31 May 2009

Finding good blogs to read

I saw this appeal on another blog.

Suggestions, please! The Ultra, the Fabulous, the only, Miss P!:
I’m running out of good blogs to read.
Any suggestions?

I can understand and sympathise.

I used to use Blog Explosion when I was bored and looking for blogs to read. You could give it your favourite topic (mine was "Books/Literature/Witing") and it would show you random blogs dealing with that topic, and when it ran out of ones on that topic it would start showing you ones on other topics. By looking at other blogs you earned "points" which meant that your blog(s) were shown to other similarly bored people.

It was quite a good idea when it started, but apparently like so many things in the blogosphere (remember Amatomu and Geocities), it was abandoned by the originators of the idea, taken over by someone else who was simply interested in making money out of it, and then neglected, and allowed to run down.

Now Blog Explosion no longer shows blogs that are related to your preferred topic, but shows the same old off-topic ones over and over again -- I suspect because they have paid for preferred positions. The trouble is that some of those that keep getting shown first haven't been updated, so it becomes even more boring. I occasionally look at it in the hope that things will improve, but they don't. Perhaps the problem is that there are not enough new people registerin g blogs there, so they are showing the same old repertoire over and over again. So if you are reading this, perhaps you should try it. Register your blog at Blog Explosion, and have a look at what it shows you. Much of it will probably be new and fresh the first time round. If you find too much repetition, there's no need to go back, but at least your blog will provide a new option for some of the users who have seen it all.

Another way is to look at the blogs in the blogroll of blogs you find interesting. Use a social blogrolling tool like BlogCatalog or MyBlogLog to mark ones that look interesting and possibly worth a return visit.

For South African blogs Amatomu still works, though suffering somewhat from neglect by its sponsors. It also went downhill when, in addition to listing blogs, it listed blog hosts, so that half the blogs one sees there are called "Blat: to utter without thinking" or "Thought Leader", when in fact those are hosts to many different blogs. It needs someone enthusiastic to take over and do a radical clean-up and reorganisation to get back to the original idea that worked well.

Afrigator used to work OK, but has now become JASNS (Just Another Social Networking Site).

When I first started blogging I used to use Technorati a lot, but that too has gone downhill. It used to be possible to use tag searches to find stuff you were interested in, and each registered user had a page that showed their blogs, and what tags were popular at the moment, but that has now gone, and like Blog Explosion they've rearranged their user interface to make it more difficult to use. I suspect that this is in order to make you hunt in many more pages to find what you are looking for, so that you will be exposed to more advertising and make more money for them as you go down each dead end. Surely they must realise that this is counter-productive -- it might bring a short-term rise in advertising revenue, but eventually people users will be annoyed and go elsewhere. At the moment they seem to have a lot of technical problems, so even their new and disimproved and dehanced and clunkier user interface doesn't work properly.

So to the one and only Miss P. my best suggestion, at the moment, is Google Blog Search.

Any other suggestions?


Justin Long said...

What I do: define a series of topics/keywords that I am interested in, and then begin using blogsearch to hunt for blogs related to those topics. Once I find a blog on a topic, then I follow it (I'm looking for the "top 10" blogs on a topic) and check out the blogs it links to. As I monitor a topic there's usually some jostle-ing (sp?) as I hunt for the "best" blogs but it doesn't often take very long.

I also follow very well respected blogs whose headlines I skim for keywords/topics related to subjects I'm interested in, they often link to other blogs which I am more interested in.

Sassy Miss P said...

I've been trawling through the blog rolls of some of my favourite bloggers. Found some interesting stuff :)

Yewtree said...

Blog aggregators I read regularly:




I would include our own MetaReligion but there's not enough people posting to it.

Bigot said...

Finding good blogs is a challenge, just as much promoting a blog is tough. It's like a circular, inbred blog world out there!

Unknown said...

is a good blog if anyone is a Mets fan.

Steve Hayes said...

Whatever Mets are... :-)


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