Thursday, August 09, 2007

I Give Up!!

I was browsing Technorati the other day and discovered that there are over 100 new chess blogs which I don't currently have listed here at BCC Weblog. All this activity occurred in just the past 4 weeks or so. Quite simply, chess blogging continues to grow at an exponential rate.

While I have endeavored to maintain the most complete listing of chess blogs on the web, this explosion has stretched my capability to do so to the limit. My current process for maintaining this list requires simultaneously updating the Other chess blogs post, a set of RSS feeds in Bloglines, and a separate Excel spreadsheet which I use to maintain last post dates. This has become too cumbersome and has to change.

As a result, I am announcing a major change to how the chess blog listings will be handled here. On the sidebar under Chess Blogs, you will notice a new link "More Chess Blogs." This link will take you directly to my Bloglines blogroll of active chess blogs. While this change will greatly simplify the administrative work required to maintain the list, it comes with several downsides for readers:
  1. All of the Other chess blogs are not as easily scan-able as they were in the listing post. You will need to drill down into sub-folders and, in general, use more clicks than were required before.

  2. There is much less categorization than before. For example, foreign language chess blogs are no longer grouped by language and categories like Commercial and Podcasts are no more. I could have created sub-folders for all these distinctions but it would have made the listings cumbersome and increased the on-going work for me.

  3. Chess blogs without RSS feeds will no longer be listed anywhere, unless they are on the sidebar.

  4. I'm no longer listing Inactive blogs. It just isn't worth the effort since I can't imagine there are too many readers who spend their time reading older, shut down blogs.

  5. My new approach will make it more difficult to identify Other chess blogs which become Inactive. As such, I will go through this exercise much less frequently and possibly not at all. As a result, over time the "Other" categories will include a growing number of Inactive blogs.
Obviously, I don't consider this situation to be ideal, but the alternative is to give up on maintaining the listings (which may ultimately prove to be necessary if the explosion of new blogs continues).

I will continue to maintain, monitor and prune the sidebar as I have done in the past and it should remain constantly up-to-date. Therefore, blogs on the sidebar will be substantially more accessible and current than those in the Other categories. Given this, I thought it might be time to run a sidebar fire sale. Do you want to have your blog listed on the sidebar of BCC Weblog? For an unlimited time, the price has been reduced from $0 to absolutely FREE!

This blog follows a "Give and Get" policy (you can read more about it here). Linking BCC Weblog on your blog gets you a link here. To jump start this process, I went through the Other chess blogs listings and identified 16 high quality chess blogs which include a list of chess blogs, but do not currently link here. I have temporarily added them to the sidebar under the "Candidates" heading. In the next few weeks, if they add a link to BCC Weblog, I'll secure them a permanent spot on the sidebar. Otherwise, there will be no hard feelings, but they will be sent back to reside with the unwashed masses in the Other listings.

The current candidates are: The Back Rank, BCM Chess, Become a Chess Expert, Blog of a Chess Nut, Burning Castles, caught in the fire, Checkmate, ChessExpress, Gila Chess Patzer, Hardcore Pawnography, Knight Skewer, Mida's Chess Corner, Patzer's Corner, The pHtest, SonOfPearl's Chess Blog, and Strong Among the Weak. Don't fret if your blog is not listed here. You too, can secure your spot by linking to this blog. Just let me know that you did so by e-mail or by leaving a comment on this post.

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