Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Zen and the art of blogroll maintenance

A Fistful of Euros is hosting their first annual awards contest for European blogs, the Satin Pajama Awards. As with the Brass Crescent (which AFOE was kind enough to plug), these awards are less a popularity contest and more a high-pass filter for finding great blogs.

I've added a few blogs and categories to my blogroll. I still do not provide (or request) reciprocal links, as per current blogroll policy. I favor short blogrolls of a select few blogs rather than a lengthy list because I think that some filtering is neccessary given the vast array of potential reading material out there. Being informed is important, but information overload only serves to raise the noise floor.

I added a section on group blogs, populated with those that I think have a good dynamic of internal communication between front page posters. Group blogs rae often the hoghest quality debate because the conversation is filtered down to a select few people with specific areas of expertise (either overlapping, complementary, or both). I rarely read or participate in comments on such blogs; I am visiting for the marquee event, not the sideshow.

Another section is titled "neolibs" which is my attempt to label the emergent strain of classical liberalism as an identity in its own right in the blogsphere. The main criteria here is a blog which discusses the universality of freedom but which is not bound by a partisan perspective; namely, the principled pragmatists. This includes group blogs like The Arabist Network which talk about middle east freedoms from an institutional perspective and blogs like Abu Aardvark which focuses more on the media aspect (ie the Arab press). I have lured praktike to post at Dean Nation which I envision being a role model for neolib politics, or "purple" nation politics, on both foreign policy issues as well as domestic (but with a more progressive rather than libertarian emphasis). Hence, I feel justified in including Dean Nation amongst the list.

Finally, I've got some new thinkers up, including Wretchard at The Belmont Club who like Steven den Beste before him provides for immensely useful material with which I can disagree. I have utmost respect for wrechard despite his tendency to be even more blindly loyal to the Administration than Steven was. Still, such filters are evident and can be taken into account when reading his work.

As usual, I welcome suggestions for more blogs in any category, but I have a definite need to maintain brevity else I will never be able to keep up.

Closing note - I did regretfully drop Head Heeb from my blogroll after continous presence there for three years, solely because the wider African perspective adopted by Jonathan and his new guest posters is not really among my priorities. However, as with Thomas Nephew and Demosthenes, Jonathan's blog is one I still find myself reading via other arrival vectors.

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