Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Blogroll Easter Amnesty

I don't like the term "blogroll amnesty." It implies the people on one's blogroll (that list of names usually found at a blog's sidebar, denoting other bloggers to which that blog links in a spirit of community and recommendation) have committed some sort of crime for which that magnanimous blog has chosen to forgive them. Which of course is not the case; what this expression has actually come to signify among A-listers in the liberal blogosphere is more like blogroll immunity, but for themselves rather than their blogrolls -- the A-listers make public announcements absolving themselves of much of their responsibility (and with great power comes yadda yadda) to encourage community and visibility by conducting consequence-free purges of their blogrolls, instead of just quietly and regularly maintaining and updating them like the rest of us.

And this in turn upsets most of the folks who aren't A-listers and suddenly find their readership and visibility dropping like a stone through no fault of their writing or activism. Some, like skippy, have responded with "since when have blogrolls stopped being recommend reading for your readers, and a personal tool for making surfing the net easier?" (I always thought newsreaders like Bloglines were for the latter.) and promptly began offering reciprocal blogroll links to pretty much everyone.

As I've said in the past, I don't go that far because my blogroll then becomes too unwieldy for my template. Unless I write longwinded daily posts the sidebar content just drops off the bottom. Neither do I want new visitors to be intimidated. But blogs come and go all the time, and I like keeping up with things and adding reasonably to my blogroll as time and maintenance warrant; I try to do it every March during Estrogen Month, for instance.

So when Jim Johnson asked me a second time, I decided to add him as well. Jim wrote, "I have contacted you in the past about linking to my blog because I felt we shared some common ground and could both benefit from hooking up. I’m following up because I still feel that way, and I want to share my message of equality and acceptance with as many people as possible. I hope to help the GLBT community by demonstrating that they have straight advocates within the church, and I also hope to reach straight people who are not as accepting and give them something to think about. The right wing still has politics and Christianity very much intertwined and I feel the other side needs to have a voice to counter that."

I think you can see why I didn't link to Jim previously -- as I'm not a Christian I rejected (and objected to) his "common ground" assumption which was the basis for his request. However, while I am not "within the church" I am most certainly a straight advocate of gay rights. And it's Easter, which is something of a big day for Christians, so I thought it appropriate to add Jim to my blogroll now, with the understanding that my blogroll does not necessarily match my Bloglines subscription list or even my actual reading list (which is considerably shorter than those 770 feeds or I'd never get anything else done). Welcome to the blogroll, Jim!

Oh, and in case you haven't seen it, do check out Terrance's post What You Link Is What You Get on Pam's House Blend and Melissa McEwan's On Mentoring and Patronage at Shakesville.