There was some talk about blogrolls a few months ago regarding whether they might make a comeback and could still serve a purpose.

James Shelley has reignited that discussion in the most compelling way:

"It’s an honest question: who are the people whose ideas and words have so much value for you that you access their writing directly (blogs, newsletters, etc), without depending on your social media channels as your primary conduit to their work?

I guess another way to put it: if you were going to rebuild a blogroll today, who would it include?"

James is someone whom I have only recently discovered but have found myself quoting a few times in quick succession. There may be more than a touch of confirmation bias involved but I like the way he thinks; he seems to be on a similar journey or, at least, a familiar one.

Micro.blog is now my only (quasi) social channel and it has been good for facilitating discovery but when I find a blogger that interests me I won't rely on that social channel.

I never have.

I've always used RSS, even when the cool kids decided it was dead, and often end up on a blogger's site even if their RSS feed provides full text.

But their words have to draw me there, give me a reason to make that investment, provide the value that James mentions above.

While I have my Directory as a means of discovery it is without explicit recommendation; a blogroll goes that step further by saying "these people, and what they say, matter to me" - a deliberate choice rather than an automated process.

While I haven't (yet) looked at creating an actual blogroll, if I were to do so I have no doubt that James would be on it.

  1. colinwalker says: #
    @matthewlang Thanks. I was looking at that the other day and I like the way you explain why people are on it rather than just giving a list of links.
  2. devilgate says: #
    @colinwalker Maybe the modern incarnation would be a /who page, to go with /about and /now (which I must get round to creating). With reasons, like Matthew has.
  3. I like blogrolls. I don’t care that they’re old school (in fact, that’s part of why I like them!). I’ve discovered a number of good blogs by following links from people’s blogrolls.