Blogrolls are so yesterday - bring in the blogclips!

I've made a couple of changes to my site to try to make it a bit more dynamic.

You can blame Atrios for the loss of my blogroll. He's right that maintaining a blogroll is a bit more trouble than it's worth - I can't create links for all of the blogs that I read because I read a lot of blogs, and that would be a very large block on the side. So who do I recommend, who doesn't make the grade, and how do I decide when an old favorite has finally "jumped the shark"?

Atrios recommended a "Blogroll Amnesty Day" - a day that anyone can, without guilt, delete old entries from their blogroll. This just seemed like a continuation of the problem - except that I would clean out my blogroll only once a year. I don't like this idea because it puts blogroll maintenance right up there with cleaning the leaves out of your rain gutters. (Oh ick! It's a dead bird! How long has THAT been in there?)

So I started looking at my RSS feed aggregator to see if I could automate the process. I use Google Reader as my aggregator, which is handy since I'm also using Google's Blogger to host my blog. But there are a LOT of sites in my reader - including a lot of things that are not blogs. Shoot I even have my own blog in my reader feed! As I said, it would make for a very long, cluttered, and boring blogroll.

Google has made a sensible suggestion. Instead of a blogroll, how about a dynamic box of content that I found to be interesting reading? Google Reader offers this service - now I can mark a particular entry from my reader and have it show up in my blog. I turn into a sort of blog 'clipping' service - except that I decide the content of these clips - not my readers.

Okay, NOW we have something!

So take a look to your right and you'll see a box titled, "Blogs I'm Reading Now" which shows the last 10 items I've read and have found interesting enough to share. If you like, you can click the "Read More" link at the bottom of the box and read all the content through the Google Reader interface.

I'll still have a blogroll of sorts, but those links will be few, and will be dedicated to friends and family. (People that I correspond with somewhat regularly.)

But the dynamic content will consist of blog clippings that I find interesting. Time will tell if anyone else agrees with me.


Jon Swift said...

I have an entirely different view of blogrolls, which might interest you.

Anonymous said...

Okay, you link to everyone who asks. What do you do when you're asked by 1,200 people? That's PZ Myer's position.

Personally, I'm not upset about deleting someone from a blogroll - I didn't link to a blog for the benefit of that blog - I linked to it for the benefit of my readers. The problem is that I'm a busy guy, and didn't maintain my blogroll.

As an engineer, I wanted a way to connect the blogs I'm already reading to my blogroll in an automatic way - with some filtering attached because sometimes I read some sick, unsavory things. (James Dobson comes to mind.)

Automatically linking to individual posts that I think are neat or relevant is a good way of being much more 'liberal' in directing my reader's attention to people I think are worth their time.

Naturally those blogs I read more often will have links more often. And if you click on the "read more" link you'll see the older articles that have rolled outside of the blogclip box.

I don't think that the "link to everyone" philosophy is sustainable - I keep thinking "WWBBD?" (What would Boing Boing do?)