You’ll find there are many similarities between websites and blogs. Think of a blogroll as a list of “Recommended Links”, much like the one found on many websites. Links are usually on a separate page while blogrolls are prominently displayed in the sidebar with each post. Outgoing and incoming links count in ranking your website or blog on search engines. Both list and blogroll need to contain relevant links, otherwise search engines like Google can discount them in determining rank. Many new and socially networked bloggers overlook this in their quest for link exchanges with any willing blog. They can also turn off readers when sending them to unrelated blogs, many with lots of ads.
The main distinciton with a blogroll seems to be the ‘honor roll’ aspect and the inherent tendency to mushroom. Link maintenance and wrestling with who to blogroll can consume your time. If you’re on their list, do you have to add them to yours? If you add them to your roll, are you expecting the same “courtesy”?
What about a good reason for one? The list has to be beneficial to the blogger or the readers, preferably both. If readers want to know which blogs you’re reading or if you want to point your readers to related or even diverse resources, then by all means! I found a blogger who had started a BlogCatalog discussion called “Looking for interesting blogs”. On the surface it seemed to be asking for blogs to go on his blogroll as a veiled reciprocal link deal.
Ravon is his name and he now has 19 blogs on the roll. But when challenged about the growing list he replied: “But i really just put blogs which i will read on a regular basis up on to my roll. You mentioned that one of the site on my roll is poorly designed, but the fact is i focus more on the contents that i like. Even if it is not well-designed, i enjoy reading the entries…”
My response to him was “Well you are a breath of fresh air, someone who enjoys reading content and is not just looking for blog promotion! … Anyway, thanks for reminding me of the real purpose of this directory i.e. to find blogs you want to read!.”
I must admit as a newbie blogger, I was a bit ‘honored’ when Ravon added this blog to his ‘long’ blogroll — guess I can see why some bloggers take pride in being on certain rolls! But I’m not yet convinced I should add one. There are many other ways to read favorite blogs by subscribing to the feeds in a browser, Google Reader, which is web-based and aggregates your feeds, or by email. All especially easy and non-political to stop reading without anyone knowing. ( How will I feel when Ravon removes this blog from its place of honor. LOL?)
A blogroll sort of says who your friends are, who you fit in with — it’s too early for that since I’m sampling, stumbling and reading lots of blogs! Anyone interested in knowing what I read can look at the “My Blogging News” widget. As far as giving credit (being a fan of) other bloggers you can find them in links within the text of specific posts. Ravon’s blog has a different audience (following), so it suits his style to share the blog list. Thanks Ravon for your blog “Take a Break, Let’s talk” and for being the live target (I mean subject) of this post.
Okay, that seems like a hidden blogroll!
*** related post (update on this concept) How to use blogger blog list – I finally created my list.