The Ballad of The Blogroll

Another lament on a web gone by.

I recently had to use The Link Manager in WordPress.

For those of you who are unaware, the Link Manager was the first high profile thing dropped from WordPress. In the earlier days of the web you were encouraged to link – freely – to other sites. The Links Manager was a way to link to blogs you liked, and it was known as a “blogroll”. When you linked blogs you tended to have sidebars with a whole host of links to sites you liked. Over time, when link equity became a thing, you removed sites, instead focusing on your own stuff, or removing them entirely.

As WordPress became more of a CMS than a blog platform, the Link Manager popularity dropped.

I remember when it was removed in WordPress 3.5, and how to handle it. In the end, it was enabled for those who had a WordPress installation since before 3.5, hidden for those that installed WordPress for the first time in 3.5 and above. Should you want this feature, you should use the official plugin to restore it.

An actual sensible solution.

Sadly, even now, it’s largely abandoned. Even the documentation hasn’t been updated.

Looking through my Blogroll

As this site has been present on the internet since before 3.5, mine was never hidden.

I clicked it and pined for a simpler time. Sure it’s largely gone, but I miss people being creative. Many of the domains have expired, dreams lost, projects abandoned. Furthermore, I’ve lost touch with a few of the folks there. One site is still going (waves at Jem!), the rest haven’t been updated in years, turned into static websites, or abandoned.

Sad. I hope the folks that were there that I don’t follow on socials are doing well.

As an aside, The reason I had to use it because I found a blog post from Jan-Lukas Else that linked to Robert Alexander’s Blogroll Map, that for entirely selfish reasons I wanted to be a part of.

It’s a bit finickity – the OPML protocol has advanced and there is a plugin that uses the more common ways to add the required headers to aid blogroll discovery which I’ve put on a few of my sites, but hopefully my sites will be more discoverable to a very nerdy corner of the web. Huzzah!

Blogroll @ newthinking store wc” by Neezee is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

One thought on “The Ballad of The Blogroll”

  1. I started going through my old blogroll recently and was saddened but not surprised that about 98% were dead links now. Might have to look into this here OPML blogroll thingamy.

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