Those of you who were around in the pre-Web 2.0 era (before 2005-ish) will remember that early bloggers used to have a list of other blogs they read in their sidebars. That list was known as the “blogroll” and it was a great way for newbies to get to know established bloggers. The other neat thing about the blogroll was that it was a token of respect to the bloggers you admired.
Blogrolls used to be a thing in WordPress, except WordPress refered to them as “Links”, and you managed them using the Links Manager. I think there’s still a working plugin for this, and if you’re like me and you’ve had a long-running WordPress installation, the links manager is still in your administration panel. I think blogrolls got an amused mention last weekend at WordCamp Europe as well, but I have to agree with the post I’m quoting. they were a fun part of the web, and I’m thinking that, they really should be brought back. I used to have quite a full blogroll, and yes, I made a point of reading most of them every day. Mine specifically didn’t have a lot of news sites on it, just blogs, mostly personal ones. I’m not saying that news sites couldn’t be listed, (the cool thing about blogrolls was that you could list whatever you wanted, and other people could see what you were reading), but I always liked to keep mine more personal and less edited.
There’s a site called WPRoll that I think still lives, but it seems to be more of a list of influencers. There is, however, an OPML file you can get that has all the blogs, that you can then import into your RSS reader. I’ve done this, and for the time being I’m using the WordPress.com reader, because it’s the most accessible one that I’ve found that I can also use on my phone.
But yes, we should definitely bring blogrolls back. The web, and the world, could use a little more let’s-get-to-know-each-other, and that’s what blogrolls provided.