Kicks Condor

LEECHING AND LINKING IN THE HYPERTEXT KINGDOM

I FIRST DISCOVERED
THE 【TECHS-MECHS】WHO
ARE A CLAN OF SOUTH
OF THE BORDER GUNDAM
BREAKING DOWN
IMMIGRATION FENCES
WITH THEIR
IMPRESSIVE MANOS
MECANICAS

PLUNDER THE ARCHIVES

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Reply: How Do You Find New/Interesting Blogs?

Brad Enslen

In the past there were blog specific places to search for blogs and new blog posts: blog directories, blog search engines, RSS feeds directories, RSS search engines. In addition there were blogrolls, mentions by fellow bloggers, regular web search engines,etc. Not a lot of that infrastructure remains today.

Mostly, similar to what coldbrain has said, I find blogs when they are casually mentioned on a blog or comment somewhere. Stuff like blogrolls and directories and such just don’t seem to exist. I know, because I’m constantly looking for them!

Now, these things do exist in the small enclave of the Indieweb. There is the Indieweb wiki, which has links all over it. And IndieNews, Indiemap, Blog Snoop and so on. But if I’m looking for blogs and websites that are out there—it’s impossible.

If I’m looking for a specific topic, I’ll Google “quilting blog” or I’ll look on Pinboard under the tag “chess”—and see what blogs come up.

But more often than not, I really want to read someone interesting. Someone’s stories and thoughts. To find all the great writers of our time that are out there. (Most writers I know that write in the literary tradition are lost as to where they should find readers now. It’s terribly ironic when you consider all the reading that is done on the Web in this age.)

This all excites me, though! It seems that there is still a frontier on the web. There is still a chasm to cross between all of us. We have a long way to go.

And I think that’s what drew me to the Indieweb. The answer will start here, in this group, because we’re thinking about it. I think about when Ward Cunningham came out with the wiki—it seemed like such a small, pointless invention. But what a masterstroke! What will be next?


Oh and one more thought about directories: I have a theory that exploring a directory is possibly not directly the best way to discover new things. They can be big and dry and tough to get through. I think they more directly benefit the builder of the directory and, also, those listed in the directory.

The builder of the directory explores and unearths other folks. They then leak into this person’s life in a myriad of ways. (For example, I began by simply linking to you once, in pursuit of new things, but now I follow you very closely.) The initial link begets more. Knotty, twisty—here I think of Sam Ruby’s word intertwingly—vines of links around each other.

And the recipient of the link is possibly motivated to build their own directory, so as to establish (or at least to not forget) their new network. So it can be viral. Blogrolls very much experienced this.

  1. I think I agree with most of your points. A directory is not the best discovery experience. It does however have the advantage of being available now and at very low cost. Because, as you say, there really is nothing out there currently and better solutions like a real search engine are years off. It’s a stopgap measure to be sure to be superseded eventually by better technology.

    There is a hard part to a hierarchical directory: sometimes blogs just don’t fit, neatly, into one category. For instance: my blog, your blog, Chris Aldrich’s blog, how does one categorize the entire blog by subject other than “Personal Blog” which tells us nothing? This is where the directory search function comes in, but frankly most directory searches are very rudimentary.

    There are a couple of blog directories left. I’m suspicious of all of them. If you are charging $85 for a listing red flags start flying in my head. Worse, some say they have tens of thousands of listings – that’s too big to browse and they need to have a really good site search to be any use. I don’t see that as a good discovery experience.

    >intertwingly

    Never heard that before, but I love it. In this context it fits in so well with “Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy.” I think what you say is true – it forms another informal network.

  2. I have always found the traditional ‘list’ blogroll as limited and cumbersome. That is why I developed my own template. When I find a new author I add it to my spreadsheet.

    I like this in part, but also find the workflow a little annoying. I wish it were more integrated with my site. That is what interests me about Chris Aldrich’s work.

  3. https://islandinthenet.com/41457-2/
    Reading one blog article that mentions another blog article that then mentions another blog article is the way that I have found interesting content over the years. I have a few hundred feeds in my RSS reader and that helps too. But I am sure that I am missing out on a lot more interesting content.

    Right now discovery is one of the weakest areas of the IndieWeb. I think that many people POSSE their content for this reason. I get more readers via Facebook and Twitter than I do via organic Google searches or links from other bloggers. I recently stopped POSSE my posts and … the traffic has fallen off significantly.

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