One of the topics discussed at Dunstan’s (while tucking into the freshest and finest scrambled eggs) was that of blogmarks: their purpose, evolution and effectiveness.
Given that ‘traditional’ weblogging is characterised by posting links with brief commentary, the advent of blogmarks (AKA remaindered links, quick links, linklog) as a separate rolling list of links is responsible for, or responding to, a change a blogging style.
Many bloggers using blogmarks, myself included, have moved towards a more prosaic approach, writing longer articles and opinion pieces while relegating many links to a sidebar.
Some bloggers, notably Jason Kottke, place their blogmarks inline with each blog post, thus rendering the links more noticeable. Others, including Dunstan, allow comments on each blogmark, thereby creating a fully-blown blog within a blog. In fact Kottke’s remaindered links commentary seems to have gained a community of its own.
Tom Coates who, incidentally, has inline blogmarks also compiled in a sidebar but no per-link comments, recently posted in this subject. Tom reflects my own motives for posting blogmarks separately from blog posts:
[Firstly] while my weblog isn’t any longer ‘just’ for me, it’s definitely not just for an audience either. I use my weblog as a searchable archive – a repository of things that I’ve seen and read and that I thought were interesting, I use it to record thoughts that I think might be useful and that otherwise I’ll forget. I use it as a notepad, as a chronicle, as a place to store my photographs. There’s an interplay between trying to be fresh for other people and not really giving a damn about other people.
[...] Secondly I operate with an understanding of my links as a kind of microcontent vote. It’s the idea that by linking to something I say, “Yes – this deserves some of your attention – this is a good thing”, and that the more sites that do that the more attention something will get.
Tom also makes sense on the issue of not attributing blogmarks:
My weblog grew up online with ‘via’ links on weblogs. That was the way we did things. [...] As time has gone by, I’ve increasingly come to the opinion that links are everywhere and that referencing where you found the link alone is no longer quite as necessary or as useful as it once was. [Now] I look for commentary – something I can actually cite that had a useful contribution to make on those links concerned.
So blogmarks are primarily for me. Publishing them to the Web provides a central repository which others can browse should they so desire. Using my blog as the vehicle offers up an existing categorisation system and chronological archive for increased findability.
Do you keep a blogmarks linklog? Why/Why not? Should I ditch the ‘via’ links? Should I publish blogmarks inline with blog posts?