Today, I cleaned up my blog roll. I think I could call it an annual event since it's been quite a while. I deleted broken links and also some blogs that have been abandoned or whose topic has changed enough that they aren't as relevant to my space anymore. As I was doing this, I couldn't help but wonder (in my inner Carrie Bradshaw voice), for bloggers, what is the relationship between our blog rolls and what we *really* read?
Does the difference between your blog roll and your feed reader represent the difference between what you are interested in and what you think your audience is interested in? Is it even important that they are the same? Or for the armchair psychologists out there, does your feed reader represent the "real you" and your blog roll represents the more likable version you want the public to see?
I write my blog for marketers and business professionals, mostly marketers (though I'm thrilled that others find it interesting enough to come here as well and comment). So I include lots of marketing sites and blogs on my blog roll. Do these folks care that I'm fascinated by sites that critique celebrity fashion? They are wicked and funny, but the relationship with marketing? Nada. So it goes in my blog reader account.
Which brings me to the topic of recruiting blogs, or as I like to call them "blogs by recruiters" and "blogs for recruiters". There's a diff. Mine is a blog *by* a recruiter (or used to be a recruiter and still part of recruitING). There are a larger number of blogs *for* recruiters; blogs about the recruiting function for those of us that are doing it. As you can imagine, they attract different audiences. Blogs *by* recruiters (according to my classification) are those whose target readership is the candidate base they are focused on (for me, that's marketing). Blogs *for* recruiters (many of which happen to be written by recruiters, recruitment vendors, third party recruiters, industry leaders, etc.) are blogs whose target audience is recruiters themselves. Got all that?
How does this relate to blog rolling? I get the occasional request from a "for recruiters" blogger asking me to link to them. Some of these bloggers are quite assertive and I suspect that they think there's some secret reason why I am not linking to them. The reason is, I don't necessarily think their topic is relevant to my target readership. And once my blog gets loaded up with too many recruiting links, it becomes a different blog (see above).
So while I may read "for recruiter" blogs as a practitioner, I also read marketing blogs as a practitioner. And I link to what I think my audience (if I can call you all that) will enjoy. So for folks thinking of asking me for a link (something that I have never been able to bring myself to do out of pride and propriety), I am going to ask you who your target audience is and how it relates to my target audience. I'm not special...I think we all should be doing that.
I'm also curious to hear what other bloggers out there think about the relationship between blog rolls and feed readers. Are blog rolls intended to be a comprehensive list of what you read? A subset of that? Or really more focused on your target audience's interests? If you answer this, please let us know whether you blog for work or fun.