Sunday, July 08, 2007

Bloggers Poll on Linking: The Results!

Recently, I asked for feedback in my entry, Blogger Poll: How do you decide to link? I am in the process of updating my links and wanted to check with my fellow bloggers to see how they made their linking decision. Lucky for me, 17 respondents gave me great advice and pertinent information. I asked the following questions:

1. How do you decide who to link to? Do you have specific criteria?
2. Does the other person need to link you as well?
3. How frequently do you check the blogs you link to?
4. Would you link to someone you don't personally care for if their content was interesting?
5. Any suggestions for new links for me?

I received exceptional answers that ranged from the humorous and sarcastic to the heartfelt genuine. I like that there was a selection, and am thankful to all of you who answered the questions. I know it was time out of your day, so it is very valuable.

Question one was the mundane: “How do you decide to link to? Do you have specific criteria?” Answers were varied, and some examples include:

“It’s a bit idiosyncratic: sometimes my browsing brings me to a page that I have never seen before and I like, and I link to it. Other times if someone has linked to me, tracking back leads me to discover a page I might not have known about before, and that I’ll subsequently link to.”

“I don’t have any hard and fast rules. If I find myself checking someone’s blog frequently I will put them on my sidebar. I list other blogs that I think people who are into my site will also enjoy.”

“I list the ones I read and they’re usually the ones that update with some form of regularity.”

There were several other great comments that went along the same lines. We all want to link a site that we enjoy and visit with some frequency.

Question two: Does the other person need to link you as well? Eleven of the respondents said no that they don’t. The rest didn’t have a distinct opinion about this that was expressed. A great sentiment expressed was this:

“For a long time, there was a feeling, an unwritten rule if you will, that if someone linked you, then linking back was done as a common courtesy, if nothing else. However, I have found that there are many out there who don’t share this opinion.”

To put my two cents in, initially I always linked to whoever would link me. Then I would check back and notice that they haven’t updated for a long time, so I would want to drop them, but feel too bad to do so. Now I am faced with a blogroll that has inactive sites. I finally got brave and deleted a few, but have a few more I have held onto for sentimental reasons. The hardest was the first blogger that linked me. He didn’t blog for months, and then he re-did his blog. When it was updated I wasn’t on there anymore, so I finally felt it was okay to delete him back. Yikes. It is almost political at times.

Question 3: How frequently do you check the blogs you link to?

The answers here ranged from daily to periodically. I was astounded at the variation. It seems we all have our own schedules and adhere to them in a timely fashion of our own making.
One thing that is nagging me is this: there are about 15 blogs I check daily. The rest I check on weekends while I am playing catch up. Does this mean I should have a super blog section and a regular section? It is hard to determine this one.

Question 4: Would you link to someone you don’t personally care for if their content was interesting?

This was a humdinger. Here are some answers:

“Yes. For example, I don’t always agree with what you have to say, but you are a solid writer and, as the question alludes to, your content is interesting” (thank you, btw)

“No, because if I didn’t care for them, chances are I wouldn’t think their content was all that compelling either. It’s a real “nothing to see here” effect.”

“No. A blogger’s online personality and their content are nearly inseparable to me.”

“Yes. An interesting opinion is interesting none the less.”

“Yeah, there’s someone I don’t agree with 90% of the time but I keep them there because still find their points interesting.”

“I’ve yanked links because I no longer support the content or personality of the blogger.”

The answers to that question really made me think. I have linked and continue to link to a few people I don’t frequently agree with. The distinction I make is that I don’t have any personal feelings of ill will towards those people- we just don’t see eye-to-eye. Their content is interesting, and they make me think, so I continue to link them.

HOWEVER, there are two bloggers I will never link to for the strict reason that I find them to be distinctly unlikable human beings. It is embarrassing for me to admit this, but since I have a policy of full candor here, I figure I might as well fess up. One is a woman whose attitude is so self-serving and snarky that I would rather not have any links then link her. What is interesting about this is that when I check other people’s blogrolls, I find that if she is linked, 95% of the time I am not linked and vice versa, so evidently the feeling is mutual. Heh.

The other is a guy that is so sadistic about making mean spirited fun of other people that whenever I see any reference to him on another blog, I won’t go any further because I want nothing to do with his negativity or hating. If I ever met the person, I would have a hard time not giving him hell for his idiocy. He knows what he did, and I am sure he loves the fact that it pisses me off. I can do without that kind of hater.

That being said, I can find something positive in almost everything and everyone, so it pains me to admit that a few people have gotten my goat. It is true though. I am human and they angered me to the point of no return. Yikes. Also, sorry- didn't mean to rant!

The last question asked for suggestions for new links. Here is a list compiled from the answers of places to go check out:

It was also suggested for me to go check out the respondent’s side bars for new links, which I think is a fantastic idea. I really hope to find some new places to go, and I am very thankful for the input. If you think of anymore sites, let me know!

Thank you again for responding to my poll and all your help. For the responses in their entirety (that weren’t e-mailed to me) head over to my original link. So many of you had answers that made me think and helped me set my mind right. I appreciate it.
Now watch this page for updated links!


ShellyS said...

There are a few reasons why I use Bloglines for my blogroll. One is because it's easy to add the blogs to the sidebar. I read in Bloglines, so always see who's updated. And I prefer when the feed includes the entire post rather than a summary, so I need visit a blog only to comment. That saves me time and I can read more blogs.

The other reason is that I can turn the blogs on or off my blogroll. If a blog I enjoy goes dormant, I simply make the subscription private and it vanishes off my blog, but it's still in my Bloglines list. If the blogger returns or starts posting more often, I can then restore the status to public.

This happened with one of my fav non-comics bloggers. She vanished. I made the blog sub private, along with 2 others with the same problem. They are still AWOL. But she started blogging again after 9 months. Turned out she'd been very ill and had had surgery. I made the sub public again so it's back on my main blog and we've even met up in person. I'm glad I didn't lose touch with her.

Bloglines has folders, so I can control which blogs end up on which of my blogs.

Eaglewing said...

Interesting results. And 'Super Blogs' and 'Regular Blogs' made me chuckle.

hmm, maybe that should be a new super hero - SuperBlog to the Rescue! :)

Heidi Meeley said...

Shelly, thank you so much for telling me about bloglines! I am going to figure out how to do it this weekend, as I am very intrigued!

That is an interesting story about your friend who blogs. I am always really concerned when a regular drops off the map. I am really glad you found her again and that she was okay!

Thank you again for the great advice!

Heidi Meeley said...

Eaglewing, thank you! I had to wonder how people might take my super blog comment- it was a bit odd! :-)