Tobold's Blog
Friday, June 09, 2006
Breaking unwritten rules

I don't read other people's blogs on a daily basis, mostly due to a lack of time. I tend to surf the internet for MMORPG related news, and of course that often ends up in me finding something on some blog, but I don't have a fixed list of blogs to check regularly. Consequently I don't have a link list on this site. Apparently that is a "rather serious character failing". I'm breaking an unwritten rule of reciprocity in the blogosphere.

The argument for adding a link list would be that it is a matter of courtesy towards people who link to me, thus sending readers my way. Even without advertising revenue, readers are something every blogger aspires to. Having your blog widely read and linked to is a matter of pride. Bloggers linking to each other is like sportsmen slapping each others shoulders, confirming each others value. Opting out of this is considered impolite, even if it is just an unwritten rule to a game which doesn't really have written ones.

The main argument against running a link list on my blog is about desktop real estate. You might have noticed that I'm a friend of minimal design. I have a sidebar for necessary access to the archives, and a list of the posts on the main page, but that sidebar usually only takes up part of the space of the first article on the main page. Scroll down and you'll see the other articles taking up all of the screen space, from left to right, with no sidebar. Adding a link list would make the sidebar take more space, leaving less space for the texts. But maybe it is only me who prefers the content to take up all of the space, and other people find a smaller column size for the text more readable?

There are some minor other arguments against a link list. I would have to check the list regularly to see if all the blogs I linked to are still active, which in the transient world of the blogosphere is far from given. And then once I start a link list, I would probably not link every single blog that links to me on it, but only those that I could honestly recommend for reading. So I would still have people complaining that I don't link to them, and it might actually be more insulting to leave somebody out on a link list than not have a link list at all.

So I don't know if I should add a link list to this blog or not, and would welcome your comments on the subject.
There is a saying, if it is not broken, don't fix it. Your blog has been without a link list since you began it. Most regular readers won't be bothered to click on the links because we are here to read your thoughts and findings on MMOG.

Maybe once in a while, some surfers will find your blog and click on the links that look interesting to them and neglect reading yours.

Other than the problems you listed, you would also receive some emails asking you to link to them which could be annoying if it gets outta hands.

With Google around, it is not that hard to find websites people looking for. Blog rolls/ links were invented before search engines exist and really is outdated, in my opinion.

Perenolde USA
It's a rather serious character failing for that douchebag to view this sort of stuff as indicative of your character. He's guilty at best of careless hyperbole.

If someone links your blog because he wants hits back, he's doing his readers a disservice - he should only be linking to you for *their* benefit, not his own. What is this, 1998 all over again? Please click my banners to keep this site free.

If I read a blog it's because I enjoy reading what its author has to say, and usually because I care what he thinks. I expect the links list and everything else to be in line with that. I'd like for you to maintain a links list, but I'd be irritated with you if that list sent me to a blog run by some jackass who's preoccupied with blog etiquette.
No links.

Easy enough.
I don't think it's a character failing. If you don't want a link list, don't put one up.

However, from a bird's eye view, it's kind of unusual. If you view the web as a bunch of connections, allowing people to roam from site to site, your site is a "dead end". You get to it, and you can't go anywhere else. Whether this is "bad" is for you to decide.

On the one hand, you aren't asking anything of anyone. If other people want to or not want to link to you, that's their call, independent of you.

As for the screen real estate issue, on my browser your sidebar takes up the entire right side of the open window. At that point, the sidebar might as well continue all the way down the page. I'm not sure you are actually gaining anything from having the sidebar end. (And from an asthetic point of view, I personally prefer the two-column look.)
You always link to anyone worth reading anyway.
I for one wouldn't mind a link list. HOWEVER, I wouldn't mind it only if you link to either (a) sites/blogs you (personally) regularly read or refer to (because chances are I'd be interested in sites/blogs you are interested in) or (b) sites/blogs you suggest or recommend that readers look at (for the same reason above).

I strongly urge you not to get into the game of "I linked you so you should link me." Stupid game. Your link list would only grow to monstrous lengths and be completely useless.

If you decide to include one, I wouldn't worry about the aesthetics. As a commenter above pointed out, your sidebar runs pretty far anyways. Having it run longer wouldn't bother me at all. I doubt I would notice the extra length, to be honest.

And if you decide to include one, make it count. Make it worthwhile. That is, only include a link list if you think it will help you or help your readers in some material fashion - such as linking to "good" gaming news sites.

As an example, you have referred to Grimwell a few times. I suspect you regularly peruse Grimwell's forums and/or posts. Inlcuding a link to Grimwell might be in line.

As a counter example, I strongly doubt you peruse the official SWG news page. Including a link to that would just be inane and almost-completely pointless. It would be clutter - roadside litter on the information superhighway (pardon the analogy, please).
Its fascinating that he finds your blog to be of the upmost quality, and highly recommends it, but apparently is unwilling to add it to his link list. How petty is that?

Does he expect you to link any jackass with a blog?

Link what you like, or don't link at all. Any other link etiquette is just behaviour learned from livejournal drama.
I would argue that Tobold's Blog is not a dead-end, because as we read his comments, if we find one particularly interesting, thought provoking, etc, we can click the author's name to visit their blog.

I happen to have Tobold's Blog linked on my Blog, along with several other Blogs, but that's mainly because they're the ones I visit with some regularity and having a list of them in one convenient spot facilitates my blog reading.

Link, don't link. It's your Blog, it's your choice.
People already start name callings when we are only discussing about whether to have a link list or not. Imagine what will happen if they feel offended because you refuse to link to them?

I suggest not to because Tobold's blog has been around for quite sometime and with quality content. Blog links were used back in the days before search engines were common (webcrawler, anyone?) to exchange links and get hits. It doesnt add any value to the established blog.

Of course I am aware that it is Tobold's blog and is up to him to do or not do it. He said he welcome comments on the subject. :)

Just to add, my previous 2 posts were before I clicked the link to the shaman guy's post. I don't usually click links because I prefer my time well spent on Tobold's blog. The shaman's guy blog just wasted 34 seconds of my time.

I find it amazing he would post such a subject about you not having a links list. It is an indication that he is running out of ideas on what to post. Apparently he is bitter that you do not link people back to him. By giving in, you will open the floodgate to more people like the shaman, who cares anyway? It's your blog, your call.

I absolutely LOVE the minimalistic design here. I come to read the text, not to see flashy gimmicks or be burdened with all kinds of other content that clutters up the page.

The blogs with no ads of any kind (commercial, link-lists, button to amazon wishlist, etc etc) are very very few these days. This blog is better for not having those things.
I'd like to see a list of the blogs you regularly read, purely because they'd probably point me to some interesting stuff.

However, it needn't be a sidebar. Perhaps a once-a-month post of "what I'm reading right now" or similar?

- Hugh
lol please don't perpetuate the circle jerk!

That guy sounds so wanky... I seriously laughed out loud when I read his post... not having a linked list of blogs is a character flaw... lol man get over yourself!! rofl I'm still laughing at the guy.
hahaha that circle jerk link is really funny

"even circle assrapes include the occasional reacharound" - classic
Keep doing what you're doing i.e. link to interesting stuff, ignore static about supposed blog etiquette.
Agreed -- keep your site the way you like it, and don't give into the "link-me" whiners.
I agree with Einexile. Really sounds more like he's crying out for attention more than anything.

If he starts singing "Circle of Life", I'm getting my shotgun.
dude, do what you feel. You don't need one. Your archive is your cred :)
wasn't reading your blog, Tobold when you made this post but I have recently made an observation on the taurenshamens blog post just recently:
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