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Tuesday, July 06, 2004

In or Out?

I have a few rules that govern the contents of my Good Readin’ list (in case you haven’t detected a trend here at treppenwitz, I’m all about rules):

Rule #1: I rarely put anyone on the list just because they have blogrolled me (I’ve made two exceptions to this rule, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by both writers). Reciprocal linking is all fine and good for some, but it is a very slippery slope for those (like me) who use their blogroll as a map to navigate their morning reads. I really read everyone on my Good Readin’ list, every day (or as often as they post). It seems silly to have someone on one’s blogroll if you really don’t find them consistently interesting. That would make it sort of a ‘List of People I Was Guilted Into Sharing With You, But I Skip Them Every Day’. Doesn’t have the same ring, does it?

Rule # 2: If you don’t update your site for a month (With the possible exception of Evaporation… I can wait a little longer for El Steve to turn coal into diamonds); Nice knowing you!

Rule #3: If you dray on about the same topic day-after-day-after-day, I’m liable to show you the door. I mean, nobody’s work or family is that interesting to the rest of the world (again, I’ve made a conscious exception in the case of Lileks, because hidden amongst the mind-numbing minutiae of his various deadlines and the daily care & feeding of ‘Gnat’, there are always nuggets of pure gold).

Rule #4: If you are a news or editorial site and you stop giving me the people I’ve come to enjoy… Well, guess what? I’ll be finding my news and/or editorial commentary elsewhere! This happened first when The Daily Outrage over at The Nation suddenly went on hiatus. Then, over the past month or so, Larry Miller disappeared from the rotation over at The Weekly Standard. Needless to say, I gave both of them the old 'heave ho'.

However, after having removed the link to the Weekly standard in a self-righteous huff (I do self-righteous better than most!) a few weeks ago, I now see that the Devine Mr. M is back up on the mound today, serving up his best stuff! Damn!

So now I find myself on the horns of a dilemma. Do I shamefacedly sneak the Weekly Standard back onto the Good Readin’ list, or simply check back there every month or so and search the archives for the latest Larry Miller piece?

Ah well, rules are rules… Nobody’s above the law… Can’t have anarchy carry the day in this sort of thing! I guess I’ll be getting my periodic ‘Larry fix’ the old fashioned way.

I'm curious to know if anyone else takes their blogroll as seriously as I do. Although, now that I think about it... if I'm being a self-important nut-case, maybe I really don't want to know! :-)

[Sorry folks…I hope the slow news day here at treppenwitz hasn’t caused anyone to consider giving ME the hook.]

Posted by David Bogner on July 6, 2004 | Permalink

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I have similar rules, which is why my link list is so short. I think those superlong blogrolls are meaningless, anyway. There is no way bloggers who have those are actually reading every single blog on their list. So why bother linking to a blog if you're not going to read it?

Also, I've often thought that those long blogrolls are a bit mercenary when they link just for the reciprocal links (usually to get their ecosystem ranking up). "I'll link you if you link me" is a bit tacky if you don’t actually read the blog with which you’re exchanging links.

Posted by: Jan | Jul 6, 2004 3:07:10 PM

I would expect nothing less from you.
and... I am honored.

Posted by: lisa | Jul 6, 2004 3:41:15 PM

I feel the same way. I always let my blogroll get too long, and I weed it semi-regularly. A long time ago, I had a "maybe" section, separate from my normal blogroll, for sites that I was just testing and might delete any...second...now if they didn't hold my attention.

And presuming I was one of your two guilted-in reciprocal links, I'm both honored to be listed (and surprised - I just noticed it this morning) and glad I haven't disappointed you. :)

Posted by: Tanya | Jul 6, 2004 5:48:58 PM

Well, first of all thank you for the compliment of including me in your daily reads. There are some seriously heavy hitters in that list and I consider my little writings as an outfielder.

Whenever I visit a site that has a blogroll as long as my arm I ask myself, as you do, whether that person actually reads every single one of those blogs on a regular basis. Then I tell myself, if so, that person needs to get a life. Then I start thinking about when they last checked their blogroll for broken links, as usually about 25% of the sites listed are gone.

I don't have any qualms about ditching a blog if I don't regularly read. Personally, I happen to like Lileks because he's from my hometown so for me even trips to Target with Gnat take on a special quality.

Posted by: jen | Jul 7, 2004 12:12:48 AM

That's one of blogroll's (or any other blog roll like thing) nice features - I can make it anything I want. But yes, mostly around me (talking about a network-like construct), bloggers do this "was guilted into" reciprocal thing. Actually, I was thrown off people's blogrolls because I did not reciproce - I never asked them to blogroll me in the first place.

An interesting feature I have been watching for a year now - people tend to put me in the box labeled "fierce creature", because I stick to my principles, which are often incongruent to the blogging mainstream. I have the feeling that some part of this blogging world responds to the "Group huggies, everyone!" mentality people have in the real world - you're the Grinch when you proclaim group huggies make you throw up badly.

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Jul 7, 2004 5:41:36 PM

My blogroll reasoning is a lot like yours. I use to read the sites I like at least once a day, and they're sites I think everyone else should be reading too. I have blogs that I'm considering, or that just don't quite cut it, in my favorites instead of on my blogroll.

Posted by: Beth | Jul 7, 2004 7:57:29 PM

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