I have been thinking about removing my blogroll in a new design. My blogroll needs updating but instead of reconsidering the blogs in my blogroll I have been thinking about removing it altogether. Not only is it outdated, the blogs I want to link to are subject to change and I rather link to blogs through blog posts than through my blogroll.
Currently I mainly link to friends from university and some other people writing about new media. My blogroll is pretty coherent as it reflects the focus of my blog but what about the other people I want to link to?
The blogroll is one of the canonical features of the blog. The term was presumably coined by Doc Searls on December 17, 2000 and is often refered to as
The section of a weblog that lists the sites that the blogger reads on a regular basis. This is usually located on the side of a blogger’s frontpage, or on a separate page linked off of the frontpage. (Winer, 2003)
An early attempt to list all blogs was made by Cameron Barrett on Camworld in November 1998. This original list is still available on his blog and is now published as his blogroll. “The original blogroll” resembles both a blogging community and an early blog index. With the growing popularity of blogs index and search engines such as Eatonweb came into existence.
Blogrolls are a personal index of blogs that need attention. I am currently neglecting my blogroll and have a hard time letting go of it because it seems such a standard feature of the blog.
Have you removed your blogroll? What was the reason? Do you consider the blogroll a canonical feature of the blog?
Author: Anne Helmond
Anne is a New Media Lecturer at the University of Amsterdam. She participates as a blog researcher in the newly found Digital Methods Initiative of the University of Amsterdam. Anne also writes about blogging and academics on her personal blog and the collaborative Masters of Media blog.