One of the side effects of reviving an old site design on Workbench is that this blog has a blogroll again. Bloggers used to put a long list of links on their homepage to other blogs they read (or wanted you to think they read). I don't know why everybody stopped doing that. Since I was borrowing an old design from 2008 I decided to bring back the blogroll too.
I used the same blogroll but dropped the sites that are inactive or gone after 12 years, leaving these 20 diehards:
There are a lot of personal blogs in this roll, including three locals from Jacksonville, and a few big names from the earliest days of blogging that are still publishing such as TechDirt, MetaFilter and the unstoppable Jason Kottke.
Most of the other blogs are a lot like Workbench -- updated sporadically and sometimes apologetically by one person in their spare time. The impulse to keep up a personal blog is harder to sustain these days when Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are bringing millions of people together and dispensing the continuous dopamine drip of retweets and likes so they never leave.
Being a blogger in 2020 is like being Free Trader Beowulf, sending out a distress signal from deep space and not knowing if it ever will be heard.