The new blogroll

I used to have a blogroll. In the early days of blogging (I started in December of 2000) most bloggers would have lists of links to their favorite blogs. Usually that was placed on the side of their blog.

Eventually there were too many blogs. Or they got stale. So they became pretty useless. Then they started getting removed from many people’s blogs and getting replaced with other things (For instance, Dave Winer (the guy who was one of those who got me into blogging) used to have a nice blogroll, now he just has lists of magazines that have written about him). UPDATE: funny, he just added something called “Newsjunk” which is an aggregator of current tech news, similar to what I’m talking about here.

Then came Technorati, which searched blogs and many of us just put a link to Technorati, or their top 100 page, just to help our readers find other blogs that might be interesting.

Tonight I was talking with Twine’s CEO, Nova Spivack. Twine is a new way to keep bookmarks and other data from around the Web. I will talk about that when it comes out of public beta in October sometime, but talking with him I realized that I have a new blogroll that’s always up to date and always evolving and that’s far more interesting than the older static ones, or the ones that just show popularity like Technorati showed.

Here it is. How is it done? I watch thousands of people’s input. Their YouTube videos. Their blogs. Their Flickr photos. Their music. Their events. Their Tweets or microblogs from Tumblr, Identi.ca, Plurk, etc. And much more.

But not everything gets onto that page. Only things I comment on or click “Like” on.

Why is this better than the old blogroll?

Well, for one, you get a lot more “new” voices. Thanks to “Friend of a Friend” feature I see a lot of new people every day and if I like what they’ve done (I usually do, if the people on FriendFeed recommended it) then I click “Like” and add a comment.

Two: instead of just having a blog post and a URL, you can see why I liked that post. You can also see how OTHER PEOPLE liked that post (and who, and how many).

Plus, you can search, even on my comments that I added seconds ago.

Have you found a better way to share your favorite people’s stuff that’s coming through your screen?

39 thoughts on “The new blogroll

  1. Here’s mine..

    I coded this. The idea is to tie memes together from various services, incorporating Searches, Feeds, Bookmarks, etc, and exchange those memes across swarms of users

    Need help, VC, whatever :) stuff takes time when there’s dayjob/kids

    -Mark

  2. Here’s mine..

    I coded this. The idea is to tie memes together from various services, incorporating Searches, Feeds, Bookmarks, etc, and exchange those memes across swarms of users

    Need help, VC, whatever :) stuff takes time when there’s dayjob/kids

    -Mark

  3. Talking of Blogger….at least I can check the box to keep up with the comments on a specific post by email, instead of having to return to the post over and over!

    Have I missed something, or do you just not have this feature? Have you not thought about switching to Disqus yet? Or was that not possible?

  4. Talking of Blogger….at least I can check the box to keep up with the comments on a specific post by email, instead of having to return to the post over and over!

    Have I missed something, or do you just not have this feature? Have you not thought about switching to Disqus yet? Or was that not possible?

  5. Do you think there are too many new social networks coming out that the whole scene is going to be think out? I am not on FriendFeed currently, but will check it out. Out of my friends, I don’t think any of them have ever heard of it and would only check it out based off of my recommendation. For most people right now, Facebook can combine multiple networks into one and serves its purpose greatly. I know in the tech world even the best network can be replaced quickly by the new “buzz” one, but it seems that with so many of them that they are beginning to thin out with mainstream users. What do you think the future on that will be like, I would love to read a post on your opinion.

    I think the blogroll idea is a good structure and it’s always nice to see what other recommends to browse at.

    Craig
    http://www.budgetpulse.com

  6. Do you think there are too many new social networks coming out that the whole scene is going to be think out? I am not on FriendFeed currently, but will check it out. Out of my friends, I don’t think any of them have ever heard of it and would only check it out based off of my recommendation. For most people right now, Facebook can combine multiple networks into one and serves its purpose greatly. I know in the tech world even the best network can be replaced quickly by the new “buzz” one, but it seems that with so many of them that they are beginning to thin out with mainstream users. What do you think the future on that will be like, I would love to read a post on your opinion.

    I think the blogroll idea is a good structure and it’s always nice to see what other recommends to browse at.

    Craig
    http://www.budgetpulse.com

  7. I got a bit fed up with the traditional Blogroll, not least because you don’t know when some blogs die, others get offended if their blog isn’t listed , some request blog rolls ‘exchanges’ – and what was it offering any visitors to my blog any way?

    But I have put it back recently. Draft Blogger has Blog Lists which are much easier to manage and display.

    Firstly, you can add blogs through Google Reader (kinda) which means they are automatically managed when I sort Reader out from time to time.

    Secondly, you can choose how many blogs will appear – I’ve gone for just five. It will show the most recently updated blogs in that list.

    You can choose whether to display the blog’s favicon, blog name or a line from the most recent post.

    That’s much more like a blog roll should be. Up to date, relevant and easy!

  8. I got a bit fed up with the traditional Blogroll, not least because you don’t know when some blogs die, others get offended if their blog isn’t listed , some request blog rolls ‘exchanges’ – and what was it offering any visitors to my blog any way?

    But I have put it back recently. Draft Blogger has Blog Lists which are much easier to manage and display.

    Firstly, you can add blogs through Google Reader (kinda) which means they are automatically managed when I sort Reader out from time to time.

    Secondly, you can choose how many blogs will appear – I’ve gone for just five. It will show the most recently updated blogs in that list.

    You can choose whether to display the blog’s favicon, blog name or a line from the most recent post.

    That’s much more like a blog roll should be. Up to date, relevant and easy!

  9. Not a “blogroll” per se, but interesting nonetheless. I’m still finding that a lot of other things I’m interested in (songwriting for example) still don’t have their place on FriendFeed, so it’s not a one stop shop just yet. Soon, though! :)

  10. Not a “blogroll” per se, but interesting nonetheless. I’m still finding that a lot of other things I’m interested in (songwriting for example) still don’t have their place on FriendFeed, so it’s not a one stop shop just yet. Soon, though! :)

  11. Hi Robert, I think we have what you’re looking for. We built a Friendfeed widget that displays all your friends’ activity (rather than just yours) to use as the homepage for our site. You’re welcome to use it if you’d like. You can see it here: http://www.zeusjones.com/#/FriendFeed

    There’s a button to create your own widget on the top right hand side.

    Adrian

  12. Hi Robert, I think we have what you’re looking for. We built a Friendfeed widget that displays all your friends’ activity (rather than just yours) to use as the homepage for our site. You’re welcome to use it if you’d like. You can see it here: http://www.zeusjones.com/#/FriendFeed

    There’s a button to create your own widget on the top right hand side.

    Adrian

  13. Hi Robert, I think we have what you’re looking for. We built a Friendfeed widget that displays all your friend’s activity (rather than just yours) to use as the homepage for our site. You’re welcome to use it if you’d like. You can see it here: http://www.zeusjones.com/#/FriendFeed

    There’s a button to create your own widget on the top right hand side.

    Adrian

  14. Hi Robert, I think we have what you’re looking for. We built a Friendfeed widget that displays all your friend’s activity (rather than just yours) to use as the homepage for our site. You’re welcome to use it if you’d like. You can see it here: http://www.zeusjones.com/#/FriendFeed

    There’s a button to create your own widget on the top right hand side.

    Adrian

  15. I am really struggeling with this same question of sharing my favorite articles to my friends or people who might be interested. I have made a page on my netvibes universe with my diigo bookmarks, shared items on google reader and friendfeed items. It can be found here: http://www.netvibes.com/tobiasverhoog#Linkfilter

    But I would like to incorporate it more in my own website, like your friendfeed sidebar. Problem with this though is it doesn’t display items you like or comment on and my netvibes page also filters for keyword and gives a nice overview. I’ll just have to find a way of reproducing that page on a wordpress blog.

    I do want to keep (the frontpage of) my blog for my own generated content though, not a mix of all sorts of content.

  16. I am really struggeling with this same question of sharing my favorite articles to my friends or people who might be interested. I have made a page on my netvibes universe with my diigo bookmarks, shared items on google reader and friendfeed items. It can be found here: http://www.netvibes.com/tobiasverhoog#Linkfilter

    But I would like to incorporate it more in my own website, like your friendfeed sidebar. Problem with this though is it doesn’t display items you like or comment on and my netvibes page also filters for keyword and gives a nice overview. I’ll just have to find a way of reproducing that page on a wordpress blog.

    I do want to keep (the frontpage of) my blog for my own generated content though, not a mix of all sorts of content.

  17. Robert – a topic I’d love to see you cover would be a kind of future predictions – where is all this social/media web going? what might we see next, how could it affect people’s life’s etc

    Background:
    I use the web a lot, been using it for years, but I’ve been struggling with all the new social/media sites for a while now.

    I use some of them a lot (Flickr, Facebook, You Tube), many of them never (Twitter, FriendFeed and the rest)

    Blogging bored me initially, but I got into eventually about 4/5 years ago (reading, not writing my own).

    Most of my friends (27-32 age range) use these sites way less than me.

    My girlfriend scoffs at all of them as being a total waste of time, but then she can’t understand why I need a laptop and a PC (and an Xbox and a Wii etc….. :)

    For example, she hates the idea of photos (never mind videos) of her being shown on the web – I have to make sure anything of her is hidden from public view on FB, Flickr etc. When we have kids she’ll make sure (and I’ll be in agreement) that none of their photos will be public either.

    So then I read a book by Ben Elton (a British comedian/satirist/novelist) called Blind Faith ( http://www.amazon.com/Blind-Faith-Ben-Elton/dp/0552773905/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222171574&sr=1-2 ) that satirises the whole social web thing mixed with a load of religion, the basic concept being that privacy is a sin, so everyone’s lives are broadcast 24/7 by their own video podcast.

    Now, I am honestly not the author trying to plug the book, but the concept of the book is pretty funny, and it did make me wonder where the social web is going. In a way parts of the book summed up what I thought of some of the new websites out there.

    thanks for listening! :-)

  18. Robert – a topic I’d love to see you cover would be a kind of future predictions – where is all this social/media web going? what might we see next, how could it affect people’s life’s etc

    Background:
    I use the web a lot, been using it for years, but I’ve been struggling with all the new social/media sites for a while now.

    I use some of them a lot (Flickr, Facebook, You Tube), many of them never (Twitter, FriendFeed and the rest)

    Blogging bored me initially, but I got into eventually about 4/5 years ago (reading, not writing my own).

    Most of my friends (27-32 age range) use these sites way less than me.

    My girlfriend scoffs at all of them as being a total waste of time, but then she can’t understand why I need a laptop and a PC (and an Xbox and a Wii etc….. :)

    For example, she hates the idea of photos (never mind videos) of her being shown on the web – I have to make sure anything of her is hidden from public view on FB, Flickr etc. When we have kids she’ll make sure (and I’ll be in agreement) that none of their photos will be public either.

    So then I read a book by Ben Elton (a British comedian/satirist/novelist) called Blind Faith ( http://www.amazon.com/Blind-Faith-Ben-Elton/dp/0552773905/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222171574&sr=1-2 ) that satirises the whole social web thing mixed with a load of religion, the basic concept being that privacy is a sin, so everyone’s lives are broadcast 24/7 by their own video podcast.

    Now, I am honestly not the author trying to plug the book, but the concept of the book is pretty funny, and it did make me wonder where the social web is going. In a way parts of the book summed up what I thought of some of the new websites out there.

    thanks for listening! :-)

  19. Hi Robert

    I have a side bar that has a feed from all the articles I shared on Delicious. Is this not the same thing +/-? If I add comments they show up too.

    Kind of like your friedfeed widget too?

    Ah, maybe I don’t getit?

  20. Hi Robert

    I have a side bar that has a feed from all the articles I shared on Delicious. Is this not the same thing +/-? If I add comments they show up too.

    Kind of like your friedfeed widget too?

    Ah, maybe I don’t getit?

  21. Jacob: FriendFeed is much newer than Facebook or Twitter. Give it time. I remember having these same arguments about Blogging. And I still remember when my friends used to say that Facebook is only for college kids.

    Vishal: hours per day. Many.

  22. Jacob: FriendFeed is much newer than Facebook or Twitter. Give it time. I remember having these same arguments about Blogging. And I still remember when my friends used to say that Facebook is only for college kids.

    Vishal: hours per day. Many.

  23. Robert,

    How do you suggest that more “normal” users overcome the network effect? Only sixteen of my friends are on friendfeed — at least 2-3x more than that are on twitter, and say 10x on facebook. It seems like a good interface can’t make up for a lack of a content?

  24. Robert,

    How do you suggest that more “normal” users overcome the network effect? Only sixteen of my friends are on friendfeed — at least 2-3x more than that are on twitter, and say 10x on facebook. It seems like a good interface can’t make up for a lack of a content?

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