Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Blogroll

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I used to love adding bloggers to my blogroll.  Every time I would add a new name, it was as if I was sleeping with a new exotic woman — sometimes a redhead, sometimes a biology professor, sometimes a mother with three children.  There were some cool guys also, but with them, it was more snuggling than anything else. 

I now have 300 people on my blogroll, and even I have trouble performing to my potential when I am bed with so many people at once.

Would it be so terrible if I deleted my whole blogroll and started from scratch?  This way, it would be like I’m a virgin for the very first time.  I also might be more apt to reconnect with some of you that I haven’t in a while.  There’s something about having a person’s name on a list that makes me take them for granted, like I bought the DVD, so now I don’t have to actually watch it.

Sophia, my blog editor, is worried that this might make my Technorati “rating” plummet, but honestly — can my blogging salary go any lower than it already is?

I’m curious, how do you approach your blogrolls?  Why do we even have them?  We all know where each of us lives on the blogosphere.  Longtime readers of this blog know that I’ve been struggling with my blogroll for a long time.  Once, I became so desperate for a way to organize it that I  suggested making categories based on whether or not a blogger trimmed his/her pubic hair!  (I was a lot more immature in my early days of blogging)

I don’t like it when bloggers are so cliquish that they only include FOD (Friends of Dooce), but at the same time, why do people add blog-linkrolls of 400 Blog Chicks?  How many relationships can one person have?  I find it difficult enough being involved with Sophia, or having two IM conversations at once, or even reading about one of Margaret‘s dates-gone-bad in the morning on Bloglines without spilling hot coffee on my pants. 

I’ve met three bloggers in New York this week, so maybe I’m craving more from my interactions with others online.  But don’t worry — that does not mean I’m going to send you photos of my penis.  Not yet.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the MonthWacky and Intellectual Gifts

75 Comments

  1. Sure go ahead and delete it! I’m not in it anyways 🙂
    (nor will I ever be, I write in Romanian)
    Since you asked, my blogroll is completely random. I added a few people and then I got bored and I stopped. Why do you worry? If you have somebody in the blogroll it doesn’t mean you read it all the time… It just means you liked it enough at one time and thought to do that person a favour. At least this is what I think…

  2. I think it would be great to start fresh…but keep the list somewhere. Would be interesting to see the comparison of who you end up putting on there again as it evolves.

    I typically put people of bizarrely different views (on one of my blogs) or outstanding writing, or similar issues. No, pubic hair is not yet a category, but it has been a stagnant week…hmmm…

  3. I only blog roll people who grow their own pubic hair. I’m a stickler that way.

    Actually, I roll the people who’s blogs I love and/or who are loyal readers. It does start to get ridiculous after a while. If you deleted it, would you have to re-find us all again, or would you read us from your sitemeter?

  4. Okay, first of all, I think you are obsessed with Miss Dooce. Are you seeking her approval? Stop it. Your blog is soooooooo much more interesting. Oops. There goes my FOD bumpersticker. Second, I make an ironclad rule to keep my blogroll at between 40-50 people, max. The people I include are not necessarily the BEST bloggers on the web, but they are the people who I REALLY enjoy reading. Then, I have a HUGE bookmark list of favorites. These are people that I love to read as well, I just can’t do all of them daily. Once every few months, I clean up my blogroll, pull some off, add some on. I say to myself…”self, have you read this person in the past month?” If the answer is no, they come off the blogroll and onto the favorites list.

    I have to say, the list I have is stellar. To me, the people on my roll are the best of the best…not just necessarily the best bloggers, but the best human beings alive.

    Fortunately for you, you’re one of them.

    Lucky dog you.

    CP.

  5. sometimes, it is good delete and start over. i do that occasionally with my list.

  6. Funny you should bring that up this week. I just spent most of the past week making several revisions to mine, including ditching manual input (old, initially HTML-learned, habits are hard to break) and turning the blogroll over to Blogrolling ‘cos it was just getting to be too much work, especially since I have gotten more involved in some local-ish online stuff recently. When I did the initial set up at Blogrolling, I deleted several I had had previously.

    My main criteria for those I’ve kept are the ones I can’t NOT read every day. I figure the main purpose of a blogroll is to share your highest recommendations with those who are reading you – consequently, a lot of the bloggers (the chicks anyway) on my blogroll share my twisted sense of humor (or are even more twisted)… I figure if someone’s hanging out on my blog, they’ll probably enjoy most of the ones I can’t live without reading too.

    The lesser criteria for those I kept are those I know/sorta know, and a couple of regular readers. Everyone else I had, I whittled it down and whittled them out.

    My own personal feedreader and bookmarks are a LOT bigger and include pretty much everyone on my blogroll plus some I read occasionally, some regularly but not necessarily daily. And there are a few I do read daily but I don’t have in the blogroll ‘cos while I have some interest for whatever reason, I don’t think it would necessarily appeal to those who read mine daily.

    I think it’s probably a good idea to start fresh or at least whittle down sometimes. With me and mine it’s gotten pretty easy – if it’s one I really dig and think someone who reads mine would, it stays. If I know/kinda know someone, it probably stays (tho not always).

    I know one of my readers has said this and I tend to agree – what that reader is interested in as far as my links is what I read regularly or thoroughly enjoy, so that’s probably at least 90% of my blogroll and what I try to keep in mind when dealing with mine. There’s plenty I’m still pals with but neither party blogrolls each other, and that’s A-OK with me.

  7. Whoops, didn’t mean to write a book there, heh. Obviously it was still fresh on my mind, not only did I spend half the week dealing with the blogroll but I just spent most of today resubscribing to all my feeds after a switch to Firefox. Sorry! 🙂

  8. Like CP, I have a public blog roll (no, Neil, not a PUBIC blog roll) and a private list of favorites. Blogs move between the two lists.

    If you delete everything and start over, that would be like getting waxed, Neil, and you know, I’m not into that. Trimming–that I can support.

  9. You think you have it bad? On LiveJournal, they’re called FRIENDS and if you delete someone it causes all sorts of drama. Sheesh. Put the people you admire and/or read and don’t worry about it.

  10. I don’t have a blogroll anymore. Instead I have my bloglines public. Did you know you can put a link on your blog so people can browse your bloglines subscriptions? Then if they like yours they can just wholesale copy them? Seems like a nice easy solution to me.

  11. I put people that I like on my blogroll. Then, I delete some randomly every couple of months, because I’m a heartless bitch. Sometimes I will get rid of everyone who has not updated in three months. I will look for a blog whose title starts with K, because I don’t have any Ks on my list. If I suddenly feel a wave of malaise every time I read a site I once loved, the relationship has soured, and it’s off the list.

    Don’t stress about the list. Keep what you actually read regularly on it. Isn’t that what it’s for?

  12. I don’t have a blogroll because I worry too much about other people’s feelings.

    If I didn’t add someone who added me, I’d feel bad, but I don’t only want to add someone cuz they added me (I gotta really like their writing), because then it all becomes meaningless like you’re only recommending your readers rather than those you read, sorta like recommending a restaurant that sends you coupons even if if it’s not your kind of food. (I don’t even know if that makes sense to me.)

    So, I pay my respects with comments…(tag yourself ‘respected’).

    And I’m a complete hypocrite because I love when someone blogrolls me.

    I’d say start from scratch…and then realphabetize with ‘Co…’ starting the list…

    (and I just thought of a great service you could invent while you’re at it…comment software with spell check…cuz ‘alphabetize’ just doesn’t look right before coffee.)

  13. Mariana — Yes, I’m sorry I haven’t blogrolled you, but for what it is worth, you are my favorite blog written in Romanian.

     Deezee – Talking about restaurants, do you know there are no Souplantations in NY — $5.95 lunches with the coupon in tomorrow’s Los Angeles Times.

  14. Aside from one sentimental link (to the very fist person who ever linked me), my list is striclty for y own reading. Links go on and off all the time, except when I’m too lazybusy to update.

    I implore you to edit if you must, but please do not eliminate the whole thing. When my ownlist gets stale, I read other people’s blogrolls. If you wipe yours out, think of the impact on me.

  15. A blogroll is a good thing when it’s kept up to date and it gives people who stumble across your site a chance to perhaps find some other previously undiscovered gem.

    A blogroll is a bad thing when most of the links no longer work.

    That being said, I suppose it’s time to update my own and check all the links!

  16. No Souplanations in NY? Sounds like a good reason to move there…he he. And LA TImes? I only read the NY Times. Do you think I’m a New Yorker in CA drag?

  17. Yes, what they all said.

  18. I post a link to my Bloglines feed and I update that whenever I feel like it, recategorizing, adding and removing feeds,etc… and there’s still some stuff I don’t put on there because I might not want anyone to see that I’m reading Citizen of the Month, for example.

    And I don’t worry about it. I don’t worry that your feeling will be hurt if you’re not on my blogroll and I don’t worry too much about not being on YOUR blogroll. And I TRY not to worry about my Technorati rating, but I do, it’s like worrying about if those pants make me look fat.

    Delete away, I say.

  19. My blogroll has been neglected for many moons, since I surrendered to Bloglines (and it’s SO much easier now). Start over if you want, but keep your current list handy just in case. Or for comparison purposes.

    I like Ash’s (and Pam’s) idea of making your Bloglines subscription public. I’m going to have to think about that one. I mean, I’m actually going to have to make an effort to do the linkage. Oh, never mind. I’m just babbling because I’m under-caffeinated.

  20. I don’t care how you organize it, Neil – or if you delete it and start all over, for that matter – so long as I’m on it. If you think you are going to sleep with me this long and then cut me out of your life… I won’t stand for it, Neil – I WON’T!

    [Better lock your pet rabbit up]

  21. Since I’m a LiveJournal user, I don’t have a blogroll per-se. I have 5 links I recommend to people…which probably needs to be updated, come to think of it. I only have one blog on there, the rest of the links are random.

    Personally, I find it very difficult to keep up with everything I’m “supposed” to read. I read my LJ friends everyday; they have their own separate page so it’s not that difficult. Anyone who uses Blogspot goes in the Blogspot folder. Everyone else goes in my favorites in alphabetical order. I’m loyal to the writers I’ve been reading for months. When I come across a new blog, I’ll add it, but if I get bored within a few months, they get deleted.

    Personally, I don’t care one way or the other; just keep reading mine! Even though I’ve been bitching about work recently.

    🙂

  22. erase ’em all. never blogroll again.

    bah humbug.

    (i need more sleep.)

  23. yeah,what everybody else said up there but would like to add, i do like to read updated blogrolls on a friday night while drinking my evening cocktails. i’m way too lazy to actually search for new reads. i like to have everything laid out for me, nice and easy.

  24. Lizardek: spot on!

    I had a funny exchange with a guy on LJ recently: on someone’s thread I agreed with opinion of a commenter (one on my FriendsBand) and congratulated myself with having such clever Friends; he went ballistic on me.

    Neil, on LJ they have now a club of “tysyachniki” (“1000ers”) – those bloggers who has a 1000 or more people listing them on their blogrolls (“Friends”, in LJ-speak).
    Imagine the intrigues!

  25. I deleted mine earlier this year…and no one seemed to mind. It was becoming way too stressful to try to maintain it. Just like my wardrobe, every time I’d add something new, I’d feel compelled to delete something…since I didn’t want to have too much there. And it became way too hard to have so much emotion attached to something that’s, really, unnecessary. I figured, I read blogs that don’t have blogrolls, so what’s the big deal? Readers will find each other through comments anyway. Of course, Technorati, Schmecknorati…I have no clue about that stuff. So if you care about being POPULAR? You might wanna keep it. 😉

  26. Gosh it never occured to me that your blogroll had any meaning whatsoever, other than “these are the people who have commented on my blog more than once over the years.”

    If you can even check on even 1/3 of those blogs on a regular basis, then you must not be paying attention to the real life thing. Or you must be able to read really really fast, like that guy on Star Trek who went through the Great Galactic Barrier and had silver contact lenses and was killed by his best friend Jim Kirk because no one could put up with his power trip anymore.

    I care about you, Neil, even though you spurned me, and I couldn’t bear thinking that such a thing might happen to you. Please, delete your blog roll and start over. Even if it means I’ll never see you again.

  27. you know my vote already.

    besides, i’m waiting around for when you hand out the penis pics.

    😉 sizz

  28. Your favorite blog written in Romanian, I bet! Maybe I should write in Swahili, so my Romanian readers appreciate it too.

  29. You can get your virginity back? Sweet.

  30. I’m going to work on my blog design (such that it’s not) while I’m off work for the next couple of weeks. The first thing that’s going is the blogroll. I used to have it as a reminder to check my faves everyday, but Google Reader (or any old reader) does that now. So off with the blogroll. Most of my Internet friends and lovers find each other through my comments section anyway.

  31. The blogs that I race to check everyday via Google Reader make it to my blogroll. I can’t claim to read all of the blogs that are on my Google Reader, nor can I make that claim for those who read mine, but I can claim to read all the blogs on my blogroll. I endorse those. They are good reading, by my standards. And it gets revised based on my interest level and desire to read them every so often.

  32. A virgin huh? Well aren’t you clever.

  33. Bloglines, blogroller, favorites lists. All this talk of re-organizing, re-starting, and otherwise tidying up the joint sounds like end-of-the-year nesting to me. Have a glass of wine and lay down until the mood passes. That’s what I do with housework and it generally works out.

    (*blushing* Neil thinks I’m a good speller! teehee)

  34. Becky — it may just be lack of sex is making me grouchy.

  35. I’m pretty dedicated to the people on my blogroll. I try to read them several times a week and rotate through the ones that I link to. I don’t have a high number like you though; I would never have enough time. However, I’ve really only linked to people that I read personally and enjoy constantly.
    I’m a bit shy about developing too many person/person relationships from people I’ve met on the web so the blog linking for me acts as a buffer.
    I’d say start over if you feel its out of control.

  36. I know this subject is boring the hell out of some of you (that’s why I’m writing it on Saturday night when only the geeks and hermits are home blogging), but since the blogroll is something that other bloggers seem interested in, I wanted to talk about it some more —

    First of all, thanks for pretty much telling me to do whatever the hell I want to do.

    Using Bloglines as my blogroll sounds like a good idea, although the cool thing about doing it on WordPress is it “pings” you so you know I blogrolled you — and we can start the serious flirting on the IM!

    I do have a public Bloglines page, but it is a bit of a mess — and has even MORE links than the one on my blog! I think I will fix that up first.

    Has everyone tried out the Google Reader? I was inspired to try it out after reading about it on the Zero Boss.  Jay, the writer of that blog, is very passionate about it. While the Google Reader doesn’t allow you to publish a public blogroll like Bloglines, you can create a public page of your “shared items.” It is like your own little newspaper page of your favorite posts, which you can then share with others. It is pretty cool!

    Here is my shared page.  I easily added some random posts by clicking a “share” button.

    HOWEVER, I have this little problem with this “sharing” that I wanted to discuss. If you look at my “shared page,” you’ll notice that Two Roads‘s post is now completely on MY PAGE.  Even though there is a link to her post on the page, unless someone wants to comment on her post, a reader doesn’t even need to actually GO to her page. This could be good — I might be introducing her to someone new, and now the reader will want to read more.  But it also feels like I am “stealing” someone’s material.  While I would be honored if you “shared” my post, I’m curious about your opinion on this.

  37. I’m in the pub(l)ic bloglines subscription camp, myself. No way I’m listing 130+ links on my sidebar. I swap the sidebar pages around when I think about it, which is not often. And then, for the most part, there’s a bigger reason for keeping them handy.

  38. Is this like becoming a born again virgin?

    By the way, I still stick to the old school method of personally adding links to my blogroll.

  39. Neil – instead of linking to the shared page, you can include a list on your blog of the most recent 5 to 10 posts you shared. You can get this code from the Tags page if your Google Reader.

    Check out how plainjanemom.com implements this. It’s slick.

  40. I suppose it is like cleaning out your underwear drawer. I often throw it all away and go buy 12 new pairs all at once when Macy’s has a sale. My blogroll is different from my “bookemarked blogs” page on my browser. I read alot of blogs that are interesting to me, but I only have a blogroll on my blog of the few that I read daily. So there you go. My secret of my blogroll

  41. I don’t have many “real life” friends who blog, so I put the two who do on my blogroll. The rest are for blogs I actually read on a regular basis. I delete them when I realize I’m not reading them anymore. I don’t worry about Technorati or any of that stuff. Oh…and there’s no way I could ever read more than about 20 blogs at a time, so it’s not overwhelming to me to have to list all them. Speaking of…I guess I need to add you to mine!

  42. From the geeks and hermits: Killer is suggesting on my blog holding a contest for blogroll survival. I think that’s a great idea. Maybe you should consider it.

  43. Jay — Thanks.

    Stepping — I don’t think of this as “cleaning out the drawer” at all. That would insinuate that one blog is more worthy than another, when it isn’t like that at all. Blogging is a great way to interact with others. But sometimes, you just lose touch (sadly) or feel the need to get a different POV.   And my daily reads change at times, depending on my mood. Sometimes I don’t want to read the “best writer.” I want to just read about some woman having a bad date or having trouble with their teenage daughter. Sometimes I feel more serious, so I avoid the funny blogs.  I try not to limit myself to a certain type of blogger.  I like reading liberals and conservatives, Orthodox Jews and lesbians.  I have about a 100 bloggers that I consistently read every day (not always comment, but at least read). The other 200 I go through once or twice a week, sometimes quickly to see if there is a subject that really resonates with me.

    I really like interacting over email with other bloggers, because sometimes you learn more about a blogger on a one-to-one basis. I email with several of you already. (neilochka at yahoo dot com). I’m not as fond of IM because it tends to give me a headache, and I become too tempted to ask female bloggers, “So, what are you wearing?”

  44. Right now my blogroll is WEE small — and there’s only 3 people on it I know in “real life.” The rest are blogs I’ve stumbled across & find interesting, though I might not read them every day (like yours, though I read yours pretty regularly). So at least allow me to say I envy the size of your blogroll.

  45. I still get pictures of your penis, though? You can’t cut me off now!

  46. Hey, I am the Blog Crush of the Day…is there any way you can still make that part work? LOL.

    You already know what I think, but I will reiterate; Deleting is a great way to start over and that way no one feels slighted.

    But of course, you will still give Fab your penis and me all of your reading time ;).

  47. 200? What a blog whore! I’m cool with it. As long as you don’t forget me, although I think you may have already… I never made it to blog crush. Must have been because I stopped writing about my lace panties all the time.

  48. It’s said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. If that’s the case, I’m guessing none of us will reappear on an edited blogroll of yours.

  49. I try to limit my blogroll to the blogs I read,but that is a challenge because I don’t have time to read them all on a regular basis.

  50. I forget most of the time that I even have a blogroll but I think that you were actually the last person I had added to it and that was a few months ago-but! I DO remember that I scooted you up near the top of it because its one of my very faves!

  51. After posting on the topic some months ago, I removed mine recently. The people I read and comment on know of my visits. Less headaches without it!

  52. i was thinking about it last night and you can delete me from your blog roll. then you have only 299 more blogs to worry about!

  53. I keep my blogroll to 3 kinds of people:
    1.People I know or have met “I.R.L.” at BlogHer etc)
    2.Friends who’s websites my husband and I have designed,
    3. People who blog on the same topics that I do.

  54. Dang it Neil! Now you’ve made me go and update my blogroll!

    P.S. All the blogs that I read are kept in a seperate RSS feed (on a separate web page). There are too many names!

  55. Most of my blogroll consist of blogs having to do wit the same subjects that I post about: Knitting, Crochet, L.A. Restaurants and other things goin’ on in L.A. or pop culture.
    If a blogger on my roll hasn’t posted in over a month, then they’re deleted. You got to be interested to be interesting! IMHO

  56. My philosophy is “less is more”… and I only link to the nice peeps I actually read and who read me. That’s it!

  57. i dunno.. i don’t really have a structure to mine. i put whoever i feel like and remove those i don’t read anymore. you know.. it’s like the quick dial pad.

  58. Hi babe, sorry have been absent from your blog for a while. Yep delete the whole blogroll and start again, although decide in advance your criteria for adding a new blogger to it. Hope I am included, in a non-sycophantic way you understand! lol

  59. When you get the hang of google reader let me know. I hate programs that are not intuitive as I don’t have time nor the inclination to sit through a tutorial. It seems you have to click on each posting to indicate you have read it – unlike in bloglines where you can select “mark all read”. Other issues too regarding your comment but too long to write here. Will catch up with you later.

  60. Since I don’t understand any of this, I was thinking of adding a line at the top of the list:

    If you wanna’ be here, just tell me.

  61. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with my blogroll as well lately. Having had a couple instances of drama surrounding it, it’s nice to read all comments above from people who clearly don’t take it so personally.

    I use my list mostly to keep track of blogs I read more often and as a sort of stat calling card because sometimes I feel reticent or have nothing new to add in a comment. RSS readers wouldn’t really help in the latter regard if I understand them, right?

  62. My blogroll is the real deal: my own SON’S blog doesn’t make the cut, a fact he bitches about on his own blog regularly. It’s who I read and for whatever reason I read them. I have to admit, sometimes I click on a few people’s blogroll links and start reading and think: “What on earth does (insert name of esteemed blogger) read THIS for? Must be a ‘she was there when I first started blogging’ thing.” But I won’t mention any names…meow.

  63. It IS tough. I get overwhelmed when I go on there and see such a high number of posts I haven’t written. It was a lot easier to keep up when I had the cushy office job with nothing to do but make use of the high speed internet.

  64. In general, my blogroll lists the blogs I read on a daily basis. (If you are able to read 300 blogs per day, I’m amazed at your ‘mad skillz’) Occasionally I link to people just because they link to me… but that’s just because I want everyone to LOVE ME, DARN IT! *sigh*

  65. Yes, delete it. And start over with Prisstopolis featured prominently.

  66. I have Willie Wonka categories, with secret meanings known only to me. You are an Everlasting Gobstopper.

    (In case you were worried you were a snozberry.)

  67. Hey, tell Machiavelli back there in your bed in L.A. that the Technorati rating comes from the number of blogs that link to you, not the ones you link to in your blogroll.

    As far as your blogroll goes, I’m ok with you deleting everyone except me. 🙂

  68. Machiavelli was worried about precisely that, Post Sass. Hell Hath No Fury Like A Blogger Scorned. But thanks anyway for explaning how things work. 🙂

  69. Doesn’t technorati only count the links that are new over the last 3 months anyway? The shorter the list, the more chance anyone on it has of being clicked or noticed anyway.

    Clean house. Start fresh. New year, new list.

  70. A question on your blogroll….you have catagories….any hidden meaning?? I’ve uses yours like a roladex…kind of exciting getting to snoop through your (desk) drawers. Mine is small…not a who’s who..just a who I read. If you feel the need to purge..go for it…any favs that are deeper than just infatuation…will pop back up again…

  71. Pearl, yes, technorati only counts for the last SIX MONTHS. I know that because Sophia is always calling me and saying, “Your links actually are going down!” I would not worry about those stupid links. Honestly, now with those Blogger Chicks adding 300 links to each other in a snap, links are completely meaningless. If I wasn’t lazy and could code better, I would come up with some application that we could all join and abuse the system, and keep on linking to each other five times a day until we run the internet and would split all the money we made. The only real barometer of blogging success is becoming one of my “Blog Crushes of the Day.”

    Wendy — hidden meanings? You mean when I had it organized by breakfast, lunch,and dinner? Absolutely. Not all bloggers are born equal. Those categories represented the time of day I usually fantasized about being in bed naked with that blogger. If I remember correctly, you were at breakfast, right?

  72. Will you still read my blog if my dates start going better?

  73. Margaret — Probably not. Unless you describe your bedroom activity in detail.

  74. that involves my dates going better

  75. I set up my sidepanel/blog roll so that I don’t have to plug so many urls into my bookmarks at work (just in case they check those kinds of things).

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