Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Making The Cut

I've been meaning to take a look at my Blog Roll for a while now. It trails down the right-hand side of the page like a wild vine slipped loose from the penthouse garden of a skyscraper. Or, more aptly and less psychedelically, it totters like a pile of old fliers, current offerings resting precariously atop a stack of adverts for attractions long past their due dates.

A swarm of Chinese referral spam (over 7000 page hits yesterday alone) sent me to Google Analytics for an overview of the traffic I might actually be getting at the start of this brave new year and I ended up digging around for an hour or so in the Acquisition results. That was interesting, particularly the Referrals section, which featured a number of familiar blogs - Keen & Graev, The Nosey Gamer, Kill Ten Rats, MMO Gypsy, MMOQuests - the usual suspects.

It was interesting to see Atherne's Adventures in the top 10 while several I expected to find there, TAGN chief among them, were nowhere to be seen. There were also several I didn't recognize. Analytics doesn't make it especially easy to click through to referrals, probably intentionally, but with a bit of cut and pasting I found a few familiar names from the comment threads of other blogs. I didn't know Scopique had a blog, much less that the blog he does have is Levelcapped, which I have often heard mentioned. Neither did I know that Dàchéng trades under the sobriquet Casualnoob.

I added both to the Blog Roll along with Mersault, who I thought I'd added in the past. Most likely I did and forgot to hit "Save", something I've done embarrassingly often, only usually I notice my mistake. Armathyx Does Gaming was in there too but I'd already added that one last week, when Armathyx dropped a comment here.

My general rule is that if someone comments on a post and their name is back-trackable to a blog then I add that blog to the roll. Occasionally, if it's something that seems completely inappropriate, I might demur, but that would be exceptionally rare. I don't always remember, though so if anyone's commenting and wondering why I'm ignoring them please do poke me about it.

If people put me in their blog roll but never comment, of course, I remain blissfully ignorant. Perhaps "blissfully" isn't the best choice of words... If I hadn't been truffling through Analytics I would never have known Inventory Full was listed on a blog prosaically titled World of Warcraft and Other MMOs, for example, or on another blog by the same Blogger, Andre, the magnificently-named  ...through wiping, we learn.  

I love everything about that second blog name: the way it begins with an ellipsis, the lower case, that comma... It's a shame Andre hasn't posted on either since last summer but I've added them both anyway. 

I might as well because dormant blogs certainly still get eyeballs. Analytics shows traffic still coming from Player vs Developer, Nils MMO Blog and Werit among others, although none of them has posted anything in months.

Thinking it over, I couldn't see a good reason to remove anything, at least not as long as the links still work. Blogger handily sorts the list by order of most recent activity so the ones that sit beside my most recent posts are the ones that ought to be flagged up, while the older ones remain a useful resource, neatly shunted out of sight unless you scroll down. 

Until you hit the very bottom of the stack, that is. Right down in the depths, beside yesterday's post, is where you'll find the blogs that aren't just dormant but dead. Blogger is smart enough to spot defunct links and to put them into quarantine lest whatever killed them infect the merely sleeping. 

Well, it's where you would have found them, until today. Not any more. Hosting links that go to 404s or available domain listings is taking archival responsibilities a smidgen too far, I feel. So I culled them. If Scree or Jaedia are still blogging somewhere, speak up, send a link. I'd love to reinstate you.

I didn't take a note of the others I excised before I brought down the knife but if you know you were there and you want back in then the same applies.

Lastly, the other thing I did was move "Previously on Inventory Full" to the top. Now you can wander through my back pages to your heart's content without having to wear out your mouse's middle wheel. Go nuts and you're welcome!

And let's hope that's it for blogging about blogging at least until NBI 2017.

17 comments:

  1. I'm glad to be sending folk your way. I've been thinking lately that you're such a great essayist and one of the most well written blogs available these days.
    I love reading game blogs and tend to take blogs off my list that haven't been updated in six months, unless I've been reading them for years and hope they'll be back. If someone says they're done blogging, poof.
    It's time to update my list too, so I'll be looking for new blogs. I'll probably steal some from your list.

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    1. Thanks for the traffic and the compliment!

      Help yourself to anything in my Blog Roll - I never knew anyone to complain about being added to another list!

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  2. Hrmmm... I must link to you more. I must crack that top 10! I must beat... at least two blogs that haven't been updated for years. *sigh*

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    1. I am deeply suspicious of both Blogger's basic stats and Google Analytics, although at the moment GA is clearly the more accurate of the two - Blogger is barely worth looking at. That wasn't always the case, though, and in my all-time Blogger stats TAGN is 7th for referring sites (only K&G among blogs is above you).

      In all-time Analytics, where I can filter out google etc, TAGN is 3rd behind K&G and KTR. When I was doing the post, though, I was only looking at the last month and apparently I didn't get any referrals from you at all in that period.

      You might well ask how that can be. Why is KTR 200 referrals behind you on Blogger but 2000 ahead of you in GA? If you start thinking too hard about this stuff I find you stop believing in any of it, which is why I try to look at it only once or twice a year. That way I don't notice the inconsistencies so much.

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    2. Heh, I use my own side bar links to visit other blogs, and I know I've been here in the last month. Yeah, like the fact that WP.com says nobody comes to my site from Massively OP in the last month despite getting linked four times, it is all black magic we shouldn't take as anything but a distorted reflection of reality.

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  3. The one thing I miss most about making the move from self-hosted to WordPress.com is the lack of a Blogger-like Blogroll widget. I could install one on my self-hosted, but the widget they offer on WordPress.com is so static. Not much I can do about that, I guess, unless I merge them all into a RSS feed widget. Might look into that. XD

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    1. Blogger's blog roll widget is amazing. I just hope they never try to "improve" it.

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  4. Scree: Stealthed
    Jaedia: Dragons & Whimsy

    That didn't take two minutes. ;)

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    1. Oh thanks for that! I had both Jaedia's old blog and Dragons and Whimsy in the blog roll and both were dead links so that's puzzling. Maybe something changed in the url? Scree's was The Cynic's Dialog I think - I didn't know the new one.

      Adding them both back in now.

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  5. Hello there, thanks for adding me to your blogroll!

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    1. You're welcome. I thought I already had!

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  6. mmm, seems there are more André bloggers out there :)
    World of Warcraft and other MMO's is not mine, and yes... I really need to do some legionstuff..just so much quests to do :)

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    1. I see you ran into the notorious Blogger comment bug! I was even getting that when I posted replies for a while but it seems to have gone away for me for now...fingers crossed.

      That is a very weird co-incidence, checking two new referring blogs in the same morning, neither of which I'd seen before, and finding both written by "André", and then it turns out be two different Andrés! I should have bought a lottery ticket that morning.

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  7. Yup, those stats are a lie - I regularly use the blogrolls of both TAGN and this blog as a launching place to others. Either of you would be getting 3-4 hits a week at least just from me doing that.

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    1. .. and blogger stuffed up the reply chaining. This was supposed to go in reply to Wilhelm earlier.

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  8. It's kind of you to link us! Also an opportunity to go check out those other blogs.

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    1. I was glad to find your blog. I'm always looking for more good MMO commentary.

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