You can blame Atrios for the loss of my blogroll. He’s right that maintaining a blogroll is a bit more trouble than it’s worth – I can’t create links for all of the blogs that I read because I read a lot of blogs, and that would be a very large block on the side. So who do I recommend, who doesn’t make the grade, and how do I decide when an old favorite has finally “jumped the shark”?
Atrios recommended a “Blogroll Amnesty Day” – a day that anyone can, without guilt, delete old entries from their blogroll. This just seemed like a continuation of the problem – except that I would clean out my blogroll only once a year. I don’t like this idea because it puts blogroll maintenance right up there with cleaning the leaves out of your rain gutters. (Oh ick! It’s a dead bird! How long has THAT been in there?)
So I started looking at my RSS feed aggregator to see if I could automate the process. I use Google Reader as my aggregator, which is handy since I’m also using Google’s Blogger to host my blog. But there are a LOT of sites in my reader – including a lot of things that are not blogs. Shoot I even have my own blog in my reader feed! As I said, it would make for a very long, cluttered, and boring blogroll.
Google has made a sensible suggestion. Instead of a blogroll, how about a dynamic box of content that I found to be interesting reading? Google Reader offers this service – now I can mark a particular entry from my reader and have it show up in my blog. I turn into a sort of blog ‘clipping’ service – except that I decide the content of these clips – not my readers.
Okay, NOW we have something!
So take a look to your right and you’ll see a box titled, “Blogs I’m Reading Now” which shows the last 10 items I’ve read and have found interesting enough to share. If you like, you can click the “Read More” link at the bottom of the box and read all the content through the Google Reader interface.
I’ll still have a blogroll of sorts, but those links will be few, and will be dedicated to friends and family. (People that I correspond with somewhat regularly.)
But the dynamic content will consist of blog clippings that I find interesting. Time will tell if anyone else agrees with me.