Sunday, October 15, 2006

Blogroll Policy and organisation of links

Ever since my great "lost links" debacle in July, I've been spending some time reinstating and then reorganising my links. Here's a quick catch-up on how this is progressing.

First, I'll just take this opportunity to reiterate my overall blogroll policy mainly so I can add this post to the reference posts section as I get e-mails from quite a few people asking me to swop links/add their blog to my blogroll. In future all such e-mails will get a very prompt response referring them to this entry in the reference section!

Blogroll Policy
  • I don't swop links – period. Don't ask.
  • What appeals to me is personal and is no reflection on the intrinsic worth of your art. I got started on looking at other blogs by checking out the blogrolls on the blogs I liked and then commenting on the blogs which appealed to me and I recognise that others do much the same thing. So I try to include only blogs in my blogroll which I get value out of or I just like and/or find myself checking on and/or commenting on, on a regular basis.
  • Most of the blogs in my blogroll are linked in some way to my approach to art (focused on drawing; use of dry media etc) but I also include blogs relating to other areas of art where I like/admire the work. I could add lots more links but I'd prefer to keep the blogroll shorter than it could be and change some entries from time to time.
  • Unless you are an internet chum (and I am already very familiar with your images and narrative), no blog gets added until:
    • Your blog has been up and running for at least 3 months (this is because of the number of blogs which 'curl up and die' during the first 3 months. If you post regularly and consistently for 3 months the chances are that you're likely to continue)
    • You post on a regular basis (this certainly doesn't have to be daily but once a week or once a month doesn't make my blogroll. People who take a break for a long time can be temporarily removed and then reinstated again when they come back)
  • Before I include a blog I subscribe to it and then watch/read it for a while. This is mainly to check out the preceding point and to see whether or not I like it or think it adds value and want to keep reading it.
  • I like reading as well as looking - good narrative works for me everytime! Humour is good when natural and observant rather than forced and constructed. We all get annoyed/irritated from time to time and everybody is entitled to a whinge but if your blog turns into a whingefest you'll find that I start to ignore it and eventually exclude it.
  • I don't have to like or approve of everything posted on the blogs that I blogroll for a variety of reasons but I usually do.
  • I favour blogs which remember proper attribution and I dislike blogs which don't.
You can quote this blogroll policy elsewhere but please remember to attibute it.

A blogroll can make life easier for me when I'm checking out other blogs, however I mainly do this using blog feeds and Bloglines. I've got more blogs on my Bloglines blogroll than I have on this blog.

Artist and art blogs

I've started reorganising links to artists' blogs, group/community art blog or art reference blogs into small groups organized according to the main theme of that artist or that type of blog - the headings for each group is in capital in the right hand column. Today I've introduced a small section for oil painters – which I’m not intending should get much larger.

Links to other resources

All the links to other resources have been reinstated - but in my new Squidoo Lens rather than the right hand column of this blog. New ones are also being added here.

The big advantage of this arrangement is that, although it means one extra click for me (and you - if you use my links as a resource) it also means that I can link to them from my website and anywhere else I post on the internet. In addition, groups of links are easier to organise and I can now say more about each link. This gives a better indication of what a link is is about which means I can find things easier (and you can too!). Plus I don't lose them again due the vagaries of Blogger!

Links to my Squidoo Lens are near the bottom of the right hand column and are as follows:
Drawing and Sketching – Resources for Artists
Pastels – Resources for Artists
Coloured Pencils – Resources for Artists
The Art Business – Resources for Visual Artists

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5 comments:

Julie Oakley said...

That sounds like an excellent policy, and put so well. The first time I saw someone request a link-swap it was in the comments box of a highly renowned professional illustrator (who had a long blog-roll) by some talentless individual who had just started a blog. I couldn't believe the cheek!

Katherine said...

Julie - well I haven't had any 'total cheek' of that variety but I've been a bit surprised to be asked by some. However, I think maybe the culture and practices of having extensive links pages and web-rings based on an individual's sites linger long after the SEO industry rendered this practice pretty pointless.

The only webring I belong to is Blogs Illustrated (see right hand column for link) and that's because I found some really good blogs through that - and I think there probably is still a place for a site which is a link exchange pure and simple.

I never ask for a link and am eternally surprised each time I come across a blog which has linked to me without me realising. I really get a huge kick out of that. and am very flattered

However, the downside is that I am also horribly afraid that people will think me very rude if I don't acknowledge a link that I'm not aware of!!!

So for all those who may have thought that in the past - many apologies and feel free to announce you're blogrolling me in a comment on a blog post!

Darla, Pencil Portrait Artist said...

I think this is a very commonsense approach to take. It takes a good bit of time to add links in, and when I do brave the html code of Blogspot, it needs to be worth it. I post some non-art related blogs on mine, too...which is probably not good as far as search engine optimization but if I like them, I figure my blog visitors might too.

Shea said...

I found your blog on a search and reviewed as one of the best art blogs. This is true. I am so glad that I found your blog.

Kimberly Kelly Santini said...

Katherine, your blog has been a link on my blogroll for moons now, as I think it is required reading for all artists!! Thanks so much for putting together a site that goes above and beyond all the time!!

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