Links or no …

I’ve never been a fan of weblogs that have amazingly long lists of links. I think that if you link, it should be to sites that you read, and not just because it’s cool to link there, but because you genuinely find what is written there to be interesting, useful, thought provoking. And despite not liking lots of links, here I am with that long column.. There are actually only 23 external links that I have added, with others being stats for here and from the cosmos link.
But I do read other sites which I don’t link. Since I wrote my ramble about RSS, I’ve been pondering my linkage, and whether it should change.

I really don’t want to end up with an incredible list, but then I do want people, should they be so inclined, to be able to see where I do read. After all, if it’s interesting, why keep it to yourself ?
The way that my WP is set up, the last 4 or 5 days (I forget) are displayed, and given that I tend to fill this space on a daily basis, the page could tolerate a longer list (Single post view don’t count ! I’ve yet to work out – as has anyone else – how to mod that particular display) but then is having such a long list going to be ignored ?
I mean, I don’t use this page as a jumping off point at all – that’s what my bookmarks are for – except for Waypath links that interest me. So does going to a page with a ton of links mean that you almost automatically don’t see them ? Link Blindness so to say.

Does having less links almost mean that they are of higher quality ? For certain resources, then yes, I guess it does – it’s a badge of approval in a crowded market. Take MT for example ….. there are very many sites out there that proclaim to offer this and that for that particular tool, but if I’m honest (and if I were mad enough to make the switch) I’d go to Smeg’s page to see his MT links – he’s used them, as must have others, so they have become, in the mass market of MT devotee sites, the better ones. But that’s a particular product, and a specific market.
What if it’s just tech, or just humour .. I guess than that the links reflect one’s tastes (as they should on a personal weblog) but where do you draw the line ?

The more time you have to saunter around this www thing, the more you find (ADSL – find crap faster) and I could no doubt add at least 20 more links without the slightest problem. But is that the point ? Is it really the point to link to everything you find consistently good ? Why ? Your links list would grow ever larger, and at some point, you’d have to start pruning it back.

I could always have this page with the best links, and create another page with other links of interest. I sort of tried that when I had my handcoded page – remember the Daft Links page ? But that involves more maintaining, and does a link on a page that people generally don’t see count ? By count, I don’t know if I mean the person doing the linking, the person being linked to, or the person reading who may or may not follow that link. It almost them becomes a two-tier system of links – the premier stuff and the lower league. Or does it ?

If we only ever linked to the sites that are really good, then maybe we would end up with, over a random collection of weblogs, a fairly homogenised set of linked sites. So while that, like I have said, is good as we can determine that such sites are worthy of a visit, that also ignores the tremendous diversity that in present on the internet. After all, great sites started as little sites, and then they got linked, and links get talked about – all it takes is for a webpage to get mentioned on certain very high profile sites, and they get swamped – I believe the term is ’slashdotted’.

So, to get back to my links, and what – if – I should add any.
I think I must be trying to get the pruning done before I actually get started, but having written this, I don’t actually feel any closer …… this post is very definitely in the correct category!

Posted in T2