Monday, February 18, 2008
To be a blog and not to roll
A recent column on the Poynter site asks: Are blogrolls still useful? My answer is yes, at least for some of us.

Blogrolls are those lists of links that many bloggers include on their sites. Some blogrolls are organized by theme, and others are just long lists. Like anything else, blogrolls require updating and revising so they don't get stale.

The Poynter piece suggests that blogrolls are out of date because many readers use RSS feeds and thus do not see the blogrolls. These readers just see individual posts. Judging just by the visits to this blog, I see that more people are reading my blog this way. (However you get here, thanks for reading.)

I'm still going to keep and update my blogroll, however. I don't use RSS feeds, so I turn to my blogroll as a guide to places I like to visit. It's my starting point.

At other blogs, I glance through the blogroll to see what that blogger's favorite places are. If it's a blog that I have never visited before, those links give me an idea what the blog is about. On occasion, I will see a blog listed somewhere else that I will add to my blogroll. (The Watch Yer Language blog from the ACES blogroll is an example of this.) So blogrolls are like news tips.

Perhaps someday all of us will read online using RSS and other specialized filters. Until then, I will keep rolling.

UPDATE: I've added three blogs to my blogroll this week: Editrix, Notes from the Copy Editor and Grammarphobia. And I am keeping Nicole Stockdale's blog, A Capital Idea, in there even though she hasn't posted in a long time.
posted by Andy Bechtel at 10:24 AM | Permalink |


  • At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

    Thanks for keeping your blogroll. I don't use RSS and I do use your blogroll all the time.

  • At 9:37 AM, Blogger Andy Bechtel

    Thanks, Anonymous. I'm glad you find it useful.

  • At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Chris O'Brien

    Andy: Is there an RSS feed for your blog? Or do you have it switched off?-

  • At 12:52 PM, Blogger Andy Bechtel


    Yes. It's set to "Full" in Blogger. Let me know if there's something else I can do to make it work easier.