Not even unpacked yet.
I promised I'd do the Blog It Forward thing, and I shall, because I've been remiss. I've experienced a grand increase in the number of sites I'm reading, which is all positive. And I wish to ruminate a bit (like that is either new or surprising. Shut up.)
I do not want a giant Blogroll, in part because, well, damn, it's hard to get through a giant Blogroll. Reading everyone becomes a full time job. Some people do not want their sites made terribly public, too, and so I don't put those up. Others are, like me, attention whores, puppies in the petstore window, and feel all the radiating love of a big hug and a cookie when someone mentions their site, much less includes it in a link list. I don't link JUST because someone links me, though, because then I'd get all hurt if other people didn't do that, or I'd feel obligated and it would become a duty (because sometimes you can know a person in face to face life and like them just fine, but not want to link their site, and other uncomfortable truths).
I also want my Blogroll to remain, forever and always, meaningful. So, I tend to clean out any site where the owner has, for stated reasons or reasons unknown, stopped posting for a few months. Boom, gone, no hard feelings, just...no posts. I also drop a site when the posting moves in a direction that doesn't interest me. That's not a personal thing, but people's interests change -- hell, I can't stay in a single topic area for more than a week, so I certainly don't expect anyone else to exibit monomaniacle tendencies. But if your current manis doesn't interest me, that's fine, I don't have to read it and I don't have to list it. I've often wandered back to sites when the wind changes.
Last, I reserve the right to be petty and small minded and to eliminate a link from my list just because I got pissed off. Because I'm fair about such things, I will also remove links by request if the site owner doesn't want association with my site. Fair is fair and that really doesn't bother me. I have, in the past, made a post linked to a post on another site that, for one reason or another, pissed off the original poster, which I didn't intend, but I removed the link when it was requested. Eh, life is too short and all that.
(And I just started thinking "I wonder if I can find a weblog with a title for every letter of the alphabet...I've got the hard ones covered already..." Hmph. Meaningful. Anyway...)
So, I'm going through that list over there, grooming and moving sites to other lists (I'm trying to group sites about books over there (eventually) and writing over there) and I'm going to pull up three of my favorites that I've read the longest. Inspirations, you might say.
Hidden City - a sort of "grand master of the weblog", in my tiny mind, anyway. Kevin's played with the form many times. He doesn't take it too seriously except when he does. He uses his cyber space for whatever occurs to him at the time, which I admire. I love his photos. I enjoy his reviews. I even have a good time surfing the weird edge of his deeper reflections.
Insula/Reality Asylum -- Another grand master, especially because he'd make a face at me if he heard me say that, complete with eye rolling and possibly throwing things. Rien has been doing this for a very long time, keeping his site the old fashioned way, a page at a time. I've followed his adventures from Dutch TV editor to Greek Tattoo artist (and wall painter), for as long as I've known about weblogs and online journals, even traveling over there to meet him, his beloved, and his cat. I read him because I like his point of view, and because under all the anarchy, punk, black clothes and hard edged cynicism is a gentle, genuine, kind and generous person. Can't beat that combo. Great words, great photos.
The Sole Proprietor -- Another "old fashioned" journal, with pictures. Prop is one of the older online writers I've found, and that makes him valuable to me, because, damn, I'm heading there, too. They have everything there in Oakland, and Prop will tell you about it. However, he does NOT POST ENOUGH PICTURES OF MISS EMMY but I suspect the little black kitty of being shy, or scared of those studio lights.
Hmm, I note that I've put up all men and all photo-heavy sites. There were women writing who inspired me, but many of them have either pulled up stakes or changed their sites greatly so that I no longer read them (or know where they are online). I envy the photos because, for reasons not quite clear to me, I can point to Husband to take a particular shot, but I can't manage one myself (in part, I suspect, because of the weird quality of my eyesight).
Next week when I do this, I'll concentrate on the new sites I'm excited about. Go check out these three, though, and wave "hi" as you cruise by.