Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

June 30, 2008

Site Strategy: Your Input Is Requested

I'm thinking about giving up the formal link-blogging portion of this site. I mean all of it. Would anyone care? I think my position may be uniquely problematic in that I tend to severely dislike selective link-blogging because I think it suggests that all the material is read before certain links are selected, plus when I'm reading sites I like to sort through links on my own, which is why I developed reading habits that allow me to link-blog. So I can't see going back to providing five or six links. I'd probably just dump them altogether.

My problem is I'm not sure there's any way to keep up with the dozens upon dozens of links that come through the transom every day now, even the kind of rough snapshot I've been doing, in a way that matches the value such links provide. Link-blogging takes very little time -- don't believe anyone that tells you it's difficult -- but that time can be dreary. In addition, there's so much mediocre to bad writing about comics out there that I'm not sure I'm doing anyone a favor by linking to so much of it. Also, don't people find the reliably good stuff on their own by now? I mean, at this point, does anyone need me to tell them about Jog? Is anyone so inclined really not going to Comics Comics except when I link to them? Plus, I find extremely distasteful the e-mail I get from people when I choose not to link to them for a few days -- usually for space reasons -- basically demanding "Where are my links?", a feeling compounded by ten when this complaint is made in public. I also suspect that what used to be 300 or even 1000 people following a basic text link (learned back in the days of caring about this site's traffic) is down to something like five to ten people following some of the links (learned by receiving sarcastic letters of thank you from people for whom I've apparently not done enough work).

So I'm confused. I'm so confused that I'm talking about it in public, which I never do. It isn't one of those things of "I'll write original content or I'll link-blog"; it's more a question that I feel that link-blogging is becoming less and less valuable, more a way for people to fake content than provide a service. What do you think? If you have an opinion on this, or an idea as to how to approach link-blogging right now (or a model for how someone else is doing it, maybe in another field)
posted 4:02 pm PST | Permalink

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