Are blog rolls a thing of the past?

red blog buttonBlog rolls are a listing of blogs that a blogger recommends, reads often, or a collection of blogs with a related subject. Consider it a promotion to highlight some blogs on a blog roll in the sidebar. Some bloggers have their listings on a separate blog page instead of the sidebar.

Blog rolls may need constant maintenance as the blogosphere changes. Some blogs are inactive, are abandoned but still online, or deleted. That means that you have to adjust your blog roll and keep checking that those listed blogs still exist. If you don’t, you link to a non-existing page.

John lists 10 reasons why he does not like blog rolls. I want to highlight #8: “There used to be a blogroll etiquette where if you were listed on someone’s blogroll then the unspoken rule was that you’d reciprocate with a link to theirs in return. You can quickly imagine how this was abused as people’s blogrolls became lists of hundreds (if not thousands) of blogs.”

I agree with John. There are many bloggers who exchange links on their blog rolls. It renders the purpose of the blog roll moot: it is not a personalized listing anymore of blogs that peak your interest. It has become a spot where you automatically “pay back” for your spot on someone’s blog roll.

Kathrine shares that view on her blog: “I try to include only blogs in my blogroll which I get value out of or I just like and/or find myself checking on and/or commenting on, on a regular basis.”

The Female Science Professor struggles with blog rolls as well.  “I am irrationally against including blogs that are behind some sort of registration wall, even if it is a free one. I am not against reading these blogs, I just don’t want to link to them,  even though I know there are some interesting blogs in those places.”

I agree here too: any blog where I have to register, open an account, or worse have to pay to read a post is ignored.

Jason actually has a blog roll policy. His rule: keep the content fresh. Kilmer House explicitly states that inclusion on their blog roll is not an endorsement.

So what is the 2014 status of the blog roll?

I have one on my other blog (here) and I really do read the blogs listed.

What are your thoughts about reciprocal linking? Do you still have a blog roll? Is it in the sidebar or on a separate page?

I welcome your thoughts.

Happy blogging!

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