January 03, 2007
Blogrolling.com is dead

well, at least it's pining for the fjords.

Blogrolling.com was an early service that I loved. Started by Jason Defillipo, blogrolling was a great way to keep up to date on various weblogs. Before people tended to use RSS readers, they used blogrolls to tracjk who had updated their blogs. Jason's site was a service that allowed you to add weblogs to your blogrolls and display it on your own weblog.

In February 2004, Jason sold the site to Tucows. Ross Rader promised to make things even better.

Well, nothing really happened until this summer when out of the blue, blogrolling.com became free.

Soon afterwards was service outages, forums full of unhappy users and endless spam posts. Blogrolling just sorta stopped working. I emailed Ross and got no response. So far there has been no word from Tucows/Blogrolling about the future of the service.

I spoke briefly to Jason and he confirmed that blogrolling was basically being euthanized. Currently the blogrolls appear, but they don't really update, making them knida useless. It's really too bad. Blogrolling's a good idea that is gone before it's time.

I guess it should make me (and you) wonder about all the neat services out there that you enjoy and what would happen if they went away. Imagine a Flickr that didn't allow new photos, you couldn't connect to AIM, or a Blogger that didn't accept new entries. This whole 'free' thing on the internet does have it's downside.

Update: Ross Rader has posted a comment about blogrolling's not so bleak future. Yea!

Posted by michael at January 03, 2007 10:30 PM


Apologies that I missed your earlier email Michael. I receive hundreds of inbound requests per day and I'm not always successful in getting back to everyone.

To the specific problems w/ updates, there are two things going on there. One is that we can only show updates for those blogs that we receive pings from, and two is the amount of ping-spam that we're being flooded with.

The amount of pingspam essentially overwhelms the ping API, which causes real pings to get improperly dropped on the floor. This means that the blogrolls aren't being updated as much as they should be, or in some cases, at all.

Definitely sucks.

The good news is that we're in the midst of working through some fixes for these issues and launch some new features and services to boot. Euthanized is a bit strong - I realize Jason has been less than happy with Blogrolling's direction since we took it over. We decided not to integrate it into our hosted blogging platform, Blogware for a number of reasons, so Blogrolling never got the high profile treatment that I think that Jason was expecting. With that said, the service continues to grow, we now have more than 6 times the customers than we did when we bought the service. I'm expecting this number to double again over the next year based on the existing organic growth and new services we have in the pipeline now.

One of our biggest outstanding issues is how we move forward with the "most recently updated" feature - we want to make sure the feature works, but don't want to blog our brains out dealing with the blogspam issue. We've got a few ideas, but if you or your readers have any ideas, please feel free to pass them along.

Anyways - just a quick note to say that we're still alive and well and committed to Blogrolling. Hopefully this will be much more evident in 2007 than it has been in 2006.

Thanks for the blog entry.


Posted by: Ross Rader [http://www.blogrolling.com] on January 4, 2007 2:01 PM

It saddens me still what they didn't do with the site. I had plans to make it into a hybrid between Technorati and delicious (before they existed) but those kinda went out the window when Tucows came along. Oh well, live and learn...

Posted by: Jason D- [http://jpgmag.com/people/jpd] on January 5, 2007 10:42 AM

I've never been a fan of blogrolling or rss feeds because on many blogs the comments are more interesting than the entries. (Not true for this site, of course.) As I understand these services, I still had to check the blogs manually to look for newly comments. The uber-blog-service may be out there, I just haven't found it yet.

Posted by: Mister P. [http://misterp.blogspot.com] on January 5, 2007 4:22 PM

That's not true Ross. I didn't expect you to roll it into Blogware and I wasn't expecting a whole hell of a lot but the fact that you haven't even changed the about page in years http://www.blogrolling.com/docs_about.phtml shows how little you guys took any care to update it or maintain it. And the problems with the pings and spam are not insurmountable. Just take some actual work.

In the end I'm just bustin your balls because it's so easy and mainly because, well, I can ;-) I gave Elliot the same treatment at Supernova because it's fun. I got a check out of it and my 2 seconds of fame so all is good on my end. It's when people who really loved the service can't use it anymore that I'm just remotely peeved.

Posted by: Jason D- [http://jpgmag.com/people/jpd] on January 7, 2007 10:15 AM
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