State of the Blogroll

Around every three months I run a link checker on to see who’s fallen by the wayside or whatever changes there might be via URLs shifting ’n all. It’s how I keep the blogroll fresh and clean just for you!

My observations from these scans:

  • An average of one or two blogs disappear completely during each cycle (i.e. their domain no longer works or the blog has been deleted).
  • While it’s fortunate to only lose a couple every few months, it’s always sad to see them go and they leave a hole in the blogverse. Like losing friends.
  • A large portion of redirect errors come from blogs changing their URLs (i.e. moving to new locations or changing the way they do links, etc.) and forgetting to also redirect their RSS feed. So don’t forget your RSS feed when you change things up, folks!
  • Regular RSS readers do not pick up these errors (they usually show an empty feed instead) so the only way I know is via my robot that checks to make sure yer still alive.
  • Still see a couple blogs moving to Substack… One continues to cross post to her blog and I told her I was glad she still shows up in my RSS reader. She had no idea they existed (and that some of us prefer to read via RSS reader rather than email). She was grateful to know and plans to continue cross posting because of that.
  • I bring this up so that you might want to let your favorite blogs know that you “see” them via your RSS reader. Otherwise they usually have no idea. I’m sure they would appreciate knowing they have some readers out there!
  • BTW, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t do a newsletter and post it to your blog at the same time. Own your platform!
  • A few blogs dramatically slowed their posting cadence; they’ve been put on hold for now because one of the criteria of being listed in is to post at least every couple months so things don’t go stale. My hard cut off is no new posts for 3-4 months.
  • One blog shut off his RSS feed but he continues to blog minus RSS. If your blog supports RSS feeds, I highly encourage you leave them on and please don’t cut your readers of mid-stream like this guy did.

Other notes:

  • I have a bit over 200 blogs in my queue to work through and add to the blogroll (in addition to a handful submitted by others).
  • Because of this I’d say blogging is most definitely not dead.
  • I will say they’re a lot harder to find through traditional means (ala Google, etc.) because there’s so much commercial cruft in ‘em and people usually don’t go past the first few pages of results.
  • I’ve found 99% of these blogs outside traditional means. I’ll have to do a write up of how I come across them so that others can and spread the word.
  • Quite a few bloggers have said the level of comments they get have gone down. I do see that and attribute it mostly to social media sucking ‘em up due to the nature of their chatty medium and the way they set it so all discussion stays inside their silos unfortunately.
  • But we ourselves are not blameless and should make more effort to jump in on blog comment sections even if just to say hi.
  • I have wished quite some time for developers to code their RSS readers to support built in commenting on articles/posts within their readers. It would greatly reduce friction and increase participation and would be a killer feature IMO.
  • There’s ways to hook your blog into other ecosystems to get more comments – I plan on doing a write-up on that.
  • I originally started this post in Ulysses on a laptop, polished it off some more on a tablet in WordPress app and the next day (today) made some minor corrections on the phone WP app and hit publish while at a coffee shop. Have to give props to WordPress for its versatility and ease of use publishing posts across a variety of apps and platforms.

I very much enjoy and appreciate sharing your worlds with us so thank you for that.

That’s all for now, folks. Blog on my friends!

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