Pharyngula

Old wounds

Boy, you jump on one bandwagon that starts to creak and rattle and fall apart and take a wrong turn down an ugly path, and no one lets you forget it. The Republic of T resurrects the ugly corpse of “Blogroll Amnesty Day”, I’m mentioned as one of the cruel participants, and
Lauren and Chris get in on the act. In case you don’t remember it, “Blogroll Amnesty Day”, or BAD as Chris puts it, was a brief moment when a couple of the A-listers announced that they ought to clean up their blogrolls and make them more representative of their current interests, open up opportunities for new blogs to get linked, etc. The net effect, though, seems to have been that the Big Dogs of the Blogosphere tossed a lot of people off their list of links and ended up rather clubbily talking to just themselves.

I thought BAD was a good idea, in principle — we ought to encourage some regular adjustment of blogrolls, be open to fresh blood — but it turned out to be a spectacularly bad idea in practice. Personally I tried to counter the tendency to narrow my interests with a Blogroll Open Enrollment Day (and I’ll be having another sometime in the future), but still, I’m always getting tarred with my association with the great blogroll purge of 2007.

You can find my complete blogroll listing here: it’s got something like 560 entries. The way I handle the extravagant length here on the main page is to display only a random subset of ten entries at a time, over on the left sidebar; which ten changes each time the page is loaded. I also use my blogroll — it’s not just a link dump on a page. I’ve got the RSS for each blog in my newsreader, and if I see a new blog I like I add it to the list of feeds (I also go the other way, and if the newsreader tells me a site hasn’t been updated in a month, I delete it). I periodically run a script on my newsreader’s OPML file that converts it to html, and I upload that to my blogroll page. Seriously, if you’re on my blogroll, I guarantee that I at least scan the titles of your posts each day, read a little bit of your articles regularly, and dip in and read the whole thing now and then.

So please, can everyone try not to cite me as one of those high-falutin’ wicked elitists who won’t condescend to link to the little people? Besides, I’m not an A-lister. I’ve been campaigning to be referred to as a ζ-lister, but everyone ignores that request, too.