The utility of a blogroll

I updated my blogroll this morning. It needed some culling, as some blogs I used to read are no longer being updated. I added a few new ones too. Not necessarily new blogs, but new to my list.

Yesterday I got a question from an audience of journalists: How can we find these blogs about online journalism? (I had recommended reading such blogs as an effective way to educate yourself.) Of course, I replied that if you find ONE blog about a subject, you are likely to find many other blogs about the same subject — they will be linked in the blogroll of the first blog.

Bloggers are free to adopt any strategy they like to apply to their own blogroll. My strategy is to list all the blogs I currently read — via RSS feeds — that are specifically about online journalism. That’s the base of my blogroll. In addition, you’ll see a few that are about journalism, but not necessarily online, and also a few that are about online media, not necessarily journalism.

I will admit there are a few blogs listed here that I rarely read myself, but they are iconic in some way — for example, Romenesko. The list would seem incomplete, to me, without him.

My blogroll is primarily for other people. I do almost all my blog reading nowadays via Google Reader, not via old-fashioned links. There was a time when I used my own blogroll like a daily reading list, but RSS is so much more efficient.

There are some journalism blogs I read regularly that are NOT on my blogroll — for example, the blogs of my students! And even some journalism blogs that simply seem more random, or less focused — I may read them, but not include them on the blogroll.

I’m curious about two things:

  • What are other bloggers’ strategies for their blogrolls?
  • Are there any good online journalism-related blogs that I am missing?

9 Comments on “The utility of a blogroll

  1. Hi Mindy!
    I am a UNC grad and now work as a multimedia producer for The Roanoke Times. My blog focuses on interactivity on the web (oh-so-cleverly called, “Innovative Interactivity”). I suggest checking out some of my posts, as well as my favorite blog, FlowingData. With the high demand to produce more data-heavy interactives, this site is a great resource to get ideas for visualizing data on the web. It’s not specifically written for journalists, but I know it helps me a lot while working on projects!

    Innovative Interactivity:

    Flowing Data:

  2. I used to have a blogroll, and a recent referrers log in the sidebar at currybetdotnet, but I haven’t for ages. I guess I let people know what I am reading now by what I link to each day in my Delicious stream of links. That way it is a really dynamic list that is always fresh with whoever I think is writing the best stuff, rather than a static list of the same-old-same-old and A-listers.

  3. @Martin Belam – I was just discussing Delicious yesterday with two journalists at breakfast. I told them that I bookmark as much as ever, but I don’t check my Delicious network as often as I used to. One of the other two said he is using Delicious less in general, but he’s not sure why. The other said he’s never really gotten into it, but I think we persuaded him to give Delicious another try.

  4. I still have a blogroll on my blog though it has become a rather static record of my reading habits from more than a year ago. A dynamic Delicious stream of links strikes me as a better way of pointing to good material on the web. Perhaps the value in a blogroll is to new readers as a guide to who else is writing about journalism.

  5. I agree with you Mindy.I still have a blog roll and used to adhere to reading them on a regular basis but now I simply use bloglines and save good posts to my delicious network

  6. Pingback: I finally discover the joy of RSS | ALJ301 reactions, thoughts and musings

  7. Forgive me for the potentially dumb question, but where is your blogroll? I see the footer’s selected feeds, but I don’t spy a “traditional” blogroll as you’ve mentioned.

    At any rate, my blog is one with a similar focus to yours and I’m always looking for feedback.

  8. Ah, yes, it was a dumb question: I’ve discovered that the blogroll appears only on the front page, not on individual posts.

  9. I scour my netvibes every day, but do skim my delicious network on occasion, and even that has a feed that displays in my netvibes page.

    I started using netvibes a while ago before google Reader made improvements, but I’m happy with netvibes as a tool. Being able to group related bloggers, or news sources on a subject is such a time-saver.

    I delicious articles or tutorials that may be of use later, although saving every interesting article does seem a little bloated and overkill, but it keeps an archive of related sources/comment on a subject or issue, e.g.

    This method does seem to have superseded the blogroll in my view.

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