Ecosystem. I think, as Swift does, that it helps to link to lesser-known blogs, and that bigger blogs really ought to expand their blogrolls beyond just the inner circle. My blogroll serves as a list of blogs I like a lot, and many others that are interesting. My links cover the whole spectrum, although I try to stay away from the excessively hostile. I don't hang out at the swamp of LGF at all or Kos for that matter, and I've wondered if I should delete Kos from the roll for balance, but I'll peek there once or twice, and to be honest, Kos bothers me less (only slightly) than Charles Johnson's domain.

Oh, and Jon, I've added you to my blogroll. You do good work.

On a side note, I plan on posting on Imus, the Duke rape (well, non-rape) case, and the British sailors soon.


Jon Swift said...

Thank you very much. I have added you to my blogroll as well. You certainly have a unique perspective on things, which perfectly illustrates why I think it is important not to limit the blogs we read to a narrow, elite few.

Rafique Tucker said...


plez... said...

i put blogs on my BlogRoll (present company included, i must add) so that i will remember to visit them on a regular basis. i like blogs that i agree with and also pepper my list with ones that have views that run counter to mine... it helps give me a balanced perspective.

the one issue with a large (long) BlogRoll is that you will have a number of blogs that are not frequently updated or there will be so many that you can't get to them all. so i will occasionally go through and purge the blogs that i no longer desire to visit (or if they no longer exist).

keep up the good work, rafique... even though, i don't agree with you on the war in Iraq! *smile*

Rafique Tucker said...

That's OK, plez, and good luck to you, too.