Friday, September 22, 2006

how blogrolls give you credibility and value

Blogrolls are those lists of blogs, with the blog titles being links users can click on, in a blog's sidebar.

You'll easily spot a blogroll under "Blogroll", "Honor Roll", "Associates", "I'm Reading", "Recommended Resources", or other heading. Sometimes a blogroll will be divided into categories as in Peoria Pundit ("Peoria Bloggers", "Illinois Bloggers", "Media Bloggers", "Tech Bloggers", etc.)

Blogrolls display your decision-making ability. What you decide to put in your blogroll is an indication of who you are. Online, we look for any clues as to who people really and truly are. Use your blogroll, your list of quality blogs you like and read, as a way to show how smart and connected you are.

No blogroll?

Not having any linked list of favorite or respected blogs, this makes users think you're isolated, ignorant of relevant blogs in the blogosphere, or afraid of driving readers to other blogs.

CEOs should never want to portray themselves in such a manner. CEOs should appear confident, altruistic, and fully engaged in the blogosphere. You want to avoid accusations of exploiting blogs just to appear hip and technologically savvy. You need to visit other blogs and post comments at them. It will create buzz for you.

CEO blogs with no blogroll?

Bad idea. At least put Tom Peters, Seth Godin, Harvey Mackay, Doc Searls, Tim Berners-Lee, in a blogroll...and be sure to read the blogs in your blogroll at least once a week. You'll learn more than competitors who are clueless about blogs.

Pick some favorite business authors, artists, philosophers, consultants, or industry pundits, and then Google their names to see if they have a blog. Is it any good? If so, consider adding it to your blogroll.

Blogrolls contribute to a rich user experience. They enable your blog to function as a portal. There are two types of blogrolls: blog media network blogrolls and independent blogrolls.

Blog media network blogrolls contain ONLY those blogs associated with the blog media network with which it is a member. The blogroll is actually just a directory of blogs that HAVE to be on there, it's part of the agreement when you sign up to join a blog media network.

Like in my own New Reformed Insane Blog Media Network. To belong, you have to agree to put The World's Dullest Blog, Tinbasher, Mr. Angry, and Dvorak Uncensored, among other blogs, mostly all devoted to humor, satire, sarcasm, and well deserved bashing of stupidities. That's what makes a blog media network work. Exclusionary policies and portal mentality.

CEO bloggers must not go the blog media network blogroll route.

CEO bloggers should use an independent blogroll.

Independent blogrolls are beholden to no one. They are free, and they look free. In an independent blogroll you include any blogs, even blogs of outspoken enemies and ferocious competitors. If you list only blogs that are allies and non-competitive, you limit the exploratory value of your blog. Your readers will be limited in where they can go, when they're finished reading your blog. They will go.

Give them good blogs to visit next. That's what a blogroll is.

A blogroll says "Goodbye. Here are some suggestions on where to go next. Hope you enjoy your selection."

A blogroll says "Here's the company I keep, the blogs I've been known to hang around at. You might even see some comments I posted, at some of these places. My credibility can be seen to some degree in this list. You have to admit, at least I know the right blogs to list, according to the industry I'm in."

The number one web navigation principle is: Link from reputable sites. In other words, visit the most credible, trustworthy web site, then visit sites they list on their site, or quote in editorial text.

That's how people can use your blog, as a stepping stone to other quality blogs.

Enrich your reader's experience, provide leadership in where they could go next, and display your knowledge of sites relevant to your topic and audience, with a blogroll.


carrie said...


i just want to tell you i followed your advice about that "HOME" link.

thanks! good idea!

steven edward streight said...

I meant to tell you that months ago. I noticed it, but failed to act immediately to notify you.

At Jim Estill's blog (see my sidebar blogroll) Time Leadership, he says you must do things the exact moment you think of it, or it never gets done.

Never put off anything, not for one second, unless it's really unavoidable.

I like this idea, but I often think of 12 things at once, and cannot humanly do them all simultaneously. I'm only up to 8.

Jecklin said...

Yesterday I was thinking about why I didn't like my blogroll on a separate page (default template) and it was because of the separation.

The blogosphere seems to have a way of rewarding altruistic behavior...or at least, give and you shall you sow so shall you reap...etc but more directly, giving with no thought of reward...just freakin' give.

steven edward streight said...

/I have used micro-blogrolls, in addition to the main blogroll/

/Micro-blogrolls can be special category bloggers, like for a specific cause (Net Neutrality Bloggers) or a media network (Pajamas Media Bloggers)/

/or a Daily Reads of your cream of the crop favorite blogs/

Rose DesRochers said...

I followed your link through the forums of

Thank you for the informative post.