Daily Archives: September 19, 2011

The Great Survey of Linking Blogs

Way back when I started this blog, I had some plans for how I would handle certain things, including the blogroll, the links in the side bar to other blogs.

My theory at the time was that a blog roll over a given size would cease to be of value to those listed.  The more choices offered, the less likely any particular item would be chosen.  So I planned to limit the blog roll, at various times, to 10, 15 or 20 blogs.

And they would be blogs I would keep tabs on.  You would know, clicking on my blog roll, that you would end up on an active blog discussing MMO related topics.  This would be a quality blog roll!

Of course, watching traffic over time, I discovered that the blog listed at the top of the blog roll got a majority of the traffic, and that the top three on the list accounted for almost all of the blog roll traffic.

This lead me to suggest to at least one blogger than he rename his blog to Aarhus Gymnastikforening.  The name looks really interesting in English, it would get him the top slot on most blog rolls, and there was bound to be some residual traffic generated by confused Danish soccer fans.

(You can see why people generally approach me for blogging advice exactly once.)

Anyway, my initial theory of limiting the size of the blog roll meant I would not automatically reciprocate being linked on another blog with a spot on my own blog roll.

So I decided, by way of a thank you, to call out any blog that put me on their blog roll or other such list as part of my month in review post.

So since my October 2006 month in review post, I have done this.

I figured I would get through a few months on new blogs and then I would go back and rotate through the list again, adding in new ones as they showed up every so often.

But in what I consider an amazing turn of events, I have been able to list at least two new blogs a month (the average is a little over 4) in my monthly summary for 59 months straight.  And I already have two blogs set for this month, so it will soon be 60 months straight.

So, first, wow!  And, second, thank you all very much!

Having hit the five year mark, I decided to see what had become of all of those blogs.  So I went through all of my monthly reviews and clicked on every single one to see what was going on.  I also moved the data into a spread sheet and came up with a few status categories so I could quantify all of this.

One of my first surprises was the number of duplicate entries.  I thought there might be 3 to 5 such entries.  There were, in fact, 16 blogs listed twice, and one listed three times.  Go World of Blogcraft, but call me a liar if I ever call you unforgettable.

So let me get to the numbers.  Those will speak for themselves.

  • Total Blogs Listing (including dupes): 281
  • Total unique blogs listed: 263
  • Average blogs listed per month (no dupes): 4.49
  • Most blogs listed in a single monthly review: 13 (June 2007)
  • Least blogs listed in a single monthly review: 2 (more than a few times)
  • Number of listed blogs still active: 74 / 28%
  • Number of blogs moved: 12 / 5%
  • Number of blogs dormant: 108 / 41%
  • Number of blogs gone or otherwise inaccessible: 69 / 26%

For those numbers, the count is only for the URL I listed.  I might have mentioned below that a given blog moved and then went dormant, but I only counted it as moved.

Now, if I was feeling really motivated, I would go back and chart the start date and end/last post date for the blogs that are dormant (not sure to what to do about the ones that are gone) to get some sort of life expectancy for a blog.  But it is clear that most blogs fold up after a year or two.  Such is life in the blog lane.

It was actually pretty neat going through the list.  There were quite a few “Oh, I remember this blog!” moments.

Another surprise was… well… how many blogs I missed.  I will be able to hit my quota for the next few months with obvious omissions.  And then I can move onto the ones that have moved.

I have included, below the cut, all of the blogs listed in past monthly reviews.  I removed the duplicates, keeping the first listing for a given blog.  I also put a status message next to most of the blogs.

I went through the list in four sessions, and my thoughts on what to do with the list changed from session to session.  So for some of the blogs marked as “Gone,” the name is there without the link to the blog.  Later I decided to only kill the link if it went to a particularly noxious link-spam site.  If you really want one of the original links, you can go back to the original month in review post for it.

My thoughts on what counted as “Dormant” wavered a bit as I went.  In general, if a blog was not posting at least monthly and hadn’t posted in August, it was marked as such.

There is probably room for a study on how often a dormant blog will get revived and how successful such revivals end up being.

For those of you interested in the raw blog list, broken out by month, you will find it after the cut.

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