This week I did something I haven't done in years: went through the links list; a.k.a., the “blogroll.” It's something rarely done at most websites — webmasters / bloggers usually add a link and forget it. The blogroll can become very long and its maintenance tedious at best, insurmountable at worst. Since I neglected mine for what I realize now was several years, a little “spring cleaning” was in order. It was an enlightening exercise for many reasons.
First, I was mildly surprised at some of the blogs I listed, as I couldn't remember why they were there. Did I find a particular post intriguing? Was one of my wine reviews mentioned, and linking back was my act of goodwill and appreciation? Did the blog author email me to “exchange links”? If I couldn't remember, and/or the site wasn't relevant, and the link was still active, then I removed it.
Which brings me to my second sweep of culling links: those that were inactive, were removed. An obvious decision, but the sheer number of blogs gone dry, abandoned, or otherwise disappeared startled me — dead links accounted for over half of my blogroll! Suddenly I felt guilty for my negligence: how many WineWeekly visitors clicked on one of those links, only to be sent nowhere? I know that jilted feeling, and curse the blogger who listed the dead link on their site that I trust — how dare he/she be so cavalier and irresponsible about the blogroll? How unprofessional to list dead links! The pot calling the kettle black, so to speak.
Moreover, the disappearance of wine blogs reminded me: this isn't as easy as it seems from the outside. If you've followed WineWeekly over the years, you know there have been periods when a more appropriate title would have been “WineMonthly” or “WineQuarterly”. Keeping the discipline to write a post every day or week is challenging when life presents more urgent priorities, and/or more lucrative opportunities — i.e., more efficient uses of time. Very few people are able to make a profit — much less a living — from blogging on ANY subject. Those that do are usually already celebrities or derive income from activities other than blogging — and the blog becomes a promotion vehicle, rather than revenue-generator. So when people realize they're putting in so much time to blog, and not getting any financial benefit from the exercise, motivation to continue wanes.
I digress …
Anyway, the WineWeekly links list is now fairly reliable as a resource for finding good wine opinions and information. It's also much shorter than it was previously. However, the plan is to add at least a link a week, with a quick note explaining why I'm adding it. This way, you'll have a better idea of whether a link is worth your time to check it out.
Off the top of my head, there are at least a dozen I'll be adding very soon, consisting of blogs and sites I visit regularly as part of my “real” job as a wine public relations person. Additionally, please offer your suggestions and recommendations, either in the comments, posting on the WineWeekly Facebook page, or by tweeting it to me. Thanks in advance!