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.