05 May 2006

A note about blogrolls

Just like you have to send mail to get mail, you have to give links to get links. If outgoing links breed incoming links, why don't I link to other blogs? The answer is that I do, but not here. I don't have the time to maintain them here.

I currently have around 750 external sites listed on About Chess. Along with hierarchical navigation under 'Topics' in the left column of each page, I maintain an alphabetical list of all categories...

About Chess Site Map : A to Z List of All Resource Categories

...I add at least 1-2 sites per week to those categories. To keep track of which sites I've linked and where they are in my hierarchy, I maintain a database of sites. Along with the 750 sites that I link, I have another 1250 that I don't link. Many of these are sites that no longer exist, but many others are sites that I've chosen not to link, always for a good reason.

On top of this I have an off-database list of sites that I haven't decided to link or not. I review this list from time to time to see if a site merits a decision. Many of these are new sites where I want to see if they have staying power. People will send me any number of messages demanding that I list their site, but no one ever sends a message when a site disappears. I've observed that new sites have a higher mortality rate than old sites.

I should also mention that I don't particularly enjoy maintaining links to external sites. It's a time consuming job that few people appreciate. About.com is decreasing its emphasis on these links and doesn't require that I link to all chess sites on the Web. They ask only that I link to sites that complement my own articles. As a public service, as well as for my own benefit in keeping track of interesting chess sites, I do more than this.

My personal database of chess sites includes a separate table for chess blogs. This table is the source for the occasional article that I do on blogs. I publish my list of blogs via links from this page...

Chess Blogs

...where I encourage visitors to inform me of any blogs that I might have overlooked. Several times a year I visit all of the active blogs listed in my table and note the date of each blog's most recent post. This determines the active blogs for the next cycle of visits.

Finally, there are several blogs that do a good job of keeping track of other blogs. Instead of maintaining my own list here on 'Chess for All Ages', I prefer to link to the experts. Since I also consult those experts to maintain my private database, I should find out if they stop keeping their list up to date.

The bottom line is that you shouldn't be upset if your blog is not listed here. The chances are very good that I have already visited it many times!

No comments: