A little while back, I discussed the difficulties I was having managing my personal information flow, and off-handedly mentioned that I’d been dropping blogs. Well, it seems as if I’m not the only one who’s hypersaturated at this point, as both Andy Lark and Jon Udell (triangulated by the human inforouter, Steve Gillmor) have apparently been doing the same thing.
Beyond the obvious – total information overload – I wanted to be specific about how’s and why’s of the decisions in my case, because being dropped may be perceived as a slight, and it shouldn’t.
Most important of all, note that being dropped from my blogroll will likely mean next to nothing, given that my subscriber base is probably in the three to four hundred range (approx 300 on my various feeds, and maybe 60-80 regular non-aggregator visitors) – D list territory, in other words. Plus, I list everyone I read, with no exceptions, and the blogroll is one area where value is inversely proportional to scarcity. The net? Me dropping you is likely to a neglible impact at worst.
That may come as small consolation to folks with audiences in the single digits, however, but they should be aware that I’m more likely to drop the A-list folks than I am the individuals with just a few links. This isn’t altruism, it’s practicality. When there’s a post that I have to read from an A-lister, I’ll see almost inevitably see it, usually pretty quickly via other folks I subscribe to. This isn’t necessarily true with some of the folks with smaller audiences. So I expect my blogroll to grow more diverse and populated by niche bloggers, not less.
There will of course be exceptions where I unsubscribe from promising content simply because it’s not directly related to my coverage/interests. All I can tell those bloggers is that you’re in very, very good company. I’ve recently dropped both BoingBoing and Dan Gillmor not at all because their content isn’t good – they’re both brilliant – but because as much as I like the content, it’s not in my wheelhouse coverage-wise.
So I may be brutally unsubscribing to folks, but hopefully this will serve as an explanation as to why. If you need to get my attention but I don’t read you, there are several ways: comment here, use the ‘heyredmonk’ del.icio.us tag, or the contact info on the page.
And above all, remember that audience size != blog quality (or so I keep telling myself ;).