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2 de Abril, 2007

Blogroll Drama, Reprise.

Categorized under Blogando | Tags:

DESPITE YOUR FRENZIED SCREAMS, the Great Bloglist Purge Dram-a-Rama rolls on! For those who find blog posts about blogging or blogging netiquette inherently irrelevant, move on with my blessing. I can't help but think that no matter how I edit this piece, it remains utterly boring and insulting to your intelligence due to what the hell I'm bothering to waste my time writing about. On the other hand, the illusion called "the Blogosphere" does depend on some common discourse tying us together, eh?

Ahem. For those who follow these interblogulary dramas and find them fascinating in that same perverse vein that compels you to offer someone you love a taste of the soured milk you just drank so they can empathize, read on!!!!!!!!

I'm thinking these things—all these feelings and drama over blogroll purges—have a lot to do with each person's individual view of the Internet, their own function as a BLOGGER upon it, and what it would mean to fulfill that function vs. not to fulfill it. I guess it's true, I mocked the entire discussion when it first came up because I just found it so ridiculous. But...as I read more, I understood what people's feelings could be on it. Feeling they helped the now-big doodes up and were since being dissed.

My personal feelings? Just so we know until next time I address it? I just don't really care. I'm more of a "fate will shake it out, as long as I do be my realest, I accept the dealeth." My focus is on writing those things that inspire me to write on them. But again, our feelings on this can rely heavily on what we use the beast for.

B-List BloggerHell, this blog is pretty small, "B list" and all that, the last little funky internet judgment quiz I subjected myself to. And...whatever. If it's meant to get more readers, it will. And I'm enjoying myself right here, you know? It's all gravy. Because it's all temporary. And in this time, I'm having just as much a good time and learning just as much as I was when I was a "D-list" blogger. So what, then.

That's personally. Theoretically? Yes, I do think people have the right to rearrange their blogrolls however they damn well please. To say otherwise is to assume some kind of collusion of power dynamics interested in heeding ethical viewpoints of some of the colluders. That is to say, you deny the inevitable. People change, and some people when they change, feel no compunction about changing their associations. And did you agree on what it meant to share the association of a link? Others have a different view of something they call "loyalty." There is no reconciling those views. And each person is going to have their own goals and what they see as necessary to achieve them.

I guess this interpretation (of mine) avoids the moral discussion, but I'm more interested in looking at it as the dynamics of power, human nature, and practicality. I see it as inevitable. Guess what? I don't think all your friends would buy you a new car if they hit the lottery, either. And they actually know you.

Coming from a different angle, I will not accept the byproduct of someone else's morality (guilt) as a means of levering weight on the design or affiliation choices of my own blog. It's a one-off, see? That is to say, we're on our own. Or not. It's up to us. Honestly, if someone doesn't want to link me, don't. If you do, I assume it's because you want my link on your page. I know I don't link to you to get it back. But hey—if I de-link you and it hurts you in an important way, you can de-link me, too, if you feel the need. Don't even lose a minute of sleep over my feelings. Take care of yourblog.

I look at linking...in a post, if I want to refer to something. On my sidebar links exist either because a) I want to promote the reading of that site [doesn't mean I always do], or b) I do read that site, or c) I support the idea of sending traffic to that site, or d) I haven't got around to taking it off. Because I reserve that right, and I don't need a special day to feel okay with it. I'll just do it if the decision feels right to me for whatever reason. Just like I'll affect my own person or personal space in the same way, with the same amount of warning. If I promise you something, or agree on something, that is separate, of course. And you are always free to write me and ask me to keep you on. I am always open to dialogue until I am not.

On the other hand, let's speak in the general: If you became "big" and I was one part of why and you chose to dissociate yourself from me once you got "big," I would think you were not so cool. Maybe even a schmuck of a certain type. If that is the case, am I going to chase down a schmuck to have them rub my tummy? Nah! In one swift movement, by dissociating with me, the so-called schmuck has unknowingly heeded my unspoken will, which would be in the instance you ever get too big for your britches and are willing to forget my hand in your destiny, then please remove all associations and symbols of our friendship, as I would not want to be associated with a schmuck, thank you! So we're good.

That being said, can I really say that my linking to a blog is ultimately what makes them "big?" That seems to require a leap of logic. Or at least a focus I don't naturally resort to. When I linked Person X, did I not act on my own free will and for my own reasons? Why do I feel beholden to some piece of their "bigness?" Did I not link to them because I saw some skills or worth? If so, how dare I complain that others saw it too? Now I want to take credit for their success, rather than remember what caused me to aid it?

I say that if you have the power to make me Big, then you have the power not to, right? So why, if your link made someone "big," then does taking it away not make them "small" again? There is your vote! There is your say. Link or don't. Get on with things. You have to really get metaphysical to assume that your early-on contribution as a link on a sidebar (and advantage you also had with their link to you once) entails you to some lifelong commitment or reciprocation that cannot be adjusted.

I know I may be at odds with some of my blogmigos on this, maybe. I mean nothing personal against anyone who holds the opposite or varying views. The whole discussion just feels so cliquey and suburban to me. You know? I hope my tone in this post is not simply a reaction to "having" to keep reading posts on it. Because a) do I really "have to" keep reading them, or did I choose to, like you? And b) if so, I am not helping anything by writing this!

I say just do your thing. Let your focus be on Your Thing. That will insure you are putting out top notch junk. That will get you linked. And if not, at least you are happy doing Your Thing!


I haven't linked to these posts out there because...I just want to comment on the discussions, I just needed to note all my thoughts and feelings on it right now. Links feel as if they request a response, or as if they mark this post as a response to them. And I don't really intend that. I shouldn't even post this. I hate myself for keeping the conversation going. (But I forgive myself for indulging such decadent whims, too, so we all win.) At the same time, it doesn't feel fair to omit them. So here are some posts that inspired this. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 [what a gorgeous opening image (and cool title) on that last one]

img Now...can we please stop talking about blogrolls? (I mean, after you comment, of course.)

digg | | delish

Comentarios (25)


brownfemipower dijo:

GRVTR

well, it all comes down to, what does "traffic" get you and why should you care about it?

somebody who is making money on blogging will probably care about getting linked by the big guns. most of us who aren't making a fucking dime off of blogging really could give a shit about all that. and really, most of the big bloggers so very rarely are anti-racist, usually when they send traffic over, all it means is shit. that's my experience at least. Either that or they do the "read this" thing where they give no indication or clue as to what it is you are supposed to "read"--which pretty much indicates to their readers that they have no opinion on the topic, so why should they?

I pretty much link because i like the site and I remembered to. I have the worst memory in the world and even less ambition--so doing things like "cleaning up my blog roll" seems like far too much work. and doing things like monitoring other peoples blog rolls in addition to mine seems like too much work. Although every once in a great great while i have taken note of men of color who have no woc linked in their blogrolls. Other than that--people who have strict rules that they follow and who expect a link if they give a link and all that--It really confuses me where they find the time to create posts, answer comments, post comments on and read other peoples sites AND monitor the link situation of their own blogs and others...it makes me tired just thinking about it.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

i know what you mean about the time! where do they find it?? (maybe next door to the place i found the time to write this post.) or maybe they PAY someone. could you imagine? paying someone (first imagine have tha feria to pay someone) to monitor blogrolls and such for you? it would be like a combination webmaster and stockbroker. "Okay, listen: If my incominglinks drop below 150, post. And post with everything ya got."


Rafael dijo:

GRVTR

Last time I check Technorati, I had 5, yes 5 blogs linking to mine, and 3 of them are out of service! What I am really into right now is podcasting and even there I only have about 350 downloads, not much by far. I am lucky if I get a few comments on my blog, although I do have to say that those comments are premium gold so I win out in the end. I don't do advertising or anything else, I plug what I like (and since I like me a lot, I plug myself above all else!)

My most frequented blog is my Yahoo 360 page and thats because its full of embedded You Tube videos, mostly anime and video game stuff, a lot of fluff. I rarely check it, maybe be once a month at best.


I prefer to be on the blog rolls of people I care about and engage with than just be the 1,000th blog down the right side of the screen that nobody bothers to click on anyway.


L.G. Fucktard dijo:

GRVTR

I have never had a blogroll, and never will. As a blog reader, I seldom use the things, and never to find sites that I would not have visited anyway.

But I don't feel the topic is irrelevant, in part because I've had some run-ins with people who think they are internet celebrities. One of these is convinced that s/he brought the word 'fucktard' to blogtopia, and doesn't like the fact that I use it. Thus, s/he refers to me as the "...douchebag demitroll [who] co-opted that word as an appellation...", and the "...plagerist". Cracks me up every time.


Kai dijo:

GRVTR

Basically I'm with BFP on the whole subject. But I find it kinda odd and interesting how consistently bloggers and commenters in this discussion diss the entire concept of a blogroll during a whole huge debate about them. To my intertuby eyes, blogrolls formally identify constellations of blogs; it's not about clicks, rather about cultural or intellectual assocation. Obviously users will usually click on links in posts or comments, but the blogroll stays there and makes a daily statement. Frankly I don't care about how my site affects Google engines; but the sites on my blogroll kinda declare some of what I'm all about, reflecting a blogospheric orbit whose intellectual arc helps to inform readers where I'm coming from.

But that's just me and my weirdness.

Peace.


Sylvia dijo:

GRVTR

See, the thing is my blogroll reflects a lot of things. If you comment on my site fairly regularly, you're on my blogroll. If I visit your site every day, you're likely on my blogroll. If I learn of your site and it keys in with an interest of mine, even if I forget to add it to my reader, you're still on my blogroll because I support your message. Despite all those assorted reasons for linking to people, there are still a few links I consider purging. I do take it kinda seriously, though, because I know there are people behind those blogs, and they do care a lot about blogging -- even if it is only the statistical side of the matter. And even though I don't think a link on my blogroll makes the difference between feeding a family or not, I don't treat "delinking" lightly.

There are a few folks, though, who do have such links that are that important, and I think I like those blogrolls that have connections to activism. Like at Vox, she has this whole list of the one-click sites in her blogroll, and I tend to support things like that. So I keep making mental notes to be a copycat. Slant Truth has a blogroll that's keyed to his interests; his poetry list ROCKS and I've only climbed through a few links. I mean...it's a good way to explore someone else's collage of interests, y'know? On those days where you read your favorite blogs, and you want something new -- so you go to their blogrolls and you look for an unfamiliar face. LOL, that's pretty much how I found you and The Unapologetic Mexican, Nez! So I think that's really a big part of what it's for -- forging new connections among people who may not have encountered each other online, were it not for those little blogging pathways.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

yah...i just dont' think it's worth the drama. if people don't find me through a blogroll, that's okay. if they are meant to find me they will. i respect y'all opinions, i just loathe the whining and feelings of entitlement that always spring up and overlap onto other peoples' actions. but thats me and my weirdness. we all have our own.

--

LG, people on the net are so often nuts. they "coined" 'Fucktard'????? for real? my god. people think its a new world here and you can bring over a word thats been used for ages and claim it here?

LOOK! GOLD!!!! its mine!!!!!


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

But I find it kinda odd and interesting how consistently bloggers and commenters in this discussion diss the entire concept of a blogroll during a whole huge debate about them

well kai, for me its in direct reaction to the weight i feel the whining gives it. i'm just not a whiner. i am open to hearing everyone's thoughts on it. it's not the thoughts i think i find offensive. but when i hear all the ME ME ME ME whining/entitlement about it it turns me dead off, stirs up rants like this.


Kai dijo:

GRVTR

Nez, hehe yeah I hear ya about whining. My approach is to simply not pay attention to big-name blogs and their attendant clique-drama. Sounds like people are trying to whine their way onto other people's blogrolls, which is, well, pretty lame. The only blogroll I concern myself with is the one I maintain, the rest will do their own thing. I mean, there's really nothing more to say about it, ya know? ;-)


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

i know...as i said, i dont respect myself for even ranting. but i HAD to!!

i hear you. i have my reasons for my blogroll and it means what it means to me. its the drama that really makes me want to throw somebody. thing, something.

plus you know, i'll take most opportunities to type for a while. any subject is "Fair Game," as they said of Mizz Plame.


Kevin dijo:

GRVTR

I agree. It's definitely not worth the drama. I read the whole thing and thought, What? Folks are beefing over this? But here's the rub: the whole thing has made me start putting more effort into my blogroll. Y'see, I went and checked my stats and discovered that the highest click-throughs on my blogroll are from my "folks of color speak" category. Even when I'm in a posting slump, people are going to my links page and checking out other bloggers of color. And since Sylvia brought it up, I also noticed that "Asian American Poetry" has the highest click-throughs of my poet links (I have a lot of poets of color on my roll, but that's the only explicitly titled one, so I assume that's why). So damn! I may only be sending a handful of folks to these blogs, but I'm still helping in my own little way to get the voices that I care about heard. That was a deep realization for me. Blogrolls do matter for some folks, and I might even argue that they matter *more* for bloggers of color and those doing anti-racist work, simply because if you stick to the big guns all you're going to get is the same ol same ol, whether it's an A-list blog or a D-list blog. To put it another way, no one is coming to my blog to discover Kos or Atrios or even Feministe; they're already out there. Just like no one takes a college English course and "discovers" Shakespeare. But people are coming to my blog to discover Nezua and BFP and Sylvia and the Republic of T (much like people come to my English classes to discover Junot Diaz). So now I'm like, Damn, there are a good twenty bloggers of color in my feed reader that I haven't added to my blogroll. I gotta get to it.

It's a community thing for me, not a popularity contest.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

those are good points, kevin. i agree with that in the sense that i found some brown bloggers through blogrolls. i don't think its the only way to find us. and i guess i am mostly stressing the idea that nobody is going to decide my blogroll but me, and the drama is just not worth it, as you led in with. but the points about community are well taken.


The Angryindian dijo:

GRVTR

My position is that in general, you should link to who read on a regular basis, (that you like and agree with anyway). In my case I try to function as a news service so aside form my blogroll I have links to resources, organisations and other blogs similar to my own.

Many of these blogs reciprocate, many do not. But my intention to create awareness and unity through shared knowledge via the Internet for the Fourth World and not everyone's on that page as of yet. Bottom line, it's your blog, do what you want with it. Stick to that and drama shall not harm thee. - The Angryindian


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

you just keep on doing what you are doing, my friend. you provide a valuable service out here, and you certainly have my gratitude and respect.


Kevin dijo:

GRVTR

Oh yeah, Nezua. I'm not disagreeing with you at all. I think you're on point here, especially about not letting anyone else decide your blogroll.

I do think that too many people treat links as currency, to use RoT's phrase, and that's why these things blow up like they do. It's ugly blog capitalism and shows the fallacy of the blog meritocracy idea. I'm always happy to get a link from someone, but I'm not gonna stress over it. It's the popularity contest aspect of it all that bugs me too. This whole blogging thing is supposed to be about the sharing of information and knowledge, and for me, if getting dropped from a blogroll (or not getting linked at all) is really what you care about, well, I have to question why you're blogging in the first place.


Sylvia dijo:

GRVTR

The answer, dear friend, is obvious. (Now that's what I call an active blogroll!)


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

kevin, yeah. i feel you on that last line, that's sort of what i'm saying. they serve a purpose, yeah. so do it up. and then let it be, you know?

--

sylvia! why the hell doesn't my blogroll look like that? come ON! where's your candle?

(once that was one of my favorite songs jeje)


Clinton Fein dijo:

GRVTR

I'm not sure I understand why you care so much about blogrolls. In my view, if a site is interesting or unique in some way, I'll link to it. No quid pro quo, no obligation, just something I think my own readers may find interesting.

There is so much bullshit out there, that I far prefer to be linked by quality content that is meaningful and relevant in some way, than to be simply listed among a thousand mediocre blogs, no matter how often or on how many other blogs.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

Well, if you are talking to me, Clinton, I think you can see I don't really find them as important as many. Did I give the impression here that I "care so much" about them? Extraño...

You probably find them even less important, as you are not (from what I can see) writing a blog as part of any community, but just for your art, or yourself, or your blockage (last I read). Which is totally cool. And to tell you the truth, I feel a lot more special being on yours, with only a few carefully chosen names (or on some others' who have only a few blogs listed), than on some that have a hundred or more. But I think what these people here, commenters, are saying is that there are different uses for blogrolls, and mostly to encourage community. So if that's not one of your goals, they would seem rather useless. And in the end, I find the drama over them boring and reminiscent of social games and levers that I veer away from instinctively and always have.


Clinton Fein dijo:

GRVTR

I was talking to you, and I did have the impression that you cared, mainly because of the detail of you analysis. I’m happy to be corrected though.

I do write a blog as part of a “community” as well, namely an experiment with SFGate, which is the online version of the San Francisco Chronicle, although a lot of the content is unique – not simply a regurgitation of the paper. Ironically enough, it is dubbed “community blogs,” which in essence comprises about 22 relatively diverse individuals blogging about relatively different things. I’m not sure what makes us a community per se, other than a shared blogging platform for the same publication.

I also blog for First Amendment Project, a non-profit organization of which I am President of the Board. Time doesn’t permit me to post as frequently as I wish I could, but like my position with blogrolls – I’d rather have fewer, infrequent quality posts than spew output for the sake of appearing current. Not everyone would agree with me on this, I’m sure. (Even the word blogroll is hideously unattractive to me, almost like a roulette wheel, luck-of-the-draw kind of thing, where the odds of landing on something good are remote.)

Although I do, as an artist and writer, have a vested interest in broadening my audience, it wouldn’t be through modifying my thoughts with the aim of community building. Which is why I am so attracted to your site. It’s fresh, topical, well-written, wry, humorous, unpredictable, and as the name aptly describes, fantastically unapologetic.

People who choose not to link to it, whatever the reasons, are less enriched for it.


XP dijo:

GRVTR

What I don't like about the whole blogroll thing is the whole "Oye, peon bow down to me and lick my boots" meme. I can see Kevin's point and it sort of reminds of the whole purpose of affirmative action. For poc bloggers, it is a foot in the door, but like the real world, only a few get in and those who are in are there with demands on their heads if they want to continue their success. It is the American way. They will deny it, but I am realizing that is the normal when there is success.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

thank you clinton. i do appreciate that. and thanks for correcting me on the community angle.

i care that those i have found and respect online know that i feel that way. so that sometimes means blogrolling them, as that is the language in use, the shape of most blogging ettiquette that i have found. this cannot be relied upon, tho, to fully gauge my behavior, becaus i just dont have the time or energy to police it, to weed it out or even to add to it enough. so i hate that people use it to gauge loyalty.

i think some who read my site read it just for reading me and what i put out, but some read it for the particular themes of anti-racism and anti-imperialism and such. recognizing that, i think the blogroll can be valuable for pointing them the way to other blogs that write on similar things. of course that falls apart when you realize i post artists too (you are one) to my blogroll. so i hate when people rely too much on it to judge what is your clica.

in these ways, i do care about "blogrolls." pero in the sense that they are being discussed so often these days—as a means of recognition or personal entitlement or status—i actually loathe them. but...maybe even in that case you could say i do care about them. it certainly is assignment of emotional investment, this loathing!

i love your breakdown of the word "blogroll!"


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

XP, i agree. it's the power dynamics that so often are at the root of what bothers me about it... and as far as bending to demands, i'd rather stay B-list, baby. any day. or wherever i end up by not bending. florida. something.


Clinton Fein dijo:

GRVTR

I agree with you on both accounts. On the one hand it's great to be referenced as a resource given your anti-racist, anit-imperialist stance, (although it's much more than that which makes your blog attractive) and yet you're correct in that it can also limit or pigeon hole you, when your content is more diverse than those labels. Face it, there are tons of anti-racist, anti-imperialist blogs out there, and not all are worth spending much time on.

And back to the subject at hand, I hadn't even realized you had linked to me until you pointed it out, and so I can honestly say that I didn't see it as a form of recognition or sign of loyalty or any of those things, because I missed it. And while I appreciate it, given your intentions, it has no bearing whatsoever on why I link to you. Even if you were to take it down and call me an asshole. It's based solely on the merits of your blog.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

clinton, i'm very glad you see my blog closer to how i actually see it. i can promise that if i do'nt leave it before too long, i'll transform it, you know. go electric. it's all a movement, never a coordinate. it makes me feel good that given other factors being equal, you'd be able to move along with me as the story changes chapters.

on the blogroll thing, yeah, cool. taht's how i like it too. i dig your work that i saw. same reason i first linked you, as well as to let you know that, and point others the way. we coo'. no strings, baby. maybe one day we'll get to the calling names and delinking! i'm open minded that way.