Monday, August 28, 2006

Linky Love

You know what I realized a couple of days ago? I realized that some of the blogs I read regularly and was just SURE I had listed in my links over there >>> in the sidebar were, in fact, not over there at all. Oops. I only realized this because I was having Major Issues accessing Bloglines this weekend. See, here's the thing. I keep track of blogs I read via two different services. I primarily use Bloglines to keep track of who has new content on their blogs and to preview new entries to see if I want to actually pull up the blog itself and perhaps comment. If I stumble across a new-to-me blog that looks interesting, I'll subscribe and track it for a few days and then see if I want to stick with it or not. If I decide it isn't for me after all, I'll unsubscribe. But if I decide I want to keep reading it, the idea is to not only continue with the Bloglines subscription, but to also add it to my sidebar links list via Blogroll. Please note I said "that's the idea", NOT "that's what happens." Ahem. You might wonder why I don't just manage my sidebar list through Bloglines instead, since that's a service they offer, but I have two reasons. One is what I mentioned before - I like the idea of having a way to check out a blog for a while before I include it in my links list. The other is that the two different services seem to differ a bit in the job they do tracking blog updates and one does better with some feeds while the other does a better job with others. Between the two of them I can pretty much tell when someone posts something new. Oh! I just thought of a third reason - when one of them is having Major Issues, at least the other one is still working. Probably. Heh. Why am I rambling on and on and ON about all this? Because even though I tried to update my sidebar links this weekend, I'm still not sure I haven't missed some blogs that should be there. You might scroll down through my list of links and not see your name there and assume I CHOSE not to include you, but you would most likely be giving my brain WAY too much credit. So if you know for a fact that I read your blog regularly by the fact that I leave comments there at least a few times a month, and you don't see it listed over in the blog links, leave me a comment or shoot me an email and tell me so if you'd like to be listed. Don't be shy! I'm probably cruising along thinking you're already there. Today's DAT: "Linked" Oh, one more thing I wanted to mention about links! A lot of my favorite bloggers separate their blog links into categories, which can be kind of cool. I've chosen not to categorize my links though, and I want to tell you why. I think many bloggers (like people everywhere!) tend to cluster into cliques. They may not mean to, but it happens. They get comfortable within a certain group and end up only visiting blogs that fit into a narrow range of topics. That's fine, of course. We all have a finite amount of time to spend on blog reading or anything else and we all make choices about how to spend that time. But I like the idea of someone following a link from my sidebar and maybe ending up someplace they wouldn't have otherwise gone and maybe they'll find they like it! My links include blogs written by quilters, photographers, painters, collage artists, knitters, writers of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, book reviewers, fashion snarkers (is that a word? heh), and people who defy fitting neatly into a category - they just blog about life in general in a way I find funny or touching or all-around interesting. They all inspire me in their own way and sometimes that way has nothing to do with what they blog about. Like a story might inspire a quilt idea or a photograph might inspire an idea for a poem. Or someone might just make me smile and feel a little better about my day. So rather than making it easy on visitors to RSR to find blogs about a particular topic, I hope some of you will, at least now and then, take a chance - scroll down and find a blog name you think is interesting and click on it just to see where it takes you, and take a few minutes to read what they have to say, even if it's a blog outside your usual sphere of interest. You might discover a new point of view that inspires you to be that much more creative in what DOES interest you or you might even meet a new friend.

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