I’m a little slow to comment on this, but Dorothea posted a comment on why CavLec doesn’t have a blogroll. (Or, rather, why it doesn’t currently have a blogroll. Read the post.)
I’d intended to comment, either here or in email to Ms. Salo, way back on May 7. Did I mention that these are strange and busy times? (I didn’t comment directly on the blog because CavLec doesn’t do comments either. Dorothea notes that, since it also lacks visible TrackBacks–as do I–”Some go so far as to say it is not a blog because it lacks these features.” Right.)
Here’s part of her commentary–part of the reason she dropped her blogroll:
I ditched my blogroll quite some time ago, when I discovered that revising it was a social act with social consequences. One of the principles in the current blogroll debate had swamped my (often inadequate, conceded) ability to cope with moodiness, angry chaff, incessant conflict, and “if you’re not 100% with me you’re 100% against me–AND YOU SUCK!” all-or-nothing thinking. Nice person (fundamentally), excellent blog, but I’d had all I could deal with and more. So I de-blogrolled the blog, admitting both then and now that it was a speech act; I did indeed mean to send a message by it.
More recently, she’s been persuaded by
an argument for diversity of voices. If folks like me hide their blogrolls, then only echo-chambers will have blogrolls, or something like that. I’ve got plenty of blogs on my Bloglines subscription that other people ought to read, and I’m missing out on a chance to connect those good blogs with good readers. That is, indeed, regrettable
Hmm, I sez. Bloglines makes it very easy to populate a blogroll with your set of subscriptions. I knew that when “I” started this here weblog. (“I” in quotes because Blake Carver did the heavy lifting and Dorothea Salo provided the crucial suggestions; I just made choices and did a bit of hamhanded template editing, of the “little knowledge is dangerous” variety.) And I deliberately didn’t use that option.
For that matter, there’s nothing on the site called a “Blogroll,” and that had to be intentional, since the heading comes packaged as part of the LetterHead template. Instead, I have two headings: Library Folk and Other Folk (also Places, so I guess that’s three). I populated each one sparsely–Library Folk with just over a dozen library weblogs that I thought were less well read than they deserved to be (OK, so I had to include LISNews…), Other Folk with a few other interesting blogs.
The entries under those headings are supposed to appear in random order (do they?). I planned to update the set of entries every month or two–take a few out, put a few new ones in–although I haven’t done that. One or two people grumped slightly about not being in the list of “Library Folks,” but I didn’t catch any serious flack.
Now? I dunno. Part of me says I should drop the sections entirely, or at least the “Library Folk” section; it’s not as though it’s difficult to find librarian weblogs. Part of me says I should stick with making a few changes every couple of months, just offering a sampling of “interesting weblogs I pay attention to.” None of me wants to put all 120+ of my Bloglines subscriptions in a Blogroll. After all, there are some blogs that I track but really don’t agree with or particularly support…although I’ve given up on some of the most extreme.
Am I failing to point out interesting weblogs to you because I don’t have a comprehensive blogroll? Does my “just an interesting sampling” strategy make sense? Should I drop blogrolls altogether?
Or, just as likely, is this a totally inconsequential issue?