I finally tired of my blogroll and thrashed it, with the results you see on your left. The “Now” category consists of people I check every day — which doesn’t necessarily mean they write every day, although it helps — while everybody in “And Then” I check at least once a week. I will say in defense of this scheme only that it’s an improvement.
To the nice questions of blogroll politics I have no satisfactory answers. If someone links to you, should you link back? It seems only fair that you should, somehow, and I’ve created a Hall of Reciprocity for this purpose. This will not quite do; it’s like inviting someone to the wedding ceremony but not the reception. But I can think of nothing better.
My blogroll exists for my convenience and your curiosity. The oft-seen enormous blogroll defeats both purposes. No one this side of Instantman reads 200 blogs regularly. Yet I understand how it happens. A link, once established, tends to linger like a British houseguest.
When it comes to cleaning house, big bloggers are no problem. I grew bored with Andrew Sullivan and Mickey Kaus, where it’s all Times all the time, but they will not notice, let alone mourn, their sudden absence. Smaller bloggers are a different matter, and only a few, most of whom have posted so irregularly of late that their blogs are effectively moribund, have been demoted. I have also, at long last, buried the dead.
What to do, finally, about the blogs of your real-life friends? The usual solution, a “friends” category, smacks of favoritism. You may as well call it “Dude, your blog sucks, but you did bail me out of jail that one time, so here’s a link for you. Remember it the next time I call you at 3 AM,” except that’s a bit too long to fit nicely in the sidebar. Well, from now on my friends get the same treatment here as everybody else, and I’ll just have to raise my own bail money.