Monday, August 15, 2005

Blogrolling In Our Time

The late lamented Spy Magazine (the one from the '80's and '90's, not this one) had a monthly feature titled "Logrolling In Our Time" where it documented authors trading overly flattering book jacket blurbs. Wikipedia declares that the internet term blogroll as being derived from the word "logroll". The influence of Spy Magazine is not documented in internet lore.

A blog roll is a list of other blogs that the blog author finds interesting for one reason or another. The blog roll is usually in the sidebar with the other permanant and semi-permanant links. One popular blogging add in, aptly called Blogroll, automates the task of updating a blogroll for those too timid to edit HTML code manually.

Blog-related sites like Technorati and Blogroll even keep lists of the most popular blogs on the web. There doesn't seem to be much purpose to blogrolling these major sites on these lists except as an act of brand self-identification, like wearing an Ambercrombie & Fitch t-shirt or a Nike shoes, since these large sites have their own agendas to persue

The main purposes of a blogroll seem to be to:

  • define the context of the blog by highlighting similar blogs
  • hang with the cool kids by cross blogrolling with your friends
  • desparately try to increase site traffic by hoping others will blogroll you

Since I am a pretty small fish, there is no reason for me to link to Boing Boing or Daily Kos, since most people can find them on their own. No, I have decided to prime the pump by putting into my blogroll the people that may not have huge sites, but those that I have stumbled on or have been kind to me. Afterall, blogrolling is a rather cynical application of the Golden Rule. That is, if it's done right.

If you see your blog on my webroll, consider returning the favor. Or, if you add me to yours, let me know and I'll give yours a plug. Of course, I reserve the right to limit the total size of my blogroll and to be arbitrary, petty, and vindictive about who goes in and who comes off. Otherwise, where would the fun be?

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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I remember the late lamented Spy Magazine quite fondly. The magazine folded before my subscription ran out and they sent me some other I-forget-what thing to fill out the obligation.

It's because of all this that I am only too honored and pleased to find myself under a headline like Blogrolling In Our Times. Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

I'm still confused by blogrolling etiquiete (and how to spell that word). I mostly use mine to list people I want to periodically check in with, so I want lose their addresses or have to type it in somewhere else. But it's like a closet...a place you collect stuff but hardly ever clean it out.

yellojkt said...

I use mine as sort of a floating book mark as well. It's your blogroll, you can put anyone you want on it. But that won't stop people from forming opinions. It's just interesting to note the different philosophies that appear to be at work.

Your Mother said...

I use my blogroll as bookmarks also. Then no matter where I am I can check into the blogs I like most. I'll be back to check here too. K

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