Monday, November 05, 2007

on blogrolls

With post #500 looming I have found myself taking stock of the whole blogging thing. Yesterday I finally followed through with a decision I had a really hard time making: tossing the blogroll. I love blogrolls; it's how I found good blogs when I started and it's how readers have found mine. They are invaluable resources. But the fluid nature of blogging means that I was constantly updating it ~ or so it seemed. That was fine when I was keeping track of 20 blogs but as the numbers increased, so did my apathy. I allowed my blogroll to become so out-of-date that I was procrastinating, and the neurotic in me was getting stressed over the whole thing. I know there are people who choose not to blogroll and I never had anything against them, but I liked to think I was a 'caring, sharing' kind of blogger.

The truth is, I often allow my life to get out of control with over-commitment. Over the years I have learned to stop, analyse and remove the non-essentials before I overload. From a practical point-of-view I wasn't even using my blogroll. I find Bloglines to be a much more efficient way to keep track of the (too many) blogs I like to read. See, that was another problem; I was trying to keep both Bloglines and my blogroll updated and Bloglines was winning. So yesterday I took the leap and hoped nobody would notice. Almost immediately my favourite idler-from-down-under did! Busted!

Anyway, in the finest spirit of "don't try this at home, kids" I hope that nobody thinks I'm on to something and deletes their blogroll after reading this, especially if I'm on it! :)

26 Comments:

Blogger Angela Rockett said...

I hear you on this. I love blogrolls! I think that's how I found you! But I hate the upkeep, and my Bloglines has many more blogs on it than my blogroll at the moment.

5/11/07 9:52 AM  
Blogger Ed Maskevich said...

Overcommiting had been a way of life for me. The OCD and ADD would tell me I could do it and cheer me on. Of course the overcommitment gave me a whole new set of things to obsess about. Now after many years and lots of meds I can pace myself AND enjoy it more.

5/11/07 10:05 AM  
Blogger dinahmow said...

HAH! Now people are going to wonder why I have never had a blogroll. So I suppose I'll have to address that on my blog.
Anyway, you do what you feel comfortable with.Those of us who "know" you will keep on stalkin'!

5/11/07 12:42 PM  
Blogger Merisi said...

Oopsie, here I was thinking that nobody noticed that I had lost my blogroll when I switched my template! I never got around to re-write it.

And about your blogroll, I fully understand your reasons for wanting out of it. I am glad I found you and happy that you continue to blog.

5/11/07 2:30 PM  
Blogger Alda said...

How brave! Congrats.

Like you, I find blogrolls a bit outdated. I use Kinja to keep track of blogs and just sort of keep my blogroll up there for the sake of other people, but I don't think people click on the links very much. And I hardly ever click on other people's blogrolls, I tend to find like-minded readers through comments on blogs I like. Which is exactly how I found you. :)

5/11/07 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Tess said...

I agree, you gotta do what you gotta do to suit you best.
But you guys do realise you can synchronise your blogroll with Bloglines, don't you, so you never have to manually update your blog list?
You just go to the Bloglines home page, click the Share button, and it takes you to a Generate HTML button that you can just copy and paste into the appropriate place on your sidebar.
Then whenever you add or take away anything from Bloglines, your action will be mirrored on your blogroll. Voila!

5/11/07 3:54 PM  
Anonymous swampgrrl said...

three cheers for ditching the blog roll!!

i cannot freakin' keep up either.

you go grrrrlll...

5/11/07 6:56 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Angela: I was finding that my blogroll and Bloglines overlapped -- but not that much!

Ed: Ha! You know EXACTLY what I mean then!

Dinah: What?! You have no blogroll????

Merisi: Thanks you and it's funny how a change can make us unload the non-essentials, isn't it?

Alda: Me, too. And if I think about it, that's how I've been doing it from a few months into the experience. Communities arise, and I like to think I'm part of several.

Tess: I didn't know that! But I must admit that now I've done it and got it off my chest I feel lighter. I may try that later but for now -- I'm enjoying the change.

Swampgrrl: Uh-oh. Are you next? :)

5/11/07 7:57 PM  
Blogger homo escapeons said...

I had to quit for a MONTH because I felt such pressure to reciprocate the kindness of those who had made the ultimate sacrifice of screen sucking on one of my blatherings. I thought that Blogging was a contact sport...and it is but not in the conventional sense of the phrase.

This is a unique experience in freedom..the freedom to write what you want and visit whomever you choose, but at the centre of it all is one person sitting alone in front of a computer just putting it out there.

You can be calculating about it and be a sniper and aim at your target audience or just use a shotgun and blast away and hope that you hit something...or you can just do whatever needs to be done. Those are are almost always the best.

Regardless of how you approach Blogging, as a form of expression or socializing...if what you do out here has merit or strikes a chord..somehow the right people find it. That is the magic.

Andrea you will always have an audience because you are so talented, sincere, curious, and generous. It shouldn't be like grade 6 and you can't be friends with so and so because you didn't get invited to their birthday party and sign your yearbook so nyeh!

Congratulations on your 500th (almost) longetivity and continuing efforts to raise the bar.

5/11/07 8:03 PM  
Blogger kj said...

i don't know what either one even is!!! as a result, no pressure on my end!

:)

5/11/07 9:12 PM  
Blogger tlc illustration said...

Maybe I'm one of those archaic bloggers that actually *do* click through blogrolls... I like 'em and appreciate when like-minded people that I wouldn't find otherwise are listed there...

ah well...

5/11/07 11:32 PM  
Blogger ziggi said...

was I on it?
:)

Actually the only blogroll I look at (besides mine) is HE's because I'm first - it's my only claim to fame!

ps - Have I won yet??

6/11/07 1:22 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

I just love to see your art and hope you will comment on mine from time to time. Nuff said.

6/11/07 6:26 AM  
Blogger HMBT said...

I like the comments better than the blog roll...but I am keeping my blogroll just because it makes it easy for me to click through and not have to keep up with all the other stuff. That's just me...I like you still even though you booted my link. WAAA! :)

6/11/07 7:07 AM  
Blogger daisies said...

like you i use a feed reader (google reader) and deleted my blogroll about 3 years ago ~ i prefer to link through on my side bar, blog posts that scream out at me, noteworthy items, etc ... and my feed reader makes it really easy for me by having a button called share that i hit and i've set it up to automatically show up on my page :)

6/11/07 8:11 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

HE: I believe there is a whole new age philosophy brewing here and you are amongst the foremost of its philosophers! Looking forward to what the fuure will bring and thanks ~ YOU are the generous one!

KJ: Yes you do -- you just don't know it! :)

Tara: YOU are one of those caring, sharing bloggers I mentioned -- and aspire to be. As for archaic, I always knew you were into Celtic stuff... :)

Ziggi: Yes you were and no you haven't. Yet. :)

Paula: Yours is one that never made it to the blogroll but did make it to Bloglines -- though I must apologise to one and all for my delinquent visits lately.

HMBT: Thanks for keeping me! (phew!)

Daisies: What I like about Bloglines is the fact that I don't even need to leave the page if I don't want -- every updated blog is just THERE and I can ignore the non-updated ones.

6/11/07 8:26 AM  
Blogger Ian Lidster said...

You sound just like me re such sources of guilt -- and that doesn't really surprise me. I agree that blogrolls and one's sense of 'duty' towards them can become unwieldy. Also, new people will touch base three or four times, and I will feel obligated to add them, because I think they might be insulted. So, I understand what you are saying.

6/11/07 8:53 AM  
Blogger A Kite Rises said...

When I started blogging, I found the whole thing very technical and difficult and had to try and re-try twice (with several months in between, due to frustration!) before finally getting up and running. I have been unable to do a blogroll despite several attempts, but a friend came to my rescue and I have that advice stored and have been putting off doing it, fearful of the techie side I guess! I think you should do whatever makes your day brighter and less daunting and will continue to follow you (jeepers, that sounds a little stalker-ish! you know what I mean though, I hope :)

6/11/07 9:01 AM  
Anonymous angie's pink fuzzy said...

I totally overcommit and then feel pressure to keep up!

That being said, Bloglines has a code that you can insert on your blog and it will list your bloglines blogroll. Then you only have to maintain your bloglines...

6/11/07 6:30 PM  
Blogger Within Without said...

Having really pulled away from blogging recently, I empathize, Andrea.

With the new Google Blogger, I've had some issues with my blogroll, and it's still not right.

There's something about it I like. I like putting people on there I connect with, and I like seeing me on others' too.

But it's not the important thing. I have no idea what Bloglines are but I'm going to check it out...

:-)

6/11/07 7:37 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Like you, I can't take it when things becomes a pressure. Like KJ, I don't even know what these bloggy things are! But tartx (how many blog references can I get in here?)did a great piece on 'blogging without obligation'. Suits me fine.

6/11/07 10:19 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Ian: Your comment made me realsize that obligation, depending on context, can either be a positive or a negative. Hmmm.

Kite: I think that's what I'm trying to do, hard though it seems sometimes.

Angie's PF: Shhhh! I'm just trying to get used to this feeling of weightlessness. I might try that later.

WW: Stop telling me the good things about it! You're making it harder. :)

Peter: Tartx is kind of an inspiration to me, I must admit, so I bought $85 worth of stuff from her yesterday. Ooops...

7/11/07 8:43 AM  
Anonymous martha said...

Blogging takes a lot of time, and I can relate to feeling overwhelmed. I do like blogrolls though. They bring me a lot of new visitors every day. And I follow them too (which is how I got here today). It's your blog though - do whatever makes you feel good!

7/11/07 12:44 PM  
Blogger nadine said...

Andrea, I love the landscapes you have on Etsy right now. They are truly beeuuuteeeful!

7/11/07 3:01 PM  
Blogger Jana Bouc said...

Congratulations on taking the leap and setting limits. I've recently had a similar conversation with myself and freed up a lot of guilt about not commenting or responding to comments. Sometimes when it all gets to be too much I just move all the email in my inbox to another folder and forget about it. It's quite freeing as well. My blogroll is fairly small and seems pretty stable (and you're on it) so I have no plans for getting rid of it, though I do occasionally adjust it.

9/11/07 12:16 AM  
Blogger Merisi said...

Andrea,
I have read through the comments (a warm thank you to all who have commented and shared their knowhow and wisdom) and feel really torn (no worry, I don't suffer pains yet). I don't remember how I ever found you, but I am grateful I did (me, the accidental blogger). I have collected a few blogs I really like to visit, even though at times I am delinquent. Time management forces me to be.
A few weeks ago I accidentally deleted my favorites bar and I am slowly regathering the links. I felt really bad at loosing all those blog friends.

12/11/07 10:05 AM  

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