Sunday, February 03, 2008

blogroll amnesty day

one year ago, a blogger decided that his blogroll needed updating, that it was filled with links to defunct blogs and no longer reflected what he read anymore. so he set aside a day to rework his blogroll from scratch, deleting the whole thing and then re-adding links to blogs one by one as each site occurred to him. then he had the audacity to tell people that was what he was doing. and so a major shit-storm erupted.

last year i joked that some version of said shit-storm seemed to happen every winter. but the shit-stormers seemed to believe that this was the very first time the issue ever came up in the history of the universe. and that was the big irony behind the whole thing. in 2004, a blogger named tas claimed that big bloggers weren't paying enough attention (i.e. linking to) to small bloggers. in 2007, a blogger named skippy claimed that big bloggers weren't paying enough attention (i.e. linking to) small bloggers. why did skippy think he was raising the issue for the first time in 2007 even though he was blogging back in december 2004? well, because skippy happened to be one of those bigish blogs who was ignoring tas' smallish blog back then. [note: skippy popped into the comments to clarify that he never claimed to be the first one raising the issue when he raised it last year. i stand corrected]

the bottom line as i see it is that bloggers can link or not link to whoever they want. maybe it's my socialist leanings, i don't really buy the links are capital theory because i don't think that hit rankings are a measure of the success of a blog. in a perfect world people would be free to link or not link to whoever they like. a blog is (or at least can be) a personal expression of the blogger and so the blogroll, like everything else, is just a reflection of what the blogger likes. it shouldn't be seen as a slight on anyone else.

but this isn't an ideal world. blogistan is also a web of relations between actual people, and actual people can get their feelings hurt if someone they admire or respect deletes their beloved site from a blogroll. i understand that and i sympathize with that. but i just wish they would say that instead of dressing the issue up in highfalutin theories about "link capital" or "support."

but i digress.

my real point is kind of the opposite of where i seem to be heading here. my point is that, like i joked a year ago, this really is turning into an annual event. except instead of bitching and moaning about how the big fellars aren't linking to the blogs that the small bloggers think the big fellars should be linking to, they're making "blogroll amnesty day" an opportunity to link to and feature smaller sites that they think deserve more attention. i don't have any problem with that.

blue gal suggests linking to one to six blogs with smaller traffic than your own, but in my case almost everyone has more than me, so here are six i recommend (even if at least three are bigger than me):
bark bark woof woof. if links were capital, i would be so far in debt to mustang bobby, i'd never dig out of that hole. he links to me (and everyone else in the all-but-defunct liberal coalition) literally every single week. on top of that, MB regularly highlights and writes straightforward analysis of whatever is in the news. i don't link to the site all that much, you'd never know how much i am hooked by mustang bobby's excellent work.

the booman tribune. booman is arguably one of the big bloggers already. he hardly needs my love. but this is one of the only two scoop-style sites that i read regularly. (the other being the agonist). i don't like most scoop sites. but what draws me back to the booman tribune is booman's excellent political analysis. reading the site really has transformed how i look at the primary race. booman isn't always right, but he is always provocative, at least if you're into the wonkish inside baseball look at the american political system.

explananda. it's an eclectic site about almost anything. it's the only group blog where i like all the group bloggers (usually i develop favorites and start skipping over the posts written by my least favorite writers). the posting schedule is erratic, but when something appears it's always fun to read. and even if a post never shows up, the site is worth visiting just for the link candy on the upper left.

the registan. another blog i am plugging that dwarfs this site in terms of link numbers. it used to be the personal site of nathan but for quite a while it's been a group blog. i wish nathan posted more often, but it's still well worth reading simply because it gives the best coverage of central asian news out there. i realize that you may not be obsessed with the central asian stans as i am, but you should be. which is why you should be reading the registan.

she flies with her own wings or coeruleus. it's the same site, the two links go to the same place; there doesn't seem to be any real consensus of which one is the real name of the site. but whatever the hell you call it, it's one of my regular reads. it focuses on science and the environment, with a generous helping of making-fun-of-the-wingnuts to round things out.

wAitiNG foR doROthY. W4D is a group blog written by a bunch of emilys (henry0 seems to be a figment of their imagination). emily2 writes most of the posts and she will write about almost anything. if i'm ever in the mood to find a random funny link to post, W4D is one of the sites i turn to.
which brings me back to something i said above. don't get mad at me if you have a blog, even a site that you know i read, that didn't make the six blogs listed above. the above aren't my six favorite blogs of all time,1 just the ones that strike me, at this moment, as deserving more attention. i actually have sites that i like more than all 6 of them.2 please don't get pissed off at me for leaving your site off.

1-unless your blog is one of the six, then yes they are.
2-unless your blog is one of the six, then no i don't.