Monday, February 02, 2009

groundhog day

the thing that bothers me about blogroll amnesty day is not that people want to publicize obscure blogs that others may not have heard of. i can certainly get behind that. what i don't like is the notion that there's a right way or wrong way to maintain one's blogroll. individual bloggers can have different ideas of what a blogroll means. there's nothing wrong if any blogger decides to add or subtract a link from his or her list because the blogroll no longer reflects what the blogger thinks a blogroll is about.

basically, what happened two years ago is that atrios decided to trim his blogroll. he has his own view of what his blogroll was suppose to represent and he decided that the current version no longer matched that vision. so he changed his links, which included cutting some links to blogs who had been there before. other big-name bloggers followed suit and also reworked their blogroll. some of the people who got cut, notably skippy, got pissed off that they were no longer on some big named blogrolls. so he and others launched a jihad direct against "A-listers" (which seemed to mostly directed at atrios and kos) claiming that duncan and markos trimmed all the smaller blogs from their blogroll. that accusation was false, but skippy nevertheless insisted that everyone follow his own blogrolling philosophy, specifically reciprocal blogrolling. (that is, if a site blogrolls you, you should blogroll that site back)

two years ago i found skippy's tirade to be particularly ironic for two reasons, first, skippy seemed to be completely unaware that this was not the first time that the controversy about being left out of big-named blogrolls had reared its head. it had happened at least twice before. those earlier instances were apparently beneath skippy's notice because at that time he was on all the big blogrolls. it seemed to me that being left off an "A-listers" blogroll only became a problem when skippy himself was off the list. it didn't occur to him to care before that happened.

and the second reason is that skippy only made up his reciprocal blogrolling philosophy after he got cut from the big-named bloggers' blogrolls. i had been linking to skippy for years, he didn't link back to me until i pointed it out to him in his comments on the first "blogroll amnesty day." and skippy can't claim that he wasn't aware of my blog, because he said hello to me over a year before that.

anyway, i didn't mean to bust on skippy as much as i already have in this post. and i am glad that skippy, and jon swift and blue gal have worked to turn the day from a gripefest about other people's blogrolls into a positive way to highlight otherwise unknown sites. the only reason i bring up this sordid history is because skippy still can't resist dropping quips like the "morass of exclusion" in his otherwise constructive post.

i'm tired of rehashing the argument over whether people are allowed to do whatever they want with their blogroll each year. it's pretty tiresome. but on the plus side, each year it seems to be a little less necessary. each time the emphasis seems to be more on promoting others than griping about being cut. maybe some day we can talk about blogs that deserve greater attention without any gripes about the "one true blogrolling philosophy." then maybe i would be able to sign onto blogroll amnesty day without any of these reservations.

for what it's worth, i like and recommend the following:

the black iris

blood and treasure

dagger aleph


tower of dabble

i didn't include any of the non-political blogs i read, you can find them on my blogroll if you care. and i don't know whether the above blogs "have traffic less than my own" because i don't follow other people's traffic. i suspect that the black iris is significantly bigger than me. but maybe not in this country. and i linked to explananda in last year's post. i'm not sure if that's allowed under the official B.A.D. rules. but on the other hand, i can't say that i give a shit.