Skip to main content

In praise of blogrolls


(That’s blogrolls not bogrolls. Stop sniggering at the back there.) Back in the days when only scientists and software engineers knew about algorithms, and the words “filter” and “bubble” were only next to each other on a Scrabble board, we had blogrolls. This would be a selective list of the blogs that you subscribed to placed on your own blog. Selective because only the bravest people put all their feed subscriptions on public show, unless you didn’t mind everyone knowning you had a thing for Selzer drinks or dogs dressed as Star Wars characters.

Today I came across a blogroll, which shows that they aren’t dead. What happened was I followed a link to an article on kottke.org where Jason listed readers' recommendations for new blogs. I had a look at the suggested list and subscribed to a few which looked like they had interesting posts in. One of them was karigee.com. I was looking for contact details so I could comment on an article and I came across this link to her blogroll. I've yet to look through that list of blogs, but I'm looking forward to doing so.

What you would do with blogrolls in the olden days is look through them and see if any of them were interesting. If they were then you’d subscribe to them in your feed reader and then every time you opened your reader you’d have a fresh lot of stuff to read.

Not that I’m against algorithmic suggestions in walled gardens; in fact you might be reading this article syndicated on a walled garden that I support. The advantage of this approach is that you don't have to kiss a lot of frogs. There is still the possibility that there's a tight mesh of people all linking to each other, so if you follow them through you go round in a ring (webrings, now there's a another thing) and end up back where you started. However, at the moment I think humans are better at curating than machines.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

20 years of blogging: First post

Back in 1999 it mostly cost money to run a blog (from what I can remember). You had to sort out your own hosting. Then Dave Winer  made on offer on his blogging platform editthispage.com  for a 60 day free trial , so I was away. So what was my very first post? What words did I choose to post for all on the internet to see?  23 December 1999 I'm stil trying to decide what to do with this. Click on the skull to add your suggestion. Oh, that's not very good is it. A typo in the second word too. The URL was morrissfamily.editthispage.com. (I think. Everything I say could be unreliable, because it was a while ago.) I also created an FAQ page that day: Who are the Morriss family? We are just a normal family with a dad who likes exploring the internet. Why don't you have more information? Because I'm not sure want I want to do with this site. I think there are no typos there. The idea was that I would share family news. Come back in January to see what my next

20 years of blogging: fourth post

4/1/2000 Things are moving   We've had the letter from Wycliffe about "raising support".  They want us to aim that 25% of our income comes from other people by the end of a year, and 50% by the end of two years.  Other news: I've officially asked for voluntary redundancy Spoiler: after 4 years of trying I didn't even get to 20%, so I was paid a salary after all.

Follow up to Matt's "Three feelings" post

This is in response to Matt 's post Three feelings I don't have a word for .  (A blog post in response to a blog post. How quaint.) "Imagined vastness" sounds like a very specific instance of the more general "sense of wonder" or sensawunda . For me I get that feeling of imagined vastness when reading Iain M Banks' Culture series. I don't get the Stack Overflow vertigo he talks about, but I do have a feeling of holding something almost physical when I've got something on the clipboard and I haven't pasted it yet. It's similar to the feeling that I (maybe it is just me) get when I know there's a bit of coffee left at the bottom of the cup. Atemporal hotel lobbies is something I can't really relate to. I do have my own unnamed feeling though: Cycling to work It's that moment when I whizz down our sloped drive and start pedalling up to the road. Because I WFH I go out at lunchtime these days, and the feeling just isn't the sa