11 December 2004
Do I need a blogroll?

I know everyone has one but, as is the spirit of this blog, that is no reason why I should.

The null option is to do nothing ie not have a blogroll at all.  It is not as if I don’t mention all sorts of people as it is.  And I think recommending an individual post is a much better way of giving someone a plug than a mention on a blogroll. However, there are also blogs I read every day which I tend not to link to - on the grounds that they don’t need a little imp like me promoting them ie Instapundit and Samizdata.  I ought to at least give them a nod.

The only other real argument that I can think of is to have a handy list of links for my own benefit.  But I already have that at Bloglines.  You can see my list here.  The drawback is that there is a hard core of RSS refuseniks who I can’t read that way.  No, I have to log onto their sites on the off chance that they’ve published an update.  It is so 2003.  But still, I need the list. But I feel that if I mention them then form demands that I mention everyone else. Now, there is a potential solution here and it relies on a clever piece of code from those nice people at Bloglines.  What it allows me to do is to automatically list all those thoughtful people who have provided a feed and then, at the end, the recusants.

But where should I put this list?  Most people put their blogroll up on the sidebar.  But I think at this rate it is going to get a bit clogged.  What I think I am going to do is to create a separate page - possibly even post and then link to it from the sidebar.

That only leaves one outstanding gripe.  I don’t like bald lists - especially long, bald lists.  They give you very little idea what to read.  My idea was to create a new post for every new blog with a little description and then, by the magic of categorisation, create a blogroll automatically.  Sadly, what with all my existing Bloglines listings this isn’t really feasible - we’d be here until Christmas.  Pity.  Who knows, maybe Bloglines will set that up.  After all, they’ve set up pretty much everything else.