Tuesday, September 7, 2010

About Blogrolls

There were some rumblings about blogrolls and stuff.  The short summary is that there are all kinds of different ideas about what should go into a blogroll, who should be on it, things of that nature.  Is good to put friends on?  Should you have quality control?  You know, fundamental questions of life here.

Well, I wanted to take the opportunity to touch briefly on my philosophy of  both blogroll and community.

First, my blogroll is pretty lax.  Not that the writers therein aren't quality, just that I'm more of the "this is what I read" blogroll than the "this passes some random writing litmus test" or "these are my pals".  I guess that's somewhat between two extremes, right?  After all, I'm not qualified to be a writing critic, and what I enjoy may ultimately be crap or gold.  I'm confident you guys can decide for yourself. 

It is also lax because I rarely update it.  I do most of my reading in my google reader.  Combine that with the fact that I can't view my blog proper (only the background sites that allow me to post) from work, and you have something I just don't see a whole lot.  Out of sight, out of mind... as they say. 

I knew early on that I would have a lax blogroll, so one of the things I do that I guess is unique (maybe?) is have it only display the most recent 5 for the "warlock" section and 10 for the "misc" section.  They are sorted by when the last post was made.  Thus, inactive blogs will naturally fall off the list, and it gives the illusion of an active index.  I don't think I'm really fooling anyone (since the same folks tend to stay on top, as they're also active posters), but it does mean that if someone mysteriously makes a "come back", they'll probably pop up over there before I even realize it.  In that way, I don't really have to do the "cleaning" that some other folks do.  Then again, I don't have a huge roll to begin with.  (Also, the size is malleable, but I just don't have time to read as much as most, so 15 is a good size for a "best of today" for me).

Which brings me to the whole bit about the "community" and involvement.  I guess I sort of view the community as this giant ballroom party.  There's a huge buffet in one corner, a cozy bar in another, a dance floor front and center, and a DJ spinning both classics and pop hits.  Naturally, the disco ball spins above our heads and some of us periodically get up for a twirl on the hardwood, while others of us frequent the food and drink. 

I'm the dude at the table near the bar.  I'm probably drunk, I don't make it to the dance floor too often, but I'm having a good time.  It's not that I think dancing is uncool or un-fun, it's just that... I'm right next to the bar.  Being so close to the bar keeps me supplied with beverage, and I've got good people at my table to talk to.  Sometimes other folks stop by and we have a nice chat.  Sometimes (more rarely), I motivate myself to get up and take a walk around the room, maybe poking into a conversation here or there.  Mostly, I keep to my table and ride out the night. 

This is to say, I appreciate the community.  Sometimes I wish I were more involved.  Mostly, though, I accept where my lot falls and enjoy this little corner I've carved out.  I'm not a social butterfly.  I don't have the time or energy to be one of the "Jones's".  I'm a people watcher, a snarky commenter, and a sharp dresser.  Also, the bartender loves me because I tip well and am generally in good humor.

In any case, do not despair if I've not blogrolled you.  Chances are I'm just drunk.  Also, I really appreciate the folks who stop by to say hello.  It makes it more of a party when that happens.

And, like my favorite she-male 'lock Flora, you're not going to find me announcing things about my blogroll any time soon.  It's just not how I curse.


  1. Where's the party?

    Oh you said community... how disappointing...

    I think I'm going to mix up all the links on my blog rol.. I must have missed all the fuss, but it's bound to produce hours of entertainment...

    Might direct all the Mage blogs here... angry Mage readers directed here... lol

  2. Have to say I loved your analogy about the ballroom.
    Made me snigger, because I know where I can place myself in that situation as well.

  3. "She-male?" Oh gawd, there isn't enough brain bleach for that.

    Fuggit, we're at the bar. Get me a drink. With any luck we can nuke short-term memory before it gets backed up to long-term.

  4. Secretly, I come to your blogroll to check out the community. Sure I have the RSS Feeds coming into my email client in the office, and a blogroll on my site, but for the variety, I come here.. :)

    As for that ballroom, I'd probably be that one on the dance floor, about a step out of pace with the music, thinking I look sharp in my khakis and polo.

  5. I've done just what Elka said, too.

    I've started at one blog I like, checked out their blogroll for things I'm not currently reading, and then gone there. And repeat, and repeat, and repeat.

    Anything I see that I like, I add to my feedreader.

    I second the wonderment... what did i miss this time, that so many of the blogs I read are talking about what they do for a blogroll, seemingly spontaneously? It seems as though there was some blogroll drama, and I missed ALL the drama, and am just seeing people I like asserting the maturity of their blogroll... rolling. That this is how you roll.


    Wait... I missed drama. And what, I'm complaining?


  6. Ha, thanks guys. I enjoyed that analogy. There are a lot of places to go with it too ;-).

    @BBB - I don't know that there was drama exactly... my understanding is that there were folks upset about the recent outbreak of singed bras and smokey jockeys (or like... w/e the male equivalent is there). Upset to the point of taking "blogroll action" or some such.

    For me, I felt like it was a chance to talk more about my feelings about the community. I mean, I guess I sort of have community guilt cuz I'm always at my table by the bar... then again, this chair is damn comfy.

  7. I really always looked at the community as some sort of party. Hence the name/mental image of my blog. Not sure I'm the bartender of the entire community though. Maybe there's room for several? It's a huge party after all...

  8. @Larisa - Well, I'm pretty sure my table is near your bar. There could be others, but I tend to get my drinks at the same places :-).