To link or not to link..

Jobless person that I am, I’ve been blog-hopping a lot lately and in the process, discovering tons of blogs I like to read. This is of course a reason for *me* to rejoice, but the same cannot be said of my blog’s sidebar. Why? Cos a LOT of things catch my fancy — some pretty, some funny, some pretty funny, some awww, some kooky, some fanatic and some just plain weird. However not everyone who visits my blog is necessarily wowed by every blog I read. In addition, I use the Sage extension with Firefox, so the blogroll is actually, rather redundant. So my big question then — who do you put on your blogroll? Here are some options —

  • Every blog you read. Even if that makes your sidebar excruciatingly long.
  • Blogs of friends. Cos that’s what friends are for .. through good times, and bad times .. blah blah.
  • Blogs of friends who stopped writing six months ago. Just when you are ready to yank their name off your blogroll, they resurrect with a ‘Hello, I am back, I hope to blog more regularly‘ post and slink into oblivion once again.
  • Blogs of friends who haven’t written in a while. The moment you take their name off your blogroll however, they will e-mail you dost dost naa rahaa.mp3. Damn emotions.
  • Bloggers you don’t know from Adam. You add them to your blogroll because they wrote to you and asked you to. You’re just nice, that way.
  • Cool and famous blogs that you never actually read. You add them to your blogroll to *look* smart. The Shaan of your blogroll. Not to be confused with Sonu Nigam.
  • Blogs you like to read, but are too embarrassed to admit in public. The guilty pleasures.

It’s all so confusing. So I have come up with a grand plan for world domination .. oops .. making my blogroll manageable and tidy. I’m thinking it should only contain links to blogs that are *similar* to mine. The similarity could be in content, style of writing, sense of humor .. assorted goop like that. Bottomline — If *I* think that someone who reads my blog will want to read linked blog, then blog will be linked. Yes, it is totally subjective. But as Devang Patel so succinctly and eloquently put it in his comedy rap — meri marzi!

49 thoughts on “To link or not to link..

  1. Rajesh J Advani

    That’s a nice set of links you’ve got there ;)

    A blogroll is definitely something you want to keep from getting too long. And the problem you talk about it one of the other reasons I haven’t signed up for a blogrolling account yet. If the blogroll is too long to maintain, it probably is not serving its purpose. But don’t listen to me. I’m just nuts :)

  2. Sagnik Nandy

    That’s a nice set of links you’ve got there ;)

    A blogroll is definitely something you want to keep from getting too long. And the problem you talk about it one of the other reasons I haven’t signed up for a blogrolling account yet. If the blogroll is too long to maintain, it probably is not serving its purpose. But don’t listen to me. I’m just nuts :)

    :)) I had to do this coz that’s how I found ur blog – thru Rajesh’s article on plagiarism – and this seemed so appropriate – now that you are talking abt blog finding and Rajesh has posted above :)

  3. Megha

    [Rajesh] Gee thanks! :) Agree with the length of blogroll part. Its quite a tall order, this blogroll business. Art, science, diplomacy, PR skills .. all rolled into one!

    [shantanu] Leave it to me to overcomplicate the simplest things in life :)

    [Sagnik] Objection milaaard! That is not true! You found my blog cos I posted a comment on your blog and you followed it back to mine. Please to see Exhibit A and Exhibit B. As for Rajesh’s blog on plagiarism and your comment-stealing .. i’ll let him and you figure it out :)

    (Once upon a time, when I was a little blubbering baby and had infuriated my mom for the 432nd time, she was ready to throw me out. At that point a kindly astrologer interjected and told my mom to keep me, as one day, i’d be a famous lawyer. This comment response is just a simple way of expressing my gratitude and affection towards him.)

  4. Prasad

    hmm.. i prefer to link those blogs that I read regularly….
    but, i won’t make it a big n messy list.. i’ll link jus those blogs that i luv to read… :)

  5. Sagnik Nandy

    I’m the second person to accept a mistake when I’m wrong (being the first would put too much performance pressure on me :)) I dunno what you do by profession but you would have been a bloody good lawyer.

    The defendent had no other excuse to offer – so he ripped his clothes and started singing a Hindi song – pleading insanity

  6. Chugs

    the bottom line as u said is – meri marzi.
    i read 200 hundred blogs. there is no way i can put them all up. so i just put a link pointing to my bloglines feeds.

  7. Rohit

    Only blogs that I frequent on days when I log in; and I like to update the list only to those whoch are active.The other day I removed Rajesh from the blogroll; my comp broke down conveniently for three weeks.I return and find myself flooded in updated stuff.It’s crazy….

  8. dkjariwala

    Most of the time, I only do ‘addition’ to my blogroll. There is no deleting unless I really find posts to be all uselesss for my taste!

    The reason is, I only see ‘updated’ feeds in my browser and it doesn’t matter if I have 100 inactive feeds in my blogroll. Oh well, I don’t publish my blogroll on my blog!

    JD

  9. Animesh

    Hi! came here via {insert name here ’cause I dont remember}. Anyway, nice blog. Lovely posts. I liked the MOM one.

    Now as far as blogroll is concerned, No blogroll can ever accomodate the zillions of blogs that I read! But I link to those whom I read regularly and really like, and who link back to me :D

  10. a-hem

    Hehehe. Cute post.

    I’m guilty of all but the last three options. :)My list is going to get out of hand very soon…

    And she called me blog kooky! *Sniffs and wipes away joyful tears*

    Thankoo!

  11. Stuti

    Hello Megha! Saw your comment on my ‘non-existent[or should that be exist(a)nt, will someone pass me the dictionary please?!] blog! So, I came and peeped in here, and I like what I see and read; and total rocker of a template and a spooking-out IPR thing!

    Now, since you commented about my handle, I racked my brains to cook up an intellectual explanation, but alas not to be; was one of those spur of the moment flash of brilliance things! :) Though, if one were in a closet, they would be claustrophobic, right?! Sheesh!

    I was reading a Blog the other day which had links to the Blogs of Bush, Adam Smith and Linkin Park, I am still reeling from such a combo! :)

    I shall Blogroll you, so that my fading memory remembers to come back again.

    Ta ta!

  12. Sidharth

    Am surprised at the amount of thought you have put into something like this!! :)

    A lot of bloggers infact exchange links to boost their Google Pagerank and India Blogstreet rankings etc…

    I would just put in the blogs I frequently read on my blogroll!

  13. Sriram

    Duhhh…. too much time spent on thinking! do u know that could hurt your brain cells? which is why i don’t do so much of thinking cuz i’ve got very few brain cells left!
    “Free advice is omnipresent!” and so, here’s my suggestion. add a few blogs that are a mix of good blogs,weird blogs, stupid blogs, interesting blogs. I haven’t blog rolled, and i don’t think i will, but I’ve suggested what I’m doing.(Youvar Haanar, you may visit my blog to see what I’m talking about.)

  14. missnupur

    I have those people on my blogroll that I like to read – similar content OR not.
    I try to be as selective as possible coz I agree that too many names in a blogroll is just a waste of time!!

  15. Jupe

    Bulls eye Megha..I jes cudn’t get myself to be politically right and link up everyone in my blog so yanked ‘em all off the day one of my readers asked a million Qs on why I preferred some over the others…As you so aptly put – Meri Marzi !!

    PS: Why does everyone love taking pot-shots at Sonu Nigam ;-)

  16. Devdutt

    Totally off-topic, but is the following javascript function working?

    function colorCodeComments();

    Tried to look for an element with ID=”comments”, couldn’t find any. I have a suspicion that this is what is giving me the yellow exclamation and “Error on page” in IE. I know its “baal ki khaal” and all that, but just wanted to let ya know :)

    Nice post BTW :)

  17. Devdutt

    Okay, update to my prev post. The div tag with ID=”comments” is generated only when comments are visible in a post page, hence, on your home page, document.getElementById(“comments”) returns null, and hence the “Error on page” on the next line where you do comDiv.innerHTML :)

    Wish I showed this much enthu towards re-hauling my own template :D

  18. eM

    I have the same problem with my link-set.. who to add, who to take off (but can’t coz I might offend them) etc etc. When did blogging become such a social exercise? I think i’m just going to be supremely narcissitic and take ALL my links off and only link to posts I like in my own posts. Heaven grant me courage :)

  19. Megha

    Yet another mile-long comment response. I do seem to love them, eh?

    [prasad] But what if the blogs you love to read become a big messy list? Then what? ;)

    [Mistress of Magic] Thank you! Glad you like. And thanks for dropping by too! I will surely visit your blog-dom, active blogroll links and all :)

    [Sagnik] If that is going to be your reaction, then I look forward to you blundering more often :) Melodrama zindabad! By the way, nopes, not a lawyer. More like a creative geek.

    [Chugs] That’s an effective strategy, yes. I could simply not have a blogroll, but then that is no fun either! After all, I want to draw more attention to some of the insanely wonderful blogs that I read. Hmm, something to think about. Thanks for putting the bug in my head :)

    [Rohit] Apparently your comp likes Rajesh’s blog even more than you do? It resigned in protest? ;) Well ideally yes, I’d like to keep the list restricted to recently updated blogs. But that’s where points number 3 and 4 from the above list come into play :)

    [dkjariwala] My Sage reader tells me which blogs have been updated, so I don’t really have to deal with checking all the blogs on a daily basis (thank goodness for that!) But a blogroll, in my case, isn’t so much about *my* reading, I think. It is to point my readers to other interesting blogs. Much like a ‘current book i’m reading‘ section or a ‘current music i’m listening to‘ section, the blogroll is simply a ‘current blogs i’m following‘ type of thing. And thank you for your first-time comment. Hope to see you around more! :)

    [Animesh] Thank you! And thank you {insert name here ’cause I dont remember}. Glad you came by and do visit again :) Ah, the I scratch your back, you scratch my back policy hm? Quite effective from what I hear :)

    [Arun] Thanks!

    [a-hem] Me happy that you happy :) BTW, have you seen the mouseover tooltip for your blog link in my blogroll lately?

    [Closet Claustrophobic] As I mentioned in my comment on your baby-blog, it was the oxy-moronish feel of your sobriquet that I liked the most. Oh and the alliteration. We lovvve alliterations! :) Thank you for adding me. Hope to see you around more often!

    [divya] Thank you! :)

    [Sidharth] It is so much fun to overthink things just for the heck of it, no? Results in pointless blog posts such as this one :)

    [Sriram] I have visited your blog and seen your blogroll, milaard. (Its a different matter that i’ve been lazy and not written any comments. Sorry!) But your blogroll is too short and sweet to work for someone like me who checks up on a gazillion blogs. The way it is right now, my blogroll is much like what you’ve suggested – an assortment of blogs – some weird, some entertaining, some funny. But in the process i’m leaving out a lot of others that I read. That is my dilemma. Guess I could cycle through all of them, Do a different sampling of 15 blogs every month. Hmm .. that’s a thought!

    [missnupur] Oh yes, the sidebar gets painfully long and then everyone just ignores the list!

    [Jupe] Well well well, look who dropped in after a looooong time! Good to see you around! And hey, no shot was taken *at* Sonu Nigam. Although yes, I wouldn’t mind ;)

    [jamshed] Unabashed shameless advertising eh? *raises eyebrow* Well at least you were honest about it :) Will visit!

    [Devdutt] Very true, this is what happens when you don’t spend enough time on your own blog :) (By the way, no reaction to my gently suggesting that you start writing a personal non-tech blog?) I’ll look into that function so it doesn’t bomb on the main page. Thankoo for catching it!

    [eM] Good to know I have support for my theory that blogging (and blogrolling) needs social skills, diplomacy, PR skills etc. Quite a tall order eh? And yeah a blogroll of links to one’s own posts sounds sooo very tempting! *evil grin* As they say, charity begins at home. Glad you came by, do visit again! :)

  20. Jupe

    Been reading your blog everyday.. The huge fan following and trillion comments kinda intimidated me from dropping in a note ;-)

    Neways, the Mommy post was absolutely rockin’. Keep penning Megs.

  21. Fun_Da_Mental

    * To comment or not to comment!! *

    Whoa!! Whopping 25 plus comments! Won’t be surprised if this one gets lost in the cyber space! :O)

    Oh btw the way, you know what?There are certain things which we always feel, realize, understand but can not express ‘em or put ‘em in words. But you just did that to perfection! Goshhh… I always think about linking someone to my blog, in exactly the way you have written! :O) But then never thought that probably others think the same way too!

    Very lucidly expressed! Badhiya hai Meghs! :-) Great going.

    P.S. – I received your comment on prev post by email but can’t see that comment on blog! :O) Weird?!

  22. Megha

    [Jupe] Aww, c’mon now! Did you know you were one of the first (or perhaps *the* first) to blogroll me? So in a roundabout way, you are responsible for the very thing that intimidates you :) Do comment more often. In return I shall try to write more of the music reviews that you seemed to like :)

    [Free Spirit] Belle, its so nice to see you come by! I shall now take on an angelic glow and claim I don’t do *all* the things (maybe some, but not all) that I mention on my list :) But it’s good to know that you have not fallen into the trap that a lot of us have! And on an unrelated note – Someone I Never Had is simply beautiful!

    [Fun_Da_Mental] Glad I managed to put words to your thoughts. After all, with such high praise heaped upon me on your blog, that too by Munnabhai, I now have a reputation to keep na ;)

    By the way, are you able to read past comment #15 on your blog now?

  23. Fun_Da_Mental

    Yoohooooo! I can read all my comments now. Had to flush cache on my machine. *Lesson learnt*

    Well well… whenz the next post coming up? Waiting already?!! *stares at the screen and presses F5 to see updates*

  24. Sagnik Nandy

    Wow! 33 comments and still going strong. So tell me honestly, if someone asked you to name all the people who commented on ur last two posts – how many names can u recall. hats off :)

  25. Megha

    [Fun_Da_Mental] Thanks to you, I’m learning a thing or two about handling high-pressure situations. Likhing, likhing! :)

    [Sagnik] Hmm.. lets see. I’d be able to recollect the names of every single commentor. In addition, I can rattle off their blog titles in reverse order and compose a haiku using the first letters of their blog identities. I can also tell you each of their favorite colors, pet goldfish’s name, allergies, whether they prefer paper or plastic, as well as give you a 50-word synopsis on their thoughts on Aishwarya Rai’s Letterman interview. By the way, did I mention that I’m delusional? :)

  26. Sagnik Nandy

    hmmmmm! and i thought i kept my gold fish’s name a secret (it’s called silver) :) any more comments from me on this and u’ll wake suspect me of being a “blog stalker” (now where did i learn that term???). cheers girl!

  27. Sivani

    Hmm, so the way I try to address the very long blogroll is with the “classification” system, grouping the blogs by artificially inserting a categorizer in front of the name.

    That serves to keep the types together and make some sense to the poor sods who are trying to see what’s going on.

    One of my biggest problems is letting go of an entry on the blogroll, when I just don’t visit anymore, and don’t find it meets my needs anymore,

    And as for the simple question about length – I tend to write very long entries, so my body text length will always exceed my blogroll length, therefore no problem. Right?

  28. Megha

    [Sagnik] I started out by writing a comment response to you, but turned it into a full-fledged post instead. So coming soon to a theatre near you .. the story of a certain goldfish :)

    [Sivani] I do like your grouping-by-type system. Was admiring it when I came by to your blog yesterday too. However, the issue I have with the length of the sidebar is not just relative to the main post area, it is in more absolute terms. As a general rule of thumb – a long sidebar tends to be bad idea. Most readers won’t glance beyond the first two or three pagefuls, hence the need to keep it short. And so my quest for the optimal solution continues :)

  29. SmartOxymoron

    Hey great blog…expect to see me here more often. I see youre a bit of a ‘pun’ter sometimes.
    And because all the other comments are using loads of smileys, I guess I should too. Just so my comment matches the decor. :P

    :/ … :) … ;) … :D

  30. Vignesh

    Helping the cause, reach a 50.. nothing much else here … move along now…. ;)

    Anyways, great post. I love the layout… I didn’t know you could do so much with just blogger… you seem to have some basic categories going on even.. nice !

  31. Megha

    [SmartOxymoron] Never realized the variety of smilies until you pointed it out! Kudos to your keen sense of observation, yada yada. Thanks for stopping by, look forward to more of it. I saw on your blog that you’ve retired from writing, that too cos of Blogger’s quirks? Hope you change your mind!

    [Pedantic Pagan] This reminds me of the ad on TV in India for Melody Chocolates, where the adult would ask – ‘Melody itnii chocolate-y kaise banii’ and the kid would pop a Melody chocolate in her mouth and reply – ‘Melody khaao, khud jaan jaao!’ :)

    One way to do it — visit http://www.blogrolling.com and sign up for one. There are probably other blogroll sites that do the same thing, but blogrolling.com seems to be the most popular one. And one doesn’t have to do even that. When I mentioned a blogroll, I simply meant a list of blogs to visit (usually found on the sidebar). This could be manually-edited html in your template, with no blogrolling website fundas involved.

    Time to hide the lecture podium back in the closet. Hope that helped?

    [LIttle Medusan] To do that vanity check we have Technorati to the rescue! Check it out, I think you’ll find the answer easily enough. Now .. can I have my million dollars in 100s please? :)

    [Vignesh] Thank you! *sniffle and wipe away tears of joy* I feel so special with such kind souls watching out for my comment count! Seriously though, thank you for dropping in a comment. Hope to see ya around more :)

    Yeah one can do a lot with Blogger .. no, the right way to put that would be, one can do a LOT with CSS within Blogger. Of course, I’d prefer a cleaner way of having categories, cos the way i’ve done it now requires some hand-editing each time. Guess I’ll have to live with that!

  32. Megha

    [Sagnik] Thankoo thankoo! You are too kind :) Yeah, the tangents do make me go dizzy sometimes. Take for instance, the Apprentice post that goes into a long discussion on the relative goosebumpiness of male playback singer voices in Hindi film music of the 60s and 70s.

    Am I complaining? Of course not! :)

  33. Megha

    [A_Guy_Curious_About_Blogging] Glad it did. But the question itself remains a mystery, begging the counter question – are you a Douglas Adams fan, by any chance? :)

  34. witnwisdumb

    Not to be nasty, but blogs that are similar to yours?!?!? HA! Ha ha!! That’s a laugh!!! (Two, to be precise.) I’m not naming names, but, my dear friend, some of the things on your blogroll are as unlike your blog as a blog could possibly be. In fact, I’ve often wondered in great er… wonderment, what you – you, great, amazing blogger who I idolize – could possibly see in some of them.

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