Wednesday, May 16, 2007

New Links

I'm kind of stingy with my links. My position tends to be that if a link appears on my page, I'm saying "Hey, it'd be worthwhile for you, dear visitor, to click this." If I don't think it's really worthwhile, I'm sacrificing a bit of credibility in putting it up. Additionally, the longer a blogroll gets, the less useful it becomes.

Of course, functionality and endorsement are not really the points that justify the existence of blogrolls. Your blog is only as good as the number of links to it. Technorati explicitly uses the number of sites linking to a blog as its ranking index ("authority"), in part because it makes a good proxy for other metrics, like site traffic, that one might use. Links to your site lead to direct referral traffic, indirect referral traffic in the form of a higher search engine/ranking index profile, and the recursive benefit of more links to your site.

So, you might ask, how does increasing the number of outbound links help, if it's the inbound links that make a difference? Well, courtesy often dictates an implicit or explicit reciprocity. When I started this blog, I linked to something like 4 other blogs immediately. Within the week, one of those blogs had added me to their blogroll. At times, I've had other bloggers email me and say that they liked Blue Bexley, they link here, and that I should check out their blog, and consider linking there. Which I've done. And I've linked to blogs that linked to me without such an explicit request, although I wouldn't have thought about it before discovering the inbound link.

Because of this, the number of outbound links tends to correlate with the number of inbound links (although this breaks down considerably for both very high and very low profile blogs). So there can be an urge to link to everybody who might consider linking you back. One can completely resist this urge with a sufficiently rigid set of principles and disdain for popularity metrics.

Those things belong on a future resolution list of mine.

In the meantime, I am in the fortunate position of having some links to add, unilaterally, simply because they belong in the left hand column over there, and not just because my technorati rank has slipped back below 200000 or because someone with a ranking an order of magnitude better than that is using the same consolation of it's not how many but who. First of all - MCDAC, the blog of the Medina County Democratic Action Committee has been added to the Ohiosphere list. This is long overdue. The blog is not very Medina-Centric, covers a lot of already well-covered turf, and is not real flashy in its approach, all of which have caused me to sort of miss the fact that I really enjoy reading it. Even after I subscribed. It is intelligent and well-written, and a very welcome addition.

Another Ohio Blog, Ohio 2nd, has also been added. I finally figured out that the people who inspired me to start blogging locally were inspired by this blog.

And in the category of Central Ohio Politics, there is a now a blog called... Central Ohio Politics. Madrigal Maniac doesn't actually spend a whole lot of time blogging about Central Ohio Politics per se, so it's been a toss-up for a while whether the blog actually belongs in the Ohiosphere or Central OH categories. It's time to quit being silly and just put up the dang link.

Finally, Ohio 15th District should have been on the Central roll from the get-go, so I can't really blame them for writing about Payday Lenders without referencing any of the stuff written here (including ties to Pryce, hint hint).

Google prohibits me from telling you to click on the ads which have netted me a total of $8.37 in the six months they've sat on the site, but I can tell you to go ahead and click on anything in the outside columns. There's at least something, dear visitor, that makes them worth your while.

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