Ye Old Blogroll, a trove of links to blogs, personal websites

26 June 2024

My thanks to Ray for recently adding disassociated to Ye Old Blogroll, a directory of small and independent websites and blogs. Directory websites like Ray’s are invaluable when it comes to promoting the work of Indie and Small Web writers and bloggers, which is often overshadowed by all sorts of things, including some of the search engines.

Blogrolls and links pages were once often a common feature of websites and blogs, as were web directories — similar to Ye Old Blogroll — in the past, before search engines emerged. They were one of the few ways website owners could make their work known to a wider audience.

While looking around Ye Old Blogroll, I spotted this post about Substack, by Ray. Substack, an online publishing platform, was flavour of the month about two years ago. I even opened an account myself. Bloggers and writers were drawn in by the appeal of earning real money for their work, and I believe many did, or still are, doing well.

But, it was not for me. For one thing, it would have meant “starting over” again. That is, building up a following on Substack, when I already had one, or a semblance of one, here. And why would I go diluting my online presence? It would almost be the same as setting up on something like Instagram. Plus, some other entity would have ultimate control over my page there. They could decide to pull the plug at whim. And then there is this point made by Ray:

On a related note, when I browse from someone’s blog over to their Substack it feels like going from a sweet little neighborhood into a staid corporate park. A little piece of joy dies in me when that happens because it’s another reminder of the corporatization of the web.

The platform has also drawn the ire of some, including Jason Kottke, who is critical of the sort of content Substack allows to be published. No, stay in your own place. There’ll be ways to make it pay, if that’s what you need.


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