My previous post on Rockin’ Blogs made me realize that my blogroll had become woefully outdated. Very few of the blogs that I mentioned in the post were on my sidebar, which is silly because I obviously follow them. I realized that my blogroll was stuck where it was more than a year ago when I entered the land of knitblogs. Two things have changed since then. First, I began to drift away from the “superstar” blogroll and more towards blogs with more modest readership. Second, the pantheon of superstar knit bloggers has changed considerably in the last year or so.
Let’s look at the superstars first. When I say “superstar” I mean the likes of the Yarn Harlot, Brooklyntweed and Grumperina. Anyone who closely follows knitblogs has heard of them, if only because they’re listed on most blogrolls. Also, they tend to link to each other. Many of the popular knitbloggers have very similar blogrolls, all linking to the same group of… popular knitbloggers. I don’t have any interest in making a statistical study of it, but it does seem that popular blogs only link to popular blogs. Is this because “good” bloggers have taste that mirrors the taste of the blog reading public in general? Or does earning a place on the sidebar of a superstar blogger confer a wide readership overnight? See FemiKnitMafia’s experience being “Harlotized” as evidence that such a thing is possible. When I first built my blogroll it drew almost entirely from this popular group, because I figured it was a good place to start.
That list of “popular knitbloggers” as it appears on blogrolls all over doesn’t really make sense anymore. Several of the superstar blogs have gone dormant for one reason or another. Take the brightest star of all, Eunny Jang. In August 2006 she posted extensively on two brilliant self-designed sweaters and lots of beautiful spinning. She hasn’t posted at all in August 2007; she actually hasn’t posted to that blog since April. I assume it’s because she’s been super busy editing Interweave and working on her design projects. Purly Whites/Sundara rarely posts anymore, presumably because she has a hand-dying business to run. Apparently bitter purl has a book coming out, which might be why she hasn’t posted since March. The feed reader I use tells me that thousands of people still subscribe to these feeds, even though they seldom get updated. I think it’s sort of silly to keep linking to inactive blogs just because they were popular and interesting once, so I removed them.
So, why do I read the blogs I do? What I look for, more than anything else, is knitting content. I know that sounds self-evident, but it isn’t really. I don’t really get Knit and Tonic, for example. Wendy has a great sense of humor, and takes really neat pictures, but that’s not what I came for. I want to see what people are working on. Neat photography and a keen sense of humor are 100 times better when the subject is good knitting. Take this post by Grumperina. It’s just a post about socks, fer crying out loud. But it is well-written, well-photographed, and about knitting. Take the series that Cara from January One did about her mitered square madness. Once again, it’s well-written, well-photographed, and about knitting.
I look for the same things in the “mere mortal” blogs (no offense gals!). Blogs with more modest readership are even more fun to read in my opinion, because the writers appreciate and respond to comments. It feels more like a conversation that way. It also feels like you actually get to know people. It’s fitting that MLE was the one who called me a Rockin’ Girl Blogger, because her blog was the first one that I regularly commented on. I think I might have first seen her on the Knittyboard, but I don’t remember. I do remember that I began following her blog because of the kinship that I felt because we are both in our 20s, married, and named Emil(y/ee). I kept following it because she has what I consider to be similar taste and skills. It’s interesting to see what she picks to work on, because chances are it’s a project that I’ve considered too.
Ha! Are you all still reading? Fabulous! Thank you so much for making it through what must be my longest post ever. There aren’t even any pictures! I’m really curious about what you think of the knitblogging universe. Do you tend to follow “superstar” blogs or “mere mortal” blogs? What makes you decide to subscribe to a blog’s feed? Do you bother commenting on a super-popular blog if you would be the 182nd person to do so? Why is a peanut called a peanut if it is neither a pea nor a nut?