Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The Noz Curse and the One Year Rule

Long long ago, I used to write a post whenever I messed with my blogroll. Then I stopped partly because blogrollin' got all political and shit, and mostly because I realized that writing a post about the links that I add or subtract is boring. But also a little bit because I started noticing the Noz Curse.

It didn't quite happen every time. It probably didn't even happen most of the time. But I have a human brain, and the human brain looks for patterns all the time (which is why we have conspiracy theories). And the pattern I was seeing is that whenever1 I found a blog that I liked and added it to the list on the right, that blog would stop putting up new posts. That is the Noz Curse. By blogrolling a site, I just might be killing it.

So I have this other rule that once a site enters the blogroll, it is entitled to stay until an entire year goes by without a new post. Which is what made the Noz Curse even more annoying because that meant that I would clutter up my blogroll with inactive blogs. I would keep checking back on them, initially hoping to see if any new posts had popped up, but then later hoping that nothing new appeared so that I could cut the site as soon as that first anniversary of the last post rolled around. In one case, a blog went inactive for just over eleven months, then posted something, and then stopped again, which meant I had to give the site another freaking year.

So in that sense the Noz Curse is a double tragedy. First, it means that a site in which I saw such promise and interestingness stops being promising or interesting just as I got around to noticing. Second, my blogroll is burdened with this freeloading link that isn't contributing to the bloggy goodness as it is supposed to for perhaps as long as a year.

Which is why I fear for Inanities. I only discovered that one because of the This American Life story that I listed to a couple of weeks ago. Since I added it, nothing new has happened. Then again, if I just paid attention to the date stamps of the posts on the first page, I would have noticed an almost five month gap (July 27, 2013 to December 18, 2013) and perhaps thought twice about adding it to the blogroll. But I didn't notice it and so I judged it solely on the basis of the quality of the posts, not the frequency. Unfortunately, the frequency may be the problem. The author just doesn't post much--but definitely more than annually--which means this blog will torture me on an ongoing basis.

1- By "whenever" I mean not every time, and probably not even most of the time, but it felt like most of the time because every time it did happen I would say to myself, "SEE! IT HAPPENED AGAIN" and my human brain would note that incident more than all those other times that it didn't happen again and I didn't say anything to myself. Or at least I think so. I don't actually remember all those not-happening again-instances because they didn't fit the pattern I was looking for., but I nevertheless believe they happened because there are active blogs on my blogroll. Stupid human brain.