The Blogroll – One Last Time

I went out last night for a friend’s birthday celebration and ended up talking about blogging, the politics of blogging, the politics of linking, rank hierarchies and their inconsistencies, and the amount of ire this topic incited. Several of us at the table are dedicated bloggers for various reasons and had to explain the entire process and appeal to the non-bloggers at the table. If you’ve ever done this, you probably realize how much this sucks. Especially if you’ve been ruminating all afternoon over how miserable your feedback can sometimes make you feel. While you’re out trying to have a good time.

This has happened to me before, primarily on more controversial issues in which I have been accused of endorsing censorship. Passersby often leave disapraging comments, but they are absolutely nil when the criticism is from those within your desired community. This case was an instance of being accused of endorsing the breakup of this community. This was never my intent.

Chuck had several inciteful things to say last night, in particular regarding his version of my long-winded, much maligned disclaimer which he responded to with his post “My Sandbox.”

Think of this site as my sandbox, in the big playground of the Internet. There are lots of sandboxes, jungle gyms and curly slides on which to play, but this happens to be my sandbox. Here, I write what I think, I grapple with how I feel, I fight the bad guys I want to fight, and I get to make the rules.

You’re more than welcome to play in my sandbox. I like playing with other people when they make the experience more enriching. More minds involved in the game we’re playing can take us to places we never would have gone by ourselves. And we can do it all without leaving the sandbox — but when we do leave, surely, if the game or its outcome was worthwhile, we’ll end up telling others about it. That, in turn, could lead to others wanting to play the same game, or reconsidering or taking a more critical look at the games they play themselves. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

…I’m more than happy to share my sandbox with you. Please, jump in!

I’m totally down with this explanation of the personal blog. And lately, because I want to take a different turn with my blog, one that is more personal and less likely to get me labeled as positioning myself as an arbiter of anything other than myself and my own feelings on whatever issue, I have a few choices. I can modify this blog to something more suited to my long-term writing goals and risk a significant amount of readership, including burning bridges which I never intended to burn, or I can ditch this place and start over elsewhere completely new.

I have long been loathe of my choice to name this blog what it is named, in part because it seems to posit myself as some sort of authority on a position in which I have little authority, but do I really want to leave it behind? Rana pointed out that it is only those of us who see blogging as a political act who have so much invested in the social structures underlying the blogosphere, including how rankings systems work (or don’t) and who is (supposedly) being heard. But unline Rana, I don’t think Shelley was trying to convince everyone to remove the blogroll so much as her post is in the spirit of provocative writing. And provoke it did.

Some accused Shelley and I of throwing out the baby with the bathwater, but I find that many have disregarded the value in the claims that Shelley was making. It seems that many stopped after reading her initial post and didn’t read the between the lines or touch on her follow up posts (thanks to Astarte for a defense of the spirit of Shelley’s initial post). But one thing I think was exactly right in this fiasco is that seems to be entirely overlooked is this:

Fuck, people, don’t we get it yet? Ten thousand of us women could pick a handful of our numbers to link to and artificially push these people into the Technorati 100 list — but it still doesn’t mean that we women are heard, that we women are seen, and, especially, that we women are given equal respect. All we’ll have done is is ‘even’ out the Technorati 100, and manage to sweep the problem of our invisibility under the carpet–where the elite and the bean counters can then pretend there are no issues, and there’s nothing to be concerned about. Oh no siree, boss, we is all equal here now.

We need to change, yet, what would we change? Will we change things by creating a campaign and educating women to write a certain way, enabling more women to be linked? Will doing so make this all better?

Before this week, I would have said so, but not after seeing page after page at Scoble’s with people recommending the same people over and over again. And frankly, not if women and other ‘non-represented’ groups have to change their behavior in order to get these links. As Michelle Malkin has demonstrated so well, and with such dispassionate and carefully planned out skill–this issue is more about behavior, than race or gender.

Might as well say there are few poets in the Technorati Top 100, as say there are few women or few blacks.

Certain behaviors are rewarded with links in weblogging; certain behaviors are not. It’s just that a certain class of weblogger (white, male, Western, educated, charismatic, pugnacious) has defined the ‘winning’ behavior in weblogging and what must be done to ‘earn’ a link, and this is what we need to change, if change it we can. We have to start valuing the poet, the teenage girl, the middle aged gardener, as much as we value the pundits, whether political or technological.

Bottom line: I want to be respected, I want to be heard, I want to be seen. I want to be visible, but I don’t want to be you.

Further, in the comments to this post, Shelley says:

How many people have felt discouraged when they’ve been out to a person’s site for a while, and left comments or even written about their posts, but they’re never added to the blogroll?

How many people have felt excluded as part of these ‘communities’ because they don’t match some characteristic or another?

I don’t deny the ability of blogrolls to allow discovery — encourage it even (though I think that Lauren’s multi-link posts or including a link in a weblog post are better for this; leaving comments is, I feel, an equally effective measure).

But you’re equating a worth, a measure of a human, based on a hypertext link.

A-listers never had any power until we gave them power. We walked up to the Illuminati and we basically said, “Since you’re so well linked, you must have greater worth than any of us — why don’t you be our spokesperson from now on”.

That is the end result of infusing links with an emotional meaning.

Shades of Grey has a nice, well-balanced view on this whole bit.

And from the response I got regarding the blogroll in the last two days, I think Shelley has a point. A big one. I have witnessed several incidents of “public de-linking” over smaller issues than this and, despite sounding absolutely stupid when you remove it from the digital atmosphere and into the earthly world, have recognized how, apart from being politically loaded, the issue of whom and how to link is personally loaded as well. One reason that I have a problem with maintaining a blogroll is that once I’ve linked someone I don’t want to remove them. At times the removal is a rejection of the person and their writing, and it doesn’t get much more personal, as someone who fancies herself as a writer, than rejecting a person’s writing. I also had extreme issues with removing people from the “feminist blogs” list, in part because I allowed a day for self-selection in which people were able to submit their own blogs as feminist blogs, and in part because although I genuinely like some of the people blogrolled, I was no longer reading them. Because of this, I completely understand some of the reactions I got regarding the removal of the easily available blogroll, but what I didn’t expect was the bit about delinking me because whomever “didn’t want to hurt me.” Delink if you will, but publicly? Condescendingly?

I should have been one of the popular kids in high school so I’d know better how to handle this. Alas, I was not. Am not. Am human, can respond positively to honest criticism, but react negatively to those who cut me off at the root of my personhood.

The bloglines account is a far more accurate expression of my endorsements and daily reads — it changes literally every time I read it. I could generate a blogroll via bloglines, but that would negate the point of removing the blogroll because of my killer loading time. What to do?

Nonetheless, I followed a commenter from Shelley’s blog who writes:

Right now, there are people in the “A-list” who are viewed as authorities. Many of them overtly embrace this and exploit it to their advantage. Some of them, Doc Searls probably most notable among them, demur; but make no explicit disclaimer, seeming to prefer to allow people to have their misperceptions. What is troubling about this is that none of these individuals has indicated they have had any thought as to what their responsibilities may be as a result of their authority, regardless of how they happened to come by it. They can’t simply disclaim, “Hey, I didn’t ask to be on the A-list.” The fact is, they are.

I’m not going to claim A-list, or even B-list, but I do recognize that I have some responsibility to this community of feminist and/or women bloggers if one places value on my ranks in the ranking systems. I do want people with valuable words to be regarded as valuable, and as such attempt to highlight them in ways apart from passive links. Until I decide what to do with this ol’ blog, I’m going to honor the community of people who have supported my thoughts over these last few years. It was never my intent to rebuke you.

Because of the overwhelming response to my removal of the blogroll, and the insistence that others are actually using it, I am asking what kind of arrangement readers would like to see. Is the link to Bloglines and Feminist Blogs enough? If not, what is useful?

And remember, please, that it must be useful to me as well. I won’t be getting off of my damned dial-up connection anytime soon.

24 comments for “The Blogroll – One Last Time

  1. May 7, 2005 at 7:24 pm

    I have an extensive blogroll as well. Over a hundred fifty blogs at last count, categorized (lefty/righty, doctor/lawyer, etc; you are featured under ‘feminist’). I base my blogroll on one thing only: whether or not I like what the person is writing.

    I don’t play these idiotic ecosystem-ranking games. In fact, I tend to not link to the heavier trafficked blogs (I’ve never linked to Instapundit) because 1) a lot of them are heavy on de-linky and one-word, smart-ass posts and light on intelligent commentary; and 2) I would rather hunt down some obscure blogger who doesn’t get much traffic but has a lot to say. I don’t pay any attention to whether the person is male or female other than for obvious reasons (whether to put the blogger in my ‘Women of Punditry’ section or not, for example).

    This means if the person begins to get boring or his/her posts don’t resonate with me any more, they get dropped from the blogroll. I don’t make a big deal out of it; their blog is just gone one day and replaced with another. I do think you should regularly visit the blogs on your roll–not every one of them every day, of course, but frequently enough to keep the links current. One of my biggest pet peeves is to click on a link and get one of those horrid ‘404 not found’ messages. I don’t care in the least if anybody’s feelings are hurt, and I don’t care if someone delinks me. It’s the same as getting rid of a book you can’t finish, and no one should take it personally.

    But I thoroughly enjoy perusing other people’s blogrolls, and have found most of my favorite blogs that way. Extra-long blogrolls do leave my poor head spinning, which is why I have categorized mine. I haven’t got into the RSS thing yet (I know, poor poor pitiful me, I belong in the Jurassic Net era) so blogrolls are still a Big Deal to me.

    Having said that, may I make a suggestion? If you don’t want to fool with your extra-long roll anymore, how about linking five or ten blogs at a time and rotating them, say weekly? That would keep the numbers under control and still allow us to visit and read bloggers whose opinions and posts you value. Also, having only 5-10 blogs on the sidebar would allow the page to load fairly fast. (And please, get broadband as soon as possible. I will never go back.) I will read your blog in any case, but I think that might make it more enjoyable for some.

  2. May 7, 2005 at 8:29 pm

    What I’m thinking of doing because of load time (which doesn’t affect me much, but does affect readers) is implementing a java drop-down menu. I *think* this would solve the load problem. ‘Course, I have no idea how to write the code, but it can’t be that hard.

    I have all sorts of plans to revise my template. Soon. Really, I do.

  3. May 7, 2005 at 9:22 pm

    i actually don’t have a suggestion, but i just wanted to say that as a new blogger who hasn’t thought much about this stuff until now, this discussion has been extremely informative and interesting. your posts have educated me – as have people’s responses to them. including those rude public delinkings- those say quite a lot about people’s investments in the community.

    anyway, thanks for the great discussion, and i hope that when you get down about the unpleasant or critical things people say, you will remember that many more people really appreciate what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, and how much thought you put into it.

  4. May 7, 2005 at 9:48 pm

    How many people have felt discouraged when they’ve been out to a person’s site for a while, and left comments or even written about their posts, but they’re never added to the blogroll?

    Am I the only one who finds this statement disturbing? Do people read the blogs of others and leave posts on sites purely for the purpose of self-promotion or are they reading and commenting because they feel they have something to add to the conversation? Linking to indulge others inner Madonna undermines the purpose of blogrolling, doesn’t it? I list links to blogs I find interesting on a consistent basis, I do not necessarily agree with the beliefs espoused by blogger listed but think they present an interesting perspective. I also think others who find what I write and/or my subject matter interesting could possibly enjoy the other blogs much better than my own. I use the blogrolls of others for ideas of new blogs to check, but I’m even more likely to follow a link to the blog of a commenter based on their comment than anything else). To be honest, I was shocked and flattered to find a link to my blog on a few of the blogs I’d visited regularly (amused by how I’ve been classified by different people too), I certainly didn’t expect it and would prefer to think the link was added because they found my babbling interesting/informative (or they had a buzz and found me entertaining) and not because they felt some obligation to do so.

    It’s what you do, why you do it and how you do it that matters. Don’t let someone else’s cat poop in your sandbox.

  5. May 7, 2005 at 9:58 pm

    Lauren, I just want to say that if I was one of the people who upset you with my comments, I wish to apologize. That was not my intent.

    I think you are right in observing that this is all so touchy because blogging can be such a personal endeavor, and it’s not always clear to what extent a blog is functioning as a personal journal, or as a table in the cafe for friends, or as a lecture hall, or a political convention. Advice or suggestions that are appropriate to one set of blogging behaviors and agendas may well be grossly inappropriate for another.

    And I think that’s what happened with Shelley’s post — she had good points to make about the ranking system as it relates to bloggers who are trying to get a message out — but it was when she generalized out to blogging in general that people became angry (and, to be fair, some of that generalization was more in the minds of her readers than in her original post).

    I believe similar things happened with your post — what was, for you, a basically personal decision took on additional weigh and significance because of your status in the progressive and feminist blogging communities.

    I have to say that it’s exactly things like this that make me not want additional traffic — I like my blog readership as it is in terms of both quality and quantity, and it would be a very different experience if I had as many readers as you do.

    I think, despite the pain and hurt feelings, that this discussion in the long run is a useful one, if only because it helps remind us “older” bloggers that blogging is a highly variable experience, depending not only on interest and style, but also on the goals, audience size, and — often forgotten — loading speed of each individual blogger.

    I appreciate what you’ve been doing, in any case. If you shift to a smaller, more personal blog, I would like to keep visiting — it’s not just the information you provide that brings me here — it’s you.

  6. May 7, 2005 at 10:58 pm

    Thanks for the link. I think this has been a really great discussion that has brought up many good points. Though I feel that the benefits of having a blogroll outweigh the downsides for me personally, I’m not under the misapprehension that what is true for me will be true for everyone. I can certainly see the downside to having a blogroll with 200+ links. And I’ve seen the downside to being publicly delinked — never to me personally, thankfully, but I haven’t been around that long, so I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. I know that when I see it happen to bloggers in my circle, it makes me sick to my stomach. And it makes me highly reluctant to delink anyone myself.

    I guess what I’m saying is, for all I love blogrolls as a smaller blogger, I know I’ll feel the weight of mine later on.

  7. May 7, 2005 at 11:45 pm

    Excellent post, Lauren. I think I might write one more post on this topic myself and then just let it go.

    Rana, thanks for noting that I really was not telling people what to do in that one post. I was trying to make a point. In a way, I think it was made.

    “And I’ve seen the downside to being publicly delinked — never to me personally, thankfully, but I haven’t been around that long, so I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. I know that when I see it happen to bloggers in my circle, it makes me sick to my stomach. And it makes me highly reluctant to delink anyone myself.”

    Charlie, I have been publicly delinked. There was a round of it a year or two ago, and it was not pleasant. Most of the time it was very demeaning. I pulled my blogroll not long after.

    “I guess what I’m saying is, for all I love blogrolls as a smaller blogger, I know I’ll feel the weight of mine later on.”

    That’s actually one of the best things I’ve read about how a blogroll can ‘drag’ at times.

    Again, Lauren, excellent writing, and thankfully the conversation looks to be calming down–and maybe we can pull something good from this.

  8. JC
    May 8, 2005 at 4:33 am

    A Java driven list would still take as long to load, even if the user doesn’t drop it down to look at it.

    With respect to your blogroll, I think the “I’ve been reading” posts are great. Maybe giving them a real home instead of “Elsewhere” would help? I don’t think I’ve ever found a blog through someone’s blogroll, though I read your site through the RSS feed as it is, and people’s mileage varies.

    There is always You could maintain a blogroll of sorts there, as some people seem to have done.

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  10. Kim
    May 8, 2005 at 8:08 am

    I’m fine with your linking to Feminist Blogs and your Bloglines account — if I get curious, I can click the links and peruse to my content. However, I have to admit, I never actually did use your blogroll to surf when it was still up. On the other hand, every time you post one of your multi-link “What I’ve Been Reading…” posts, I open up every link in new tabs (Mmm, Firefox!) and then read through each one. Found a lot of great blogs that way — and some really, really great articles, too.

  11. May 8, 2005 at 8:43 am

    I don’t think I’ve been blogging long enough to have a strong opinion about this … but when I followed a link over here to see what this discussion was all about, I took a look at your blog and without even thinking really, automatically clicked the button to blogroll you …. somehow, that seemed kind of ironic.

  12. May 8, 2005 at 10:36 am

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see why anyone would be upset with you Lauren, if they’re upset. I like having my blogroll because it makes it easier for me to access blogs I read regularly. I have others bookmarked. I haven’t linked to many bloggers in my posts lately because my posts have been family law-related, and I had a sick cat and a son who needed to be carted around to driver’s ed. I haven’t felt much like blogging lately because I’ve been busy. I knew your blogroll was very long, but I forgot you had dial-up, which I know would make it take a long time for your blog to load in. I don’t personally feel that removing a blogroll is a slap in the face to anyone. I understand why you chose to do it. I’m sorry if you’ve gotten flack for it. I haven’t read all of the posts about this business, so I’m not really up to date on it. I think it’s more important to post and keep a blog updated than to worry about rankings and blogrolling.

  13. May 8, 2005 at 10:47 am

    Thoughtful response, Lauren. There’s a lot of self-reflexivity there. Clearly, we all have strong feelings about what we’re doing with our blogs, blogrolls, links, comments. It’s surprising, isn’t it? Especially when you’re out for the evening with friends. It’s good you could chat with them (my non blogger friends just smile politely and their eyes glaze over when I say the word “blog”). I have thought about this whole thing several times over the course of the weekend and I’m quite amazed at how much this stuff does resonate in our emotional lives.

    In all of the comparisons of blogging to old media I think perhaps a better comparison is with public figures. Particularly political figures. We create reputations for ourselves and, depending on our politics and beliefs (about blogging or anything else), we draw a crowd. What you say begins to have meaning beyond your day to day life. Perhaps even a little power! People begin to follow your words with interest and support or challenge you. I always thought that was a difficult thing for politicians – having to live out loud and be continually under the spotlight. But they’re doing this to achieve larger goals (and gettting paid). We’re just doing this, most of us, becuase we love it. We’re not getting paid but we’re dealing with many of the same emotional and psychological pitfalls of public/political figures. But unlike them we have the opportunity to step back and rethink our moves. To reconsider, reflect, etc.

    I do, entirely, agree with Shelley on one thing: that many a-listers are rewarded for *being* something. And she’s right that they aren’t being rewarded for being poets, or mothers or gardeners. That’s part of why I’ve chosen to celebrate the people I celebrate in my blog. To counter that in some, small way. I think part of the reason those people, the a-listers Shelley is talking about, have been raised up so high is because they have been valued according to old media standards. Just look at the kinds of people the old media celebrates. What we’re doing is different. I wish people would keep this in mind. And this is why I’ve felt that blogrolls are important. Because they offer, however much some of you will disagree, an opportunity for us to turn the spotlight on voices we appreciate.

    But we all have to examine who it is we are celebrating and why their voices matter to us – or should matter to others.

  14. May 8, 2005 at 10:50 am

    What an inspiring post!

    I haven’t been posting much because Blogger zapped half my template while I was working on it (some glitch in the system), and it took me awhile to find the time to go back in and recreate it (a chore, but at least I found the time to add more links!). I’ve been thinking about what direction I wanted to take my blog, too, so the discussion around “BlogrollGate” couldn’t have been more timely.

    It’s like the pop music charts; I loathe vapid pop shit like Britney Spears, and would love nothing more than to turn on the local “we play everything” pop/rock/R & B station and hear some of the music that they never play, like the Roots, Cassandra Wilson, Bob Marley, or Koko Taylor. But it ain’t gonna happen. Ever. I have to find alternative outlets to hear the music I like. And since I’ve been listening to music all my life, and having been raised by/with/around people who prefer other genres than Top 40, I know how to find my way around the obstacles of hearing good music in the midwestern cornfields!

    But I didn’t, and still don’t, have that advantage in blogging, or using the Internet in general. I didn’t learn how to use a PC until I was over 30. I graduated from high school before computers were taught in school; only “rich kids” had computers. I’m self-taught, still rather rusty, and I’ve found my way around by my nose. When I set up my blog, I geared it towards people who are coming into computer-use and blogging the same way I did—at an older age, with no formal training, few if any skills, and from a labor/building trades background. I want my blog to be a place where people from the jobsite can come and hunt around through the links and maybe find something really cool, that they wouldn’t be or haven’t been exposed to before. A place where they can stretch the limits of what “labor activism” means, into a larger frame of social justice. And because I want it to express me (doh! isn’t that why we’re all here?), I throw a little of everything else in the mix too.

    But….that’s not everybody’s “sandbox”. I’m specifically looking for a smaller, more local, and definitely labor union readership. There are folks out here with a larger frame of reference, and with a large readership. People who can be a real force for change in the blogosphere, and bring new voices and new ways of thinking, and linking, to the mix. Will they multi-handledly render common blog-ranking systems irrelevant? Maybe not. But they could make the “pop charts” not the only game in town. Perhaps we’ll have our own version of the jazz charts, or the underground hip-hop charts out here…or something!

    In the meantime, along with deciding to focus more on labor issues in my blog, I’m going to adopt Lauren’s practice of “what I’ve been reading” posts, to push some more interesting, lesser-known work and ideas out there. That has been an extremely useful feature to me. Please keep doing that, Lauren, and whether or not you have a blogroll won’t matter. There’s always folks like me out here who’ll keep ours in the mix.

    Some days, it’s Etta James, some days, it’s Jean Grae, ya know? ;-)

  15. May 8, 2005 at 4:12 pm

    I think the links to Bloglines and Feminist Blogs are enough for me, personally; I’m more interested in being able to sometimes check out the blogs you’re reading than in whether the links get counted in the Ecosystem.

  16. May 8, 2005 at 10:05 pm

    ummm—this is all a bit too self-referential for me. not wanting to offer insult to anyone about this bogrolling stuff, but really, there are a lot of us and if each lists whatever blogs we like or find interesting or stimulating there is a web of links. i know the slow loading thing is a problem for some, use bookmarks. i have a fast enough dsl so that i don’t mind going to a blog where i remember a link to someone i want to check in on, and i can do a search if need be. my eyes glaze right over at those 200+ lists of blogs.

    the dharma bums recommend blogs that we read and participate in. some of them blogroll to us, some don’t. all blogroll or recommend blogs we don’t. whoopee. networking. good thing. just sayin’

    i have a bookmark and i’m not afraid to use it.

  17. May 8, 2005 at 11:24 pm

    Lauren, reach into your Fuck It Bucket and have a piece of candy. Keep the link to your public Bloglines and be done with it. If your readership hasn’t somehow marked for themselves all the links off your blogroll that they want to follow, then they need to get with the times and add some Favorites or get their own Bloglines account or whatever.

    It sounds to me like you’re wasting a lot of mental energy on this. If you’re this stressed over your blogroll, get rid of it.

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  19. May 9, 2005 at 8:20 am

    As a newbie to the blogworld, I like blogrolls. If I read a blog that I enjoy a lot (like yours), I click through the blogroll to see what other like-minded people I can find. I understand the dial-up issues, having dial-up myself. But a link to Bloglines would still serve the purpose for me. Thanks for asking.

  20. May 9, 2005 at 8:36 am

    I’ve seen a number of blogs that have a link on the main page to their “blogroll” which is then housed on another page. Then, if you want to go to that page to surf the blogroll, it’s not on the main page slowing down progress for those who are there for some other reason. That might be a solution for you. Maybe put your blogroll on a secondary page, like your “about me” statement. I know I’ve sometimes surfed your blogroll, and I know I’ve had a few people pop in from yours to mine and stick around a while. So that could solve the problem for you.

    My own blogroll is run by putting anyone I know of who links to me on it. I don’t read every single blog on it every day– and sometimes it seems very difficult because I get guilty feeling cause I haven’t read “so in so” in a few days and I try hit every blog on the list; but man does that take time (which I don’t have)!! I also have removed a blog here and there that I wasn’t reading at all, that wasn’t interesting to me anymore for whatever reason. And I worried that the person removed was hurt by the removal. I always notice when someone links me, and I know I would be hurt if JUST my name disappeared from someone’s blog that I read regularly. If a whole blogroll disappeared (as yours did) I didn’t take it personally. Say what you will that it shouldn’t matter; try to be grown up about it; I will/would still feel bad. If someone I comment on all the time, and clearly read a lot did not ever put me on a blogroll, I think it would bug me. It has bugged me. It made me feel like they felt I wasn’t worthy of their high standards. If they had NO other links, fine, but if they had a few, and I wasn’t one of them in spite of regular comments, it bugged me. It’s sort of a community thing. And it is a bit about self-promotion. You may say to yourself “I write for me, who cares who else reads it” but it you really ONLY write for you, why publicize it at all? Why link? Why put it where anyone can read it? I write for me, but I like having an audience too. You must be even more so because of your political posts– you have a platform and try to educate, so you clearly are talking to more than yourself. If you’re going to change that, that’s cool.

    I would personally keep the same name, because it is part of who you are, but just make some sort of announcement about the change.

    Longwinded– sorry. But I look forward to more personal posts. I like hearing about people’s personal lives, and I think that sometimes our autobiographical stuff is just as political at times as our political essays.

  21. May 9, 2005 at 8:47 am

    You know, it pains me that this question needs to be asked. I don’t know what kind of hits you get a month, a day, or even an hour, but I’m going to make a safe bet that even in an hour you get more hits than I do in a week soooo let’s start by saying that I have no idea what kind of expectations are thrust upon you. What I do know is that I am angry that this has become such a big fucking deal. It’s your site, your blogroll. That you should feel pressured to bring it back pisses me off.

    I discovered very early on that linking and delinking is a minefield. For that reason (and the crappy dial-up connection) I moved my blogrolls to a portal page. There I can link and delink to my heart’s content. People who check that sort of thing still probably notice but that can’t be helped.

    We’re not meant to like everyone and everyone isn’t meant to like us. I can’t be stressed out about who’s not liking me on any given day. Unless I’m actively trying to annoy them, I have no control over how someone reacts to my actions. That’s life. If that’s the way I behave in real life, why then should I feel compelled to link to someone and keep him/her on my list forever if I’ve stopped reading them? What I don’t do and have never done is publicly announce why I’m linking or delinking someone. That just seems so very junior high.

    Anyway. I have to run into another interminable meeting so I’m gonna end this with saying: Do what you please. Unless people start chipping in to cover the costs of your hosting, you’re the only one who has final say in the matter. People by nature are complainers. It’s the blogroll today, tomorrow it will be something else. It’s never ending. Do what works for you and let it be that.

  22. mac
    May 9, 2005 at 9:41 am

    I dumped my blogroll long ago. People bitched. Big deal, let them bitch. What blogs I’m reading is no one’s business but my own. If I see something worth linking to, I will…in an entry.

    My indifference about all this crap is probably indicative of how much I want to be the popular girl in the blogosphere. I.just.don’ This is not me trying to make a name for myself — this is me, just writing and venting for a variety of reasons.

    In many ways, I think people who are overly concerned about being linked and delinking and caring whether or not someone has a blogroll are just taking this whole thing a smidgen too seriously.

  23. May 9, 2005 at 12:30 pm

    I’ve been amazed at how personally attacked people feel about your blogroll decision. I admit I was hurt when my first commenter deleted me from their blogroll, but eventually I realized that I didn’t care to read that person’s blog anymore either so I deleted them. Since then I never bother to see if I’m still on people’s lists. My writing style has changed drastically in the 4 years I’ve had my site and so have the sites I visit. Very few of the original blogs I read are still in existence. I got tired of the way my layout looked with my long list of sites on the side of my blog, so I created a separate page where I have people linked. Unfortunately, I have to change this page manually so it doesn’t really reflect who I read anymore. I need to sit down for an hour and add in a ton of sites that I read and delete a bunch that I don’t.

    In the end, I’m just amazed at what a big hullaboo this became.

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