Sunday, January 15, 2006

Who Do Ya Blogroll?

I'll take time out from the issues of the day and the long-form thought pieces in the works to talk a bit about the sidebar. As promised, I have once again revamped it.

I have thought, probably more than any sane person should, about the philosophy of the blogroll. Originally I saw it as a service to my readers, most of whom were non-blogjunkie personal friends. I simply created a list of the most informative liberal blogs in Ohio at the time.

Then things got complicated. I started meeting people in NEO with great blogs that didn't fit snugly in the Ohio Political Blogger category. I started the Akron, er, Summit/Stark project (which, by the way, is at about Square 1.1. Anyone interested? Contact me. I'm not Creepy Internet Stalker Guy, I swear.) That raised issues. I also started getting blogrolled, again by some blogs that either don't cover Ohio politics/public policy at all or only tangentially. Finally, I had some good arms-length interactions with conservative bloggers that made me think that rolling them was in order.

For the most part, I still see the 'roll as a service to readers. To make it as user-friendly as possible, I've done lots of categories. The Ohio Progressive Blogroll is what I see as the essential liberal Ohio political blogs. By Ohio blogs I mean that well over half the posts are about local or Ohio (as opposed to national) politics and by "political" I mean a similar hedgehoggedness regarding subject matter.

With regard to that list, a few blogs have been dropped because they have either disappeared completely or haven't posted in a couple months (Susan! Where are you?!?!) A few more have been added. I gave the Psychobillies a spot there because they have been tearing it up lately and because if I did that for Boring Made Dull I should do it for my political compatriots.

Then we have the Stark/Summit blogroll. It is of course incomplete. I'm still interested, but frankly discouraged at the general lack of interest. One of the Boring guys emailed me and I've been in pretty constant contact with Redhorse, but aside from that everyone seems content to do their own thing. That's fine, but frankly folks are missing out. MeetUps are much fun and the info sharing is genuinely helpful. For folks around here who can't truck up North once a month, a meetup around here would be worth your while. Again, if you are interested, post a comment or email pho197 AT hotmail DOT com.

Meanwhile if anyone drops a line about their local blog, I will roll it as long as it does not suck. Or if I'm worried that if I say it sucks the blogger will jump off the Y-Bridge, in which case I'll puppy out and roll it anyway.

I want the first list to be folks who make some attempt at objectivity and who are fairly broad-spectrum. So I made a separate category for campaign blogs; either blogs by candidates (and their staffs) or blogs concentrating on certain races. Oh-2 is causing me some postmodern headaches by branching well out beyond Oh-2, but ultimately hands were thrown up and Oh-2 took up incongruous residence with GrOhio and the Sherrod blog. I'm way behind in populating that category. I'll take suggestions, but I'm only interested in blogs, not campaign web sites.

So then we come to bloggers like Jill and Jeff who represent a problem in that, while they hit Ohio politics/policy extensively they are, as Jill proudly proclaims in comments to the previous post, eclectic.

So I created new categories for them. "Phriends of Pho" are blogs that blogroll me and don't fit neatly into another category. The last catchall list is for local blogs I like that aren't heavily political (and that don't *ahem* roll me), national political blogs, some online journals and other miscellany.

As of right now the Phriends of Pho blogs are all quality blogs. I have a long thought piece in the works about blogging philosophy and blogger ethics all full of promises of integrity and diligence and independence. That's for the blog. On the sidebar, I'm an abject blogroll slut. If you roll me, I'll roll you (within some limits, so don't get cute ideas Male Enhancement Blog.) But I don't want to water down the quality of the Phriends of Pho and create perverse incentives to stay in the ". . . And" category. I'll have to cross that bridge if it comes. For now, I happily refer you to anything on the sidebar. Enjoy.


grandpaboy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
grandpaboy said...

I'm a big enough a nerd ont he subject that I spent a day googling around for blogging protocol. I kept getting the same tired list of 10 common sense suggestions, and little insight.

The thing that amazed me is how many Ohio-based blogs are out there. Less surprising is how much more I've learned from them than the Columbus Dispatch.

I hesitated over candidate-related blogs. It seemed like bias, but a) they are involved and that's commendable b) who cares about the grandpaboy seal of approval?

keng said...

I'm standing on the Y-Bridge waiting for someone to link to me. Ok. My blog isn't just boring, its insipid and banal. I avoid politics since I've tired arguing them with thick-headed red-staters. Just add me to touchy-feely liberals and if I can figure out how to add links to my site, I'll reciprocate (technical issue...I'm not snubbing anyone...)

...and please hurry. Its damn cold out here tonight!

redhorse said...

hey, I know keng, met him at a block party and then a Halloween party.

anyway, the blogroll issue is a real one, and Pho, you have to be given credit for merely thinking about, let alone maintaining, the old thing.

Ours hasn't been touched since the first retooling, though I frequently look at it and say...someday.

Jill said...

God (or whomever was the intelligent person that designed you - I guess that would be your parents?) is going to take care of you, Pho, because you take such good care of others, even those you don't know.

Bless you for the Phriends of Pho category. It's clever and suits me PERFECTLY - I would much rather be considered a Phriend of Pho before a political blog ANYDAY. No offense to political blogs - I don't think they would want my blog categorized as such, and I sure as heck resist it.

And, now that I just checked the definition of the word "political," because I wanted to see if maybe political with a little p might apply to me, I'm still thinking, not so much. Here's the definition:

Thanks for calling me a phriend. AND eclectic. Now if you could just get your phriends excluded from having to do WORD VERIFICATION. Do you know how often I get it wrong!?

scott bakalar said...

The grandpaboy seal of approval means a lot to me....I care!

He likes me, he really likes me!

Well, Ok...he puts up with me.

Pho said...

Well first off, thanks everyone for commenting. In addition to being a blogroll slut, I'm also a comment slut. This morning I had just enough time to check things before heading off to church, and was delighted to find four comments here and two more on the Random Ten post. Haven't had time to join in the fun 'til now.

Grandpaboy, I'm glad to have company in obsessing about such things. The blogosphere's DIY rules are part of its charm, but also a challenge.

Keng, I hope I got to you off the Y-Bridge in time. You're in. I honestly did not know you were keeping a blog (Keng being one of my Real Life friends who stops by here.) Keng's blog is "Lost! A Cartographer's Meanderings on Life." I hope George tracks you down soon; you bring something unique to the conversation.

Red -- reworking the template is a singularly tedious and soul-wearing process. I was way behind myself before this last round.

Jill -- Thanks as always for your kind words. "God" works for me, though the more I learn of the details of my particular Design, the more evidence I find contra Intelligence.
Glad you like your category. Basically you haven't been added before now because I knew the sidebar needed to be revamped first. See also, response to Red.
BTW, I use "political" as a shorthand for blogs covering politics and/or public policy (I lean more toward the latter.) Still, that doesn't suit you.
As for releasing you from word verification, I would if I could. I have to go through it myself. A pain, but deleting offers to enlarge my penis was more so.

Jill said...

Yeah, I hear you on the word verification. But I confess, some days, my best laughs come from the spam comments. Tonight, I got one that came from "Face-Lift" and said, "Yours is not a blog about Face-Lift. But..." and went on to tell me how great I am and I should visit Face-Lift."

I laughed so hard that I probably do need a face lift now.

Ohio 2nd said...

Thanks for the link. I need to backatcha.

I did worry about going off topic by focusing on the Senate race. I am working on moving that stuff over to a different place, but since the site was the first Hackett blogger I can't help but comment on the race.

Some are saying that I should stop wasting my time on the 2nd and focus more on state wide races, but Jean Schmidt is just too much of a lure.