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Question Time XVI – Blogrolls

question time 16

I’ve touched on blogrolls in previous Question Time’s, but I’ve never actually done a specific post about them. Today I will rectify that, as I want to find out if and how you utilise them on your blog.

When I first started my blog, within the first couple of weeks a man named John added me to a blogroll on his site Written In Blood. I was overwhelmed, and so honoured that he would put my little site name on his great blog. I loved seeing my name there, and felt that I really could make a connection and meet like-minded movie fans. I used the other sites he had linked and followed them, commented, liked etc and gradually began to start building a network of people and blogs. I feel John’s blogroll was a very useful tool, and I will always be grateful to him for doing that (even when I beat him in a Face Off I won’t gloat…..much!) so again, thanks John!!

Since then, I guess as I started to find an audience I used blogrolls less and less, as I then started to follow and check out people who visited me here. I did have a blogroll of my own early on, but as I met more people, the list started to get too long, and I worried about missing people off, so I did away with it. Luckily WordPress have a pretty cool widget which acts like a blogroll, and that’s what I currently use. If you scroll down a little, on the left hand side eventually you will see gravatars of the sites and people who act as my blogroll, or my Recent Visitors & Friends section. They are automatically added, and done at random, and it is filled with people who like and comment on my site. Its a great feature, and every time you comment or like something on my site, it puts your site in there. Its easier than manually maintaining a blogroll, and looks pretty neat in my opinion.

I know people have different kinds of blogrolls on their sites. Some have the more traditional list of site links in their sidebar. Some have a separate page dedicated to other sites and blogs they read. Others have fancy ones that show off the latest posts from their friends. What type do you have on your site and why?

In wrapping up, I’m not even sure how often these features are utilised anyway. I mean, how often do you click on a link from someones blogroll? I’m more likely to do it if I see a big photo of a hot girl on someone’s gravatar list, but other than that, I don’t really browse through people’s blogrolls. I do get upset when I see people have them and my name isn’t on them………it’s fine……..really………don’t worry about it……. 😉 So maybe you don’t use them at all, or have them on your site, and again I’d love to hear your thoughts on why you don’t bother. Thanks for reading folks, and I look forward to your answers!

If you would like to see all the other questions from this series, please click HERE and check them out!

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101 Comments

  1. I don’t use them, man. Never have. I do feel a little guilty about that but I base it purely on the fact that I don’t normally look at other people’s and thought that nobody would look at mine either. I try to give something back to other bloggers by collaborating on a little something, if they’re interested, of course. You know what I mean! 😉

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    • Fair enough Mark, however the WordPress one does all the work for you.

      You do give back to the community though, as my most prolific contributor I can vouch for that! Always a pleasure. Cheers buddy:)

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  2. As much as I prefer WordPress to Blogger, the latter offers a much better blogroll widget, namely a blogroll that works like an rss feed. The blog that has been updated most recently will immediately be bumped up to the top. You can also see the title of the latest post and how many hours ago it was published. This makes the blogroll dynamic and usable. I used to have that on my former blog, which was on the Blogger platform, and I understood from my readers that they used my blogroll a lot as a take-off position for their own blog reading. I figure they liked my taste for blogs. 🙂
    The blogroll in WordPress isn’t anywhere near as good. I still have it because it makes me feel connected to the rest of the blogsophere. It’s my way to mark that I’m not alone here, that I follow others. And that my following isn’t a result of being reciprocal. I follow stuff because I think it interests me, either they’re commenting on my blog or not. Two different things.

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    • I’ve seen that on a few sites, it does look a very cool feature. Maybe one day WordPress will integrate something similar.

      That’s why I initially used Johns so much, as I figured he would be following sites similar to me and people with the same kind of tastes. I like what you’re saying and why you have your blogroll, nice touch! Thanks Jessica 🙂

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  3. I haven’t used a blog roll yet – mainly because, like you, I never click on them on other people’s sites. But it would be nice to be able to promote other blogs. I think that I might occasionally do a filmhipster style blogger review every now and then to shout out other bloggers: http://filmhipster.com/2013/04/11/evil-dead-500000-hits-and-cobra/

    Just one other thing – if anyone reads this and doesn’t link to their blog from their gravatar profile, then go and do it now! Your gravatar doesn’t link to your blog and less you add it yourself. Otherwise you’re missing out on people finding you. I did write a post about how to do this a few days ago but I’m not not going to link to it (too much blatant self-promotion already!) – but go check out your own gravatar – it may not link to your blog!

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    • I would normally delete links but because its for Chris and I’m mentioned in it I’ll allow it! It’s a nice thing to do, although I think its so he guarantee’s all those people visit him. Sneaky 😉

      Good point about the Gravatar, I set mine up early on but I’m always surprised when people don’t do it, or have their site listed on the page the card opens up. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts dude, much appreciated 🙂

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  4. I don’t have a blogroll for the same reason as a couple of the posts above have said. I don’t tend to look at other people’s, although it is always nice when I see my blog name there! I also don’t have one because all the widgets for my blog are at the bottom and a blogroll would mess it all up I think, although I one similar to yours might work. If i had the widgets down the side (which I’m looking to sort at some point) then I might have one. I’m sure I saw a post on another blog at some point looking at the stats of how many clicks come from blogrolls and it’s hardly any apparently.

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    • Yup, I’ve seen a few posts about how little they are clicked. BUT as I mentioned, seeing my name on other sites makes me happy, and this is one way I can reciprocate with hardly any effort lol! Mike has the same as mine but with larger images, I think there are a few options, and whilst they may not work on the bottom of your page, if you do change it one day, it’s a decent option in my opinion.

      Cheers Chris 🙂

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  5. I don’t use a traditional blogroll because I never use them. Like Jessica, I do really like when I see that RSS feature on other blogspot sites, but I never could get behind a list of names with no context. And besides, based on others who have done away with them on more popular sites, they really don’t work well to drive traffic. I’m on several people’s blogrolls, but I very rarely see any actual referrals from them.

    My blogroll of choice is the dedicated post to a site. It’s a much better way of networking because the site you’re featuring gets their time in the spotlight, and it’s a better tool as a two way street, as it drives new traffic to my own site as well as driving traffic to theirs. I mentioned that my site is on several blogrolls out there, but i’ve never once been told that I had been added to one. Every site that I’ve featured knew about it and was appreciative of it. Nice topic.

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    • As I just mentioned to Chris above, I’ve seen a few people say they never really bring the traffic. But if only a couple of sites on mine get a view or two, or I get viewed from somewhere else, then I’m happy to keep going with it.

      As a lucky participant of your promotion post, I did enjoy doing it and its a more personal touch and recommendation. So thanks again 🙂

      I’ve had a few people tell me or ask me if I mind them adding me to their blogroll, but as you say sometimes people do it without notifying. I only want to know so I can thank them! Thanks for giving your input Bubba, always appreciated 🙂

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  6. I did away with it because it was too much maintenance as many sites simply die when the bloggers behind them just stop updating. Secondly because I never use them. I find out about new blogs by checking out the sites of other commenters. I know those are people who are also actively participating on other sites, so I know I’d enjoy interacting with them.

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    • I do that, if I see someone commenting on another site and I like what they say I’ll check them out. Good advice dude, thanks for stopping by Nostra 🙂

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    • I followed Nostra’s (and Morgan’s) lead in dropping the blogroll I once had on my site. Not only did it not generate much click-throughs for the those visiting, it was like a tree once planted… with branches dying off. And it would be too much work to really keep it up regularly. So, I dropped the blogroll and replaced it with WordPress widgets ‘Posts I Like’ and ‘My Community’. Like you said, WP does then the work of those I frequent and who stop by. Hopefully, offering them a chance to receive a click or two in the bargain. Great subject, Tyson. Thanks.

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  7. Abbi

     /  April 12, 2013

    I have a traditional listed blog roll but I am going to do away with it. It’s too much effort to keep it up to date for too little reward. The feature you mentioned sounds good though. I think I might replace it.

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    • It’s a good feature, and you can tweak the set up of it to suit your needs and style. Easy too, only puts people in who are active on your site 🙂

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  8. I have a blogroll so big that it is set over several pages. One of the main reasons for this is so that when I have an award, i can go and select blogs from the lists. I can also go and see if I have missed any posts if I have been having a hectic day and have to delete all my emails rather than going visiting. BTW – http://kattermonran.com/blogs-i-read/blogs-e-h/ You’re there 🙂

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    • Another day, another award eh!! That’s why you need all those pages 😉

      Sound plan that Alastair, and I’m grateful to be on there! Thanks buddy 🙂

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      • You’er welcome 😀

        I’ll have to do a review of a film sometime for ya 😉

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        • I would LOVE that! Feel free to peruse the IMDB Top 250 page and see if anything takes your fancy! Then I get to add your shiny site link to my guest contributors page 🙂

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        • Will do 🙂

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        • Think I’ll watch Full Metal Jacket later … well in the next week. “Private Pile .. get off of my obstacle course!!”

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        • Incredible film, just bought the Blu Ray and cant wait to see it again! Having just reviewed Chained, Private Pile is still pretty fat 🙂

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        • 😆 I brought the Blu-Ray a while ago and is on my list of still not watched along with DaVinci Code; Angels and Demons; 300; Devil Inside (your review put me off watching that one until I’m in the mood for it); Ghost Rider 2; House of Bones; Iron Clad; Knight Templar; Monsterwolf; Paranormal Activity 2; Quantum Apocalypse; Robin Hood; Seven Pounds; Tornado Warning; Troll Hunter; Underworld Awakening and World On Fire. Not including the ones I have seen before but not watched on Blu-Ray yet

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        • A real mixed bag there! Hey, if you love Devil Inside we can Face Off on it. I have never heard anyone like it, but that doesnt mean that person cant be you!!

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        • True. 🙂 There’s a few films I haven’t liked, but only a couple I had to switch off because they were THAT crap 😆

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        • I made it all the way through that piece of crap, but it’s so short anyway. Cant wait to hear your thoughts on it!

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        • I’ll try and watch it over the weekend

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        • Poor bastard……I mean I cant wait!! 🙂

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        • 😆 If I didn’t have to take my daughter to the doctor’s in an hour, I would watch it now

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        • Haha, being a responsible parent is slightly better than watching arguably one of the worst horror films out there 🙂

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        • 😆 No, Drag Me To Hell. That was a waste of money. I went to the bloody cinema to watch that. I had a choice of watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen again, something else and Drag me to Hell. I decided to go for a horror film. Big mistake. It relied on jumpies

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        • I didn’t think that was too bad….. Only seen it once and haven’t reviewed it, but that’s 100 times better than Devil Inside in my humble opinion.

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        • LOL You’re not filling me with hope haha

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        • At least I’m not setting you up to be disappointed!

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        • That’s true. I have just finished watching The Hobbit pt1 with my son. His mother’s husband downloaded it and he watched it last weekend. Me .. I prefer Blu-Ray much better quality and no random computer infections

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  9. I tried making a blogroll once but ended up not using it. I don’t usually look at other ones.

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    • Fair enough! Lol – I figure if people are ever scrolling down and see an image for a gravatar they like, they may click it. Long lists aren’t the most appealing thing to look at some people may feel. Cheers mate 🙂

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  10. I like the blogroll. For me it serves two purposes. First, it allows me to showcase sites and blogs that I appreciate and that follow my page. It also serves as an easy way for me to move back and forth to the pages that I visit regularly. That way, regardless of where I am, I can find and check out some of my favorite blogs just by going to my own page.

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    • I think that has the be the best benefit of a blogroll, having a list of your favourite sites, so even if other people dont click them, it makes it easier for you to visit them. Although I notice I’m not on yours so thanks for nothing Keith!! 😉

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      • LOL!!! I’ll tell you why. I do 90% of my viewing through WordPress’s app. It’s so much easier for me during the day especially. Haven’t updated my blogroll lately. But since I follow your blog, it pops up on my app reader.

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        • Whatever. UNFOLLOWED! 🙂

          I’ve only just started using the app for liking and commenting. Does work quite well, and is more convenient as you say.

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        • I actually do some writing on it as well. The voice command dictates pretty well. But I’ve always wondered if my visit to a blog counts as a stat if viewed in the app? I sure hope so.

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        • Just like Mark. I have no idea how anyone writes on their phone. Mental.

          I would imagine it counts as a view, but I suppose using our reader on here, unless we click to go to the site I know that doesnt.

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        • Like I said I use the voice. I say it, it writes it. It’s my own secretary. Now I don’t do everything on it obviously but I find it very handy.

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        • Lol, I struggle to get Siri to do what I ask. Obviously doesn’t like my mumbling voice. I’m happy that you sit and dictate to your secretary though! Good thinking Keith 🙂

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        • Just yell at her and insult her. Soon she’ll know her role!

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        • LOL – tried that with my wife but she beat the crap out of me. 😛

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        • NO, NO, NO!!! Disclaimer: Do not attempt this method with your wife

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        • Where was this advice when I needed it?

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  11. I use them, but I’m real picky with how I use them. Rather than follow everyone who checks out my blog (which isn’t a bad idea at all) I only follow the blogs of people that really jump out at me. I do, however, follow most of the people who comment on my site more than once. Especially of their side has a neat design, good writing, interesting topics, etc. Mainly because, if I did follow everyone, I wouldn’t be able to read any of their stuff because I’m way too busy. In fact, I should be working on a huge paper for a college class right now, not reading a blog, but whatever. 😉

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    • That’s a good plan, following those that comment, it’s a good way to find new blogs and people. You should never be too busy to read my site, more important than college, you know that Billy! And thanks for putting me on your blogroll, even if people don’t like them, I like being on them! 🙂

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    • I’m sure if my teacher’s know I was reading your site they wouldn’t mind one bit. 😉 They’d probably join me in fact. Haha!

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  12. Ours is set to automatically add who we follow, and it’s kind of useless since we follow so many blogs. I’d like to do it where it’s just like the 20 or so sites we socialize with the most but I’d hate to offend anyone… on accident anyway.

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    • You can set it up to just have who you want, then you can set it up to make sure you offend everyone you intend to on purpose. Perfect crime 🙂

      Cheers Brian!

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    • theipc

       /  April 12, 2013

      You’d hate to offend anyone???? You threaten to sue me on everything I post!!!!!!! Oh wait – I guess you did put “on accident”.

      Whatever.

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  13. theipc

     /  April 12, 2013

    Captain,

    I had a blog roll once on my old theme and it got messy looking. So I changed my theme and made a “page” called “People I read” and loaded a bunch of blogs out there. It is WOEFULLY way behind and I think you’ve inspired me to kill that page and go with the community thing of Gravatars. My theme is kind of picky so I might not keep it, but I’ll give it a shot.

    And – when I look at my stats, I see that every day someone is getting clicked on from that page – so I am sending traffic to some people : )

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    • Yours was the ‘page’ I was referring to, I like it 🙂

      The gravatar thing is good though, and hopefully you can tweak it to fit in with your theme. I did, and we know how picky I am!

      You are doing nothing but good over there, keep it up chief!! 🙂

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  14. I have one but I very rarely updated it because I am lazy. Terrence at The Focused Filmographer was one of my first blogrollies and like you I was super proud of that 😀

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  15. I have a traditional blogroll, it’s just a list of tons of links. I’ve thought about changing to the kind that you have though, because I’m having trouble putting all the blogs I find on that list.

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  16. I use the WP “Posts I Like” widget, which automatically lists any post that I hit the little star on from another WP blogger. I would like something that allows me to share posts from non-WP blogs too, but laziness stops me from linking the posts manually. 😛 I thought about doing a traditional blogroll or a separate page for blogs that I recommend too, but I’d be afraid to either leave someone out or end up making the list so long that no one bothers to look at it haha. “Posts I Like” is just too convenient not to use.

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    • That’s why I gave mine up, as I was so worried I would miss someone and offend them! I like the ‘posts I like’ idea, I might have to implement that as well as the one I have. Thanks Lindsey 🙂

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  17. I rarely click on a link in a blogroll (although it’s very nice seeing my blog’s name in one). What I use is something like your “Recent Visitors & Friends” section, only I call it “Friends of CTC”.

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  18. I did when I started out, because that’s what so many bloggers do. But I found my circle of bloggers expanding so quickly that I couldnt keep up. Plus, if I did, it would have been this enormous eyesore… So I nuked it. I dont keep one now.

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    • Yeah, like a right of passage, we all have to start a blogroll! A manual one would be so hard to keep maintained, I dont know how people do it. As you say, once your circles start to expand it becomes tricky. Cheers Fogs, always appreciated 🙂

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  19. Great question Tyson! This reminds me I need to update my blogroll, sometimes I thought I’ve already added someone but it turns out I only ‘planned’ to do it and kept forgetting, ahah. I do use my blogroll, though I usually visit those who have commented on my posts first as those are my loyal blog friends, but then I’ll go through my blogroll in alphabetical order 😀

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    • Thank you Ruth! Yeah I should be on yours really…..LOL I kid, thats why I had to do away with a manual one, I would always forget people! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  20. I don’t use the traditional blog rolls, but I have created my own ‘short list’ of blogs I visit on a near-daily basis, which currently stands at two, and which will be expanding soon; I asked the blog owners for their logos, and created a widget with links to their blogs. I seem to remember adding one that seems familiar…Head of the Lice? Dead on the Ice? Wait…Head on a Vice, that’s it!

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    • I was going to give you a special mention in my post, but then I remembered you disliked Silver Linings and felt you didnt deserve the praise 😉

      Seriously though, I love being part of yours, and your scary photo is always there on mine 🙂 Thanks Todd!

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  21. Never used them, mainly because my blog layout has no room for it! If I had a different layout I like the sound of your automatic one. I tend to just put lots of links to good blogs in my posts. If someone’s blog has inspired me to listen to, watch or buy something I always give them credit in my related posts.

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    • Yeah as a few people have said further up, some themes make it tricky. As your widgets/links are at the bottom, maybe they wouldn’t suit your style. If you did ever change, the auto one is useful for lazy people like me! Cheers mate 🙂

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  22. I still have a blogroll, but I haven’t updated it in yonks! I rely on the “blogs I follow” bit, cause I generally follow folks back. I should probably get off the fence and do one or the other! (before I get a splinter up my arse) 😀

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    • Splinters are never good!! Haha, yeah you have a mini blogroll at the bottom and then the blogs you follow is always useful, the large images/gravatars makes some people stand out so I go check them out (ie hot girls). Cheers Mike 🙂

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  23. I have definitely clicked on blogrolls in the past when the titles sounded interesting and use my own blogroll for the same reason Keith7189 said above, jockying between a bunch of sites. I also keep a links page for sites off of wordpress. I was recently looking for a change but didn’t find what you’re talking about, ‘Recent Visitors & Friends’. Where is that in the dashboard? Secondly, a lot of commenters do NOT have their link on their Gravatar and sometimes its easy to see who they are when there’s a blogroll next to the posts. But, my blogroll is getting a bit big now and I may want to do something different. Off subject: Someday you gotta talk about those bloggers that come to your site once, follow you (and you follow them in return) then never seem to come back to your blog, ever again. Do I unfollow these bloggers? I feel like I’ve been tricked into following them.

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    • Its one of the widgets buddy, ‘My Community’, and you can edit and amend it to suit your needs. Pretty handy in my opinion.

      As for your other point, yeah Im the same and follow people back. Maybe they are duping us, I never really thought about it until now lol! It would be good to find out if people still followed us. We should research this further! Cheers matey 🙂

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  24. Gee. I think I’m lost in the comments. I’m passing the baton to you (again). Welcome to the world of the Epically Awesome Award multiple winners. http://teepee12.com/2013/04/14/epically-awesome-award-of-epic-awesomeness-twice/ and you’re IT!

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  25. So, to sum up. Place a picture of a hot chick in your gravatar profile?

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  26. I really don’t use Blogrolls. I put up some favorite links to sites I find throughout the web, but mostly I don’t think about it.

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  27. I just have a small Friends page that needs some major overhauling, and particular inclusions of other sites I need logos from. That being said, send me a version of your logo 250×90 px. OR ELSE!!!!!!!!!!!

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  28. yeah, usually the blogroll was just for my own use since the majority of readers don’t use it. I am about to take it off as I like to use the “READER” list of those I follow instead. It does get tricky when it comes to those blogs on Blogspot, etc. But blogrolls are great when you get behind on commenting on everyone’s site, but as it grows, it becomes more of a pain.

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    • I guess I have my contributors & desert island list full of sites so I use that as a quick way to check everyone. The reader is great though, but yeah the more sites you follow, a huge blogroll isnt ideal! Thanks for commenting buddy 🙂

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  29. I would be lost without my blogroll 🙂 i use it as a list of blogs I follow and it is so useful as it rearranges them as soon as someone writes a new post. There are also a bunch of blogs I bookmark in my browser before I add them to blogroll. I know my blogroll sends some traffic to people, so it’s very useful.

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  30. Like many comments above have already mentioned, blogrolls are practically useless but almost essential. I don’t use mine except for quickly getting to the blogs I regularly read, although I very rarely look at anyone elses. It’s a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” kind of concept, in that it’s good to see your name on somebody else’s site, but the upkeep of such a device (especially if you’re reading loads of people’s work) can be daunting, not to mention accidentally missing somebody’s blog whom you’re good friends with. I haven’t updated my own blogroll in aaaages, and to be honest, I’m actually thinking of removing it altogether; having said that, a blogroll has become something of a “wall of honor” around the web these days – if you’re on one, it’s sweet, and if you’re not, does that invalidate all your hard work getting your site up and running anyway?

    Nice site, though, Tyson. I expect I’ll be back to read more.

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    • Great comment!! Really appreciate your thoughts, seems we are on the same page. Is nice to see our names on people’s sites!! I just couldn’t keep up with a manual one.

      Thanks for the kind words, I look forward to checking out your site more and hope to see you around here again soon 🙂

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