Yesterday I read this interesting post by Nosemonkey at The Sharpener, about the British (political) blogging scene. He touched on a concern I’ve come across before, with the rapid expansion of the blogosphere(s?).
[There is] more and more of a closed circle. The better – or simply more popular – bloggers end up reading each other and linking to each other and, increasingly, finding themselves less able or inclined, due either to time constraints or the knowledge that their current blogrolls contain enough good people to find most things so they shouldn’t be missing much, to pick up on newer blogs. Equally, the more people that link to you, the harder it is to notice new ones, or new good ones…
It is a problem. There are a few things I like to do to draw attention to new faces here. I try to make sure that I pay a visit to all first-time commenters who leave a link to their blog (this is feasible, of course, because I don’t get vast numbers of comments). And when I find new blogs I like, especially the history-related ones, I do my best to make sure they get a mention in a post – but I don’t always have time.
I had been contemplating pruning my blogroll: now I’ve moved the full list off the main page to leave just the random dozen in the sidebar, I’m pleased to say that won’t happen (except to remove non-active blogs from time to time). At some point I’d like to organise it better, get some kind of categorisation and maybe add brief descriptions. But I don’t know when I’ll get round to that.
What I have done right now (another of those things that WP makes unbelievably easy) is to add a small section to the left sidebar called ‘New Friends’, which will show the last few blogs I added to the roll. They won’t all be brand-new (and sometimes they won’t even be new to me; it’ll just be that I forgot to add them before). But many of them will be, and if you like to keep an eye out for up-and-coming stars, watch that space.