Sunday, December 28, 2008

Are blogrolls still important?

This weekend has been ok while on call (I know I'm probably jinxing myself now). I've been meaning to edit my blogroll for a long time now. I've been putting it off for a while, because to go through this list just takes a long time. When I was going through my list today, I deleted about 20 links because they are no longer blogging. Everyone in New Media Medicine (ie- medical blogosphere) knows that GruntDoc has his occasional "DeadBlog" post where he deletes links every so often.

I remember back when I first started blogging. I was trying to figure out who were the most popular med bloggers. One of the ways was seeing the blog linked on everywhere. And, my goal as a new blogger would be to get on these famous blogger's link list. I was so happy when I started seeing my link on other's blogs.

Now, with it being two years later, I wonder whether people use the blogroll or the link list to determine popularity. In my opinion, the blogroll has become a little old fashioned. What I see out there are things like being followed on Twitter and other social networking sites rather than the blogroll. What do you think? Is the blogroll as prestigious as it used to be?


Dr. Rob said...

I find it impossible to keep up. People do click on the links, but I agree that Twitter is a better source. It would be nice if we had an automatic med blogger blogroll.

I just posted a poem about you, by the way.

ChronicBabe - Jenni Grover said...

We're still in a phase where lots of people are new to Twitter and don't know how to use it effectively, so I think the blogroll is still relevant - lots of my readers find ChronicBabe through others' blog rolls, and my readers click on my outbound links a TON. I think the blogroll will be around for a long time to come. And by long, I mean maybe a year or so. ;)

Anonymous said...

Interesting question! I don't think the blogroll is obsolete, but I also don't think it's the end-all, be-all of blog validation and success either.
I think that pageviews and monetization are the greatest quantifiers of the blog's success, and if blogrolls help the blog grow in new/unique users, and in turn increase monetization, then that's a very good thing to be on those blogrolls.
In addition, I think that, if properly maintained, (as you mentioned above that you recently cleaned out broken links from your blogroll), the blogroll can enhance the readers' experience because they can easily move around online amongst related topics and blogs. And if the reader has a good user experience on your blog, he or she will most likely return, which is also a good thing.
I think that bloggers should definitely utilize social networks and twitter, as you mentioned, in addition to blogrolls to increase their online presence and drive traffic to their site.

Rach said...

Thanks for coming by the blog! I haven't been over here in a while - it looks like you certainly have been busy here... When do you actually practise medicine? and when do you sleep ? Maybe you should bottle your motivation and your energy and sell it?
Happy New Year D.A!

BiteTheDust said...


I was thinking of removing my own small blogroll. I find all the blogs I want to find through Twitter and referral these days. Twelve months ago it was mainly by what others had on their blogroll. With Reader, and Twitter I only visit most blogs now to comment.
For new areas to a genre or blogs they may still be of use


Anonymous said...

Even with all the new advents of web 2.0, I think the Blogroll will be a mainstay. Maybe not so much for the clicks... but maybe just for the support or notoriety?
Kind of a kudos for your fellow blogger.

HP said...

I haven't even looked at Twitter so for blogdinosaurs like me, blogrolls are still it!

Bit late dropping by (busy time of year at work) but wanted to wish you Seasons Greetings and a Happy New Year. Amazed at all the things you do here...where do you get the time and energy?

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I think blogrolls are still pretty important too. You can see at a glance which other blogs your favourite blogger values, whereas on Twitter you need to do a fair bit of fishing around. For example, Twitter usernames don't always correspond with blog names.

I keep my blogroll pretty short as I don't think people are interested in scrolling through a massive list, and only include the blogs I read several times a week.

Rita - Supporting Safer Healthcare said...

Hi Dr. A.

Thanks for updating your blogroll to my blog's new name, Supporting Safer Healthcare.

I use the blogroll as a way to quickly visit my favorite bloggers.

Bongi said...

i like blogrolls. twitter tells your regulars what you're doing and when you post, but blogrolls potentially get you new readers.

everyone, add me to your blogroll. (lq2m)

Anonymous said...

Hi! I happened to find you (and became a "follower") on Twitter, perhaps testimony to its import. However, as a fellow blogger I have to echo the previous comments about blogrolls... they serve a genuine [and utilized] purpose.

Personally, I try to limit my BR to those blogs that I actually read and find useful. Of course, I also inhabit a very teensy-tiny niche, which tends to also account for the smaller size.

Lastly, as a brand new visitor, I look forward to working through your list. Surely a case of Happy Happenstance

SeaSpray said...

You may not see this..but I like the blogrolls.

I am not that good at twitter and it's only fun if people respond.

I never really know what to say or if I am doing it right.