Anatomy of a Blogroll

Posted on July 27, 2009. Filed under: Culture, Games, HowTo, Musings |

It’s my second blogiversary today, and while it seems a very short year since my first one; it also seems as if I’ve been at this for more than two years! As I wrote in my last post, summer, and July in particular, seems a good time to start a new project and a new “year”. My new academic calendar doesn’t list any particular holiday for July 27, so I’ll just declare it “Muse Year’s Day”.

I’m having a lower-key celebration this year than last. I do want to thank everyone who stops by and reads. I appreciate those I’ve come to know, who think of me occasionally, and give me reason to think of them: “You allow me someone to write to, but more than that, you lead me all over the world to view your cultures, your personalities, and the uniqueness that is YOU!”

On my blogiversary this year, I’ve been reviewing my Blogroll and what it means to me; what it’s FOR. When I first started blogging, I created a blogroll because I saw them on other blogs. “All the cool kids had ’em”. πŸ˜‰ But, what were these things? Why did I want one? What criteria was I supposed to use? It turns out that Blogroll-rules are as unique as bloggers. (Of course! There’s a bit of “the rebel without a blog cause” in bloggers, isn’t there?) ❓ Some use the ‘rolls as lists of all the blogs they want to read every day, or at least, frequently. Others use them as recommended sites, often grouping them into categories. (If I write about “music”; here are some other “music” sites I recommend…) Still others list all the blogs that have the owner’s blogs in their blogrolls! Wikipedia defines a blogroll this way: “A list of blogs on a blog…that reads as a list of recommendations by the blogger of other blogs.”, while says this: “A blogroll is a list of links to blogs that the blogger likes.”


I agree with both, and with neither (not surprisingly). Although my blog only officially launched two years ago, I’d spent the prior year reading blogs, deciding which platform to use, thinking about things like tags and categories, and writing a few posts before I actually signed up. I tend to be slow and methodical with things. The most hilarious question I ever saw on a WordPress forum was from someone who had quite the opposite tendencies:Β Β  “I just started a blog today on WordPress! What should I write in there?” Um…WHY did you just start a blog on WordPress? That might just offer a clue to answer your own question!

Anyway, in all the time I spent thinking about it; looking at it; choosing a theme; even choosing an email address to match; I didn’t really think about blogroll(s). So now, from my lofty vantage point of two years in, here’s what I think about mine:

I don’t “recommend” blogs on my roll to you. My ‘roll is partially a list of blogs I want to read nearly everyday, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I think you should too. There’s a theory out there that “if a reader likes a blog, they’ll probably like blogs the blogger likes”. That may or may not be true. I “like” different blogs for different reasons, and as I’m not one to make lists of recommended sites in particular categories which relate to my topics (whatever they are! They tend to be rather eclectic), I don’t know that you, as a reader would necessarily find new satisfying blogs to read by looking at my list. Still, I do value them myself, and I try to give a brief description in the “hover text” so you can see if there are any which attract you.

My blogroll also contains links to bloggers I value for one reason or another beyond the content of their blogs. Of course, this is a matter of discernment; after all, if I “like” a person, it stands to reason I’d like their writing, their presentation, or their topics. And, of course, the only way I’ve gotten to know any of them is through their writing. But I’ve found, over time, that there are a few bloggers who don’t write about things I do, but they’ve become friends. So, I like getting to “see” them in my sidebar.

Finally, there are those few who may not comment or correspond very often, but they remain, as I have a soft spot in my heart for them. I usually remove people who haven’t commented, or who haven’t written a blog post themselves for a very long time. But there are a few who befriended me when I was a newbie that I will always have on my ‘roll unless they stop blogging altogether and there’s nothing to link to. (That has actually happened a couple of times, and there are one or two bloggers with whom I had a good rapport, but are now, alas, gone from the ‘sphere.)

I don’t link to someone just because they link to me; (although I certainly consider that kindness!) I don’t remove them—necessarily—even if they have not visited in a long while, if they are people I value; have been kind and helpful to me in the past, or have a connection that goes beyond everyday reality.

So, for the most part, the links you see on my sidebar are for some of the bloggers I want to read every day. There are some—very few—I’ve been hangin’ with for almost the whole two years I’ve been here. You know who you are, and I hope you know how much you mean to me!

Happy MuseYear!

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29 Responses to “Anatomy of a Blogroll”

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i have a big spot in my heart for you, muse… (and soft too ;).

(i’ve not stopped blogging, i just “moved” alot of them onto my facebook in the form of statuses, pictures, videos, links, apps coupled together with my commentary… as a result I still have a chronicle of all the interesting things in my life but they are now expressed in a more free, diversified, and shall I say creative form of expression, and time efficient too. (The last one is important because with less time required for each update/posting I effectively end up sharing More on FB than I can by writing a blog post, as I can afford the time to post more Often on FB (albeit shorter)).

Not meaning to turn this into a FB discussion here… I just want you to know that even though i don’t post as often as i used to, I am still, and will be, reading you.

Happy Bloggiversary!

Very nice post, Muse!

See? this is one of the things I was referring to in my comment to your previous post. Your posts are lengthy (of course, I mean this in a good way!), and very insightful.

Also, thanks for your compliments on my music and my style of writing πŸ˜€ @};–{


I’m not surprised about your motives or explanation for your blogroll.
I expected it and would’ve said the same πŸ™‚

Happy MuseYear!

Happy second bloggiversary, Muse! I love the “Muse Year’s Day”
Lets make it an official WordPress holiday where we celebrate your blog.
I don’t think I am alone in saying that I am so happy that you do blog and that you have an impact on people.
Do you know that? Isn’t it amazing that something you have said can really change the way a person reacts or thinks about things? I know I have changed the way I look at things from reading your posts. And even though I have a ways to go yet, I feel I am a better person for it.
So, thank you for writing, encouraging and teaching those of us who are still searching…

Bloody hell – two years? Bejeebus mine must be coming up soon then – but, as always, my love to you and have a great one!

And thanks for the comments over at mine πŸ˜‰ XX πŸ˜€

Happy second bloggiversary! πŸ™‚

Happy 2nd Bloggiversary and for more to come! Cheers!

You must have an impressive reading speed, Muse. I have trouble keeping up with the blogs I love, including yours. But I appreciate your voice.

Did you see the post on Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love? She spoke about how, instead of a person β€œbeing” a genius, all of us β€œhave” a genius. That a muse expresses through us rather than it coming from us or a me.

We could say our muse shines through us. When we can learn to be present to who we are and allow, our genius awakens. Thanks for exemplifying that.

Well, you are definitely one I would keep on my blogroll, my dear walking, and I know you are out there. You do actually post, occasionally, to your blog! And I find your Twitter-tweets, too. I suppose I’ll get on Facebook eventually. If I do, I will give you a large amount of credit for that. Awww, that’s nice! Even though you’re more FaceBookie than Bloggie these days, it warms my heart to know you are still reading me. πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€

I do see, Juan! And you, too! Skillz—we has them πŸ™‚ Oh, whew! I’m glad “lengthy” is “good”, at least in my case! πŸ˜‰ I want to download ALL your music, but I’ll review your post again to find some and let you know. You sent me a virtual rose! 😳

Thank you, poch! When I started blogging, I thought that blogrolls were the same for everyone. They really are as individual as we are, aren’t they? πŸ™‚

Thanks, leap! {everybody party!!!} πŸ˜€

Ah, BD, that is soooo sweet of you! I don’t know that the entire WordPress community wants to celebrate “MuseYear’sDay”, πŸ˜‰ but that’s a nice thought! Your words are tremendously insightful. It IS amazing that my musings here can impact another life! It’s humbling, and a tremendous responsibility if I choose to look at it that way—But, also, we each find learnings and inspiration we are ready to find at THIS point; THIS day on our path, so it’s because you and I were both ready to do this dance that we came together. I truly believe that. If anything I’ve written has inspired you to think a little differently (hopefully in a better, more useful way) about things, then that is the best compliment I could receive, and the best reason to keep on bloggin’. I find your journey courageous and amazing in many ways; it’s a privilege to know you. 😎

Two years, Will, and all! Your unique, inimitable style continues to make my eyes open wider 😯 and my smile smilier πŸ˜€ each time I read. Thanks for all the love and support; you really are a treasure!

Thank you, Shane! What are you bringing to the party? It’s a potluck, you know! πŸ˜‰

Yay, I’m gratified you want more to come! Thanks for the cheers, Kiran!

Well, I don’t read every single blog post every single day, but I do try to keep up! Thank you, Davidya, I appreciate your appreciation. I, in turn, am amazed at your prolificacy. You must spend a great deal of time reading, researching, and attending to write all you do. Not to mention the actual writing time. Thank you very much for the link! I love the TED talks, and this one is terrific. You are very kind to comment on allowing the muse! Certainly, if I can get out of my own way, “the muse doth flow through”.

Happy happy bloggiversary, Muse! (One happy for each year.) Sorry I missed the actual day. I was in San Francisco – and also on that day in Berkeley, Larkspur, San Rafael, Ross, Fairfax, and Sausalito. And I have been blissfully disconnected from my computer for a whole week. (Love the automatic scheduling feature!) A lovely thing to be disconnected once in a while. But it was also a nice treat to see your comment when I got back.

As for the whole blogroll thing…I try to only include career sites I recommend and special blogs I love to visit on a regular basis (like yours). But, as you say, there are other human factors that enter in at times. Anonymous confession: I have one link that, although I know it is not the best info and I sometimes feel guilty for including it for that reason, I very much support the spirit of the person and like adding my energy to their blog and efforts. And so, despite the ethical dilemma, I keep the link there.

There. I feel better now that I’ve shared. πŸ˜‰

I’m so glad we connected in the great blogosphere, Muse. Peace out and in my friend.

Thank you, thank you, RA! Absolutely ALL the cities and towns you mentioned are former hangouts of mine. I remembered coffee shops, bookstores, and SCENERY, from all of them! {envy; envy}
It sounds like you had a great time! I am honored you chose to confess, here. In my role as Universal Minister (which is a self-created title, and is as changeable as the day is long) I absolve you completely. πŸ˜‰ The human factors are important, and are what makes our online relations, well…human. I’m glad you let me know about that. I so appreciate our connection! πŸ™‚

I’ve a surprise for you Universal Muse, but you must search for it at WP Writers Group πŸ™‚

Happy MuseYear (belatedly)! πŸ™‚

And now you have me thinking about my blogroll (narcissist that I doubtless am), something I clearly never paid enough attention to. I think it could do with a spring-clean…

It’s so cool that you explain this – but it’s really sweet to see my blog – oops! my other blog!! on the roll. very cool. My blogroll is entirely for me as a reminder to go visit blogs I like (but may not visit every day.) Happy 2 Years!!!

Bravo!…I am glad u haven’t removed me! hihi! I am not sure that I am included in the few first ones but I can assure u that ur blogroll was shorter at that time…Mine is shorter over the years…


You are very sneaky, poch! πŸ˜‰ Thank you, I did. I appreciate the honor! πŸ™‚

Thank you, B0bby! I’ll always take good wishes, belated or not. Narcissist—you? Certainly not the first word springs to mind when I contemplate your admirable self. Indeed! Let’s get out that Blog Broom! πŸ˜‰

Thank you for the Happy-ness, Care. Of course you are on the Blogroll. I mean, really! I agree, they are people I want to keep up with. I don’t go everywhere EVERY day, either, but I try to get around a few times a week. πŸ™‚

Why thank you, CV. You will always be on my Blogroll; you were one of my first friends on WordPress! It surely was shorter when I first started out. Hmmm. I hardly remember, but I’ve been lucky to meet such lovely people here online—like you! πŸ˜€

Am late! Happy Muse Year’s day!! πŸ˜€ (belated). Just dropped in to say hello…and to tell you I still exist! Don’t know what category I fit into in the above; but you definitely hold a real special spot in mine!! I am on facebook. I don’t twitter much off late just like I don’t post anything! You could always mail me πŸ™‚

Yoo hoo! I love blogging anniversaries and I’m so happy you choose to link to thistimethisspace
Best wishes to you for many more years of happy blogging. πŸ™‚

Once again we’re on the same page. I’ve never been quid pro quo in either direction when it comes to my blogroll. Doing so makes me think of a feature in the long-defunct Spy Magazine (which actually published some of my stuff) called Logrolling In Our Time. It showed book jacket blurbs of authors raving over each other’s books. So in our world I think of it as Blogrolling In Our Time. πŸ™‚

πŸ˜€ Makes me grin quite big to be included on your list. (likes me…really likes me)

happy muse year to you, too.

i can’t believe i missed this post! i subscribe to your blog through’s blog surfer. this is what happens when i stop blogging, sigh…

i maintain a similar mentality when it comes to what goes into my blogroll. it is mostly of friends and regular commenters. i remove them when they have not been commenting for a while or if they stopped blogging.

i just want to say thank you for blogging. you are one of the best people i’ve known through this platform. imagine if we didn’t blog! i would have missed knowing such a lovely, unique, awesome individual. you advise me without making me feel small, you support me when times got tough for me, you cheer me up with your perpetual optimism… even though you are not actively involved in my life save what you read and say about it, i can actually feel your genuine concern about me. your friendship is priceless to me!

cheers to one of my most cherished blog buddies! *HUGS* happy belated MuseYear! πŸ˜€

I’m REALLY glad you still exist, Apar, and I saw you are answering comments, too. I will email you! There’s something I want to ask you… Hope you’re patient. Thank you for your good wishes, and you’re not late. We’ll keep the party going as long as possible!

Thank you, TT! You have been there since day one for me. Seems like a lot has happened in two years! I’m not posting as frequently as I once did, but I have a few backed up; I appreciate your presence on Blog Catalog, too. πŸ™‚

Really, ella? Are there back issues? I didn’t know about this mag, but they sound eclectically wonderful, and if they published you, quite tasteful as well. “Blogrolling In Our Time”—perfect!

Aw, heck, yeah, jules! Melikes me philosophy friend! Thank you! It’s a very musing year so far! πŸ™‚

I think you were busy packing up your blog for TEMPORARY storage, sulz! Oh, your comment brought tears to my eyes! I feel very fortunate I met you here in blogland. Can’t imagine not knowing you now, so of course I will haunt you on Twitter until you’re ready to return. (I know…if.) Thank you for all your good wishes and for being my friend. It is very genuine, and means a lot to me!!! {{HUGS}} πŸ˜₯ πŸ˜€

Oh, Spy folded more than a decade ago, so the only copies might be on eBay, although I think a book about it was published in the past few years. Co-founders Graydon Carter moved on to VF and Kurt Andersen has done a lot of things since then, but I can’t put his name with any particular venture.

Mail me any time Muse! πŸ˜€

Hi, Happy second blog anniversary or Muse Year! πŸ˜‰ (belated, of course) I wouldn’t say I missed your post, its just that I access my feed readers late not getting enough time to visit blogs with leisure. But I promise that I will read every post, just in some time. Ok, in lot of time, but I will be reading it. πŸ™‚

Thanks for letting me know that, ella. It does sound like a fascinating era and publication! πŸ™‚

OK! πŸ™‚ I’ll be there soon, Apar. In the meantime, life, sometimes, intervenes…

Oh, thank you so much, Poonam! You are very welcome to read every single post! πŸ™‚ but seriously, it’s OK if you don’t, too. We all have so much to keep up with.! I’ve been enjoying seeing you on Twitter, too. Hope things are getting healthier in Pune.

[…] both become annual traditions for me. I looked back at my last two July 27 posts, for 2008, and 2009, and I can’t help but feel a little sad. On the one hand, I’m so grateful for the […]

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