Home > Contemplations, Tech-Etiquette > A Question Of Blogging Etiquette Regarding The Blog Roll

A Question Of Blogging Etiquette Regarding The Blog Roll


This blog doesn’t have a “Blog Roll”  (or is it “BlogRoll”?) but I have debated adding one so you folks can see what other blogs I read.

I was extremely honored when a friend of mine asked me if it was cool if he added a link to my blog to his blog’s Blog Roll. Of course, being so honored, I said he was more than welcome to and I thanked him profusely for thinking my blog was worthy of being on his blog roll but being as I do not know the etiquette of these things I wasn’t sure if this:

  • Required me to now make a blog roll of my own and…
  • Include this friend’s blog in my new blog roll

Now don’t get me wrong, I do read this friend’s blog so if I had a blog roll I would totally have added this friend’s blog to the list. But as I did not have a blog roll beforehand I do not know what the etiquette is here. Is it understood that as I did not have a blog roll beforehand that no reciprocal link is required? Or is it expected that because they added me to their blog roll I should now be adding their blog to my blog roll (once it exists).

As it is the beginning of April and I have blogged daily for almost 3 entire months I think it is fair to consider myself a blogger at his point. I understand the point of blog rolls is to:

  • Share with your blog’s readers the blogs you find interesting
  • Drive traffic to other blogs in your circle of friends who are also bloggers
  • Receive traffic for your blog from your friends who are bloggers’ blogs

In my researching this subject I found that often times bloggers will ask for reciprocation before adding a blog to their blog roll but in my case this didn’t happen. Just a query if it is OK to add a link to my blog to this friend’s blog roll.

I should probably figure out the etiquette for this sometime soon or maybe I should just go with whatever my gut tells me to do – this decision-making process has remained in my brain thus far. Maybe I should make this a formspring question too.

Side Note: In researching this post I even saw the opinion opined on other blogs that a blog roll is a waste of space for one’s blog. I don’t know if I agree with that in terms of my own personal blog. I think even on a corporate blog it could do some good if your brand is part of a family of brands owned by one parent company. For example if the Unilever brand Axe had a link to Dove’s blog in their blog roll (which are two among the many other Unilever brands) that would make perfect sense and would help drive business as it would bring the customer onto more familiar terms with the entire brand family.

So what do you folks think? Let me know your opinions through any of the usual channels. I look forward to hearing from all y’all.

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  1. April 3, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    The question of the Blog Roll is a tricky one for me. There are a lot of blogs I read that I have put up on my Blog Roll and I know that they don’t have a link back to mine. So it depends on the point of your blog and blog roll – If it’s all about reciprocation, then you may end up having a huge blog roll filled with blog links that you don’t even read, which diminishes the credibility and point.

    I think bloggers can do each other a solid and post up links to those they read, but shouldn’t feel obligated to put up links just because someone have them on theirs.

    This said, Dan, I am putting a link up on my blog to yours – you do not have to reciprocate :)

    • April 3, 2011 at 1:58 pm

      As I said on Twitter thanks for the RT of my post and for your words Val.
      Also, a million thanks for the addition of my blog to your blog roll, I am humbled and honored that you think my blog worthy to be suggested to your readers.
      I agree with you that if I put every blog that is linking to me it will devalue my ‘opinion’ to my readers as it just becomes a my back scratches your back sort of thing and that isn’t cool.
      I take your advice with the highest regard and think I will keep my blog as it is right now – but let it be known that I do actually read your blog, http://www.imcharmingyou.com, and encourage anyone reading this to check it out too.

  2. Ashleigh
    April 3, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    My opinion? You think too much! Do what you feel is right and what is RIGHT FOR YOUR BLOG. If there is etiquette, then your friend was correct in asking you if he could share your blog link. However, seeing as you currently do not keep a Blog Roll of your own it does not mean you now MUST create one. Making one feel obligated wouldn’t be very courteous and therefore not fall under the guidelines of said ettiquete, right? Right.

    • April 3, 2011 at 2:08 pm

      Ashleigh, thanks for the opinion and the comment. I, for the most part agree with you. However, I have often found there are “unwritten rules” of etiquette that we just don’t know about until someone tells us. There are many examples of this online, where they are considered to be n00b mistakes. It is a n00b’s lack of understanding or experience in matters of the etiquette which often cause the faux pas.

      As to me thinking it through too much – ya I know I do. It’s something I just do, I don’t actually actively sit down and say, “OK, X happened…what does it mean…let me make a Pro & Con list…”. I just sort of processing all possibilities as soon as I hear or experience something. It is why I had major difficulties reading Eckhart Tolle’s work – and put it down after the first few chapters. He continually tells his reader to turn their brains off and stop thinking and I find that extraordinarily difficult to do…might be cuz I am so classically ADHD, I don’t know.

  3. April 3, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Dan,

    Interesting post. As someone who started blogging in January I’m new to blogging etiquette.

    I don’t have a blog roll at this point, but if/once I do, I don’t expect anyone I add to reciprocate. I always saw the role of the blog roll (gotta love homophones) as just an indication of what your tastes are. A blog is about your thoughts, your personality and the blog roll should reflect that.

    Think of reciprocity this way. If someone random (defined as someone you don’t know, never met, don’t have many (or any) common topics or tweeps and never interacted with) starts following you on twitter do you reciprocate? For me, it depends. I may reciprocate but I don’t feel obligated to do so. I think, because it’s more personal the blog roll has even less of an obligation to reciprocate.

    That said, if/when I do set up a blog roll, as two blogs I do read regularly, yours and Valerie’s are going up. No need to reciprocate.

    The Funky Barrister.

    • April 3, 2011 at 10:37 pm

      I like it. You make a lot of sense Raymond and I agree with what you’re saying.
      I never looked at it in that way and I am thankful for you (when/if you make a blog roll) adding me to it and for contributing to the discussion here about the general etiquette of a blog roll.

      • April 3, 2011 at 11:05 pm

        I take it you got your $9.62 worth. A pint of beer is a perfectly acceptable method of payment, LOL! ;-)

  4. April 3, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    I think someone should come up with a better name for it. “Blogroll” sounds like a food no one should eat unless you wanna be fat.

    I’m taking suggestions. I’ll start:
    – LinkFarm

    • April 3, 2011 at 10:40 pm

      Sam I do believe that LinkFarm is already in use – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_farm and it has to do with spamming.
      BUT – I think we do wanna be fat if we are on a blog roll and blogging in general – fat not in our hips but in our hits, not in our bellies but in our tallies!!! (See what I did there? Granted, the first was waaay better than the second one).

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