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Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Oh, Say Can You Ping?
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 5:45 pm

I have noticed for some time that there are a large number of blogs on my blogroll that do not ping blogrolling, and hence never show up as “en fuego” (i.e., updated) on my blogroll. My blogroll is set to list in descending order from most recently updated down. If your blog doesn’t ping blogrolling and is on my blogroll, that means I never know when your blog is updated, and so I often forget to read your blog.

Indeed, I would say that not pinging blogrolling is one of the deadly sins of blogging-because one of the goals of blogging (usually) is to attract readers. Since being on blogrolls that show updates helps attract readers, then not pinging means you are probably not maximizing yur reader-attraction potential.

For example, if a reader surfs over to PoliBlog and notices some blogs at the top of my blogroll, there is a decent chance that that reader will click on those blogs to see what’s new. However, if a blog is listed at the bottom of my blogroll, who’s going to both clicking those? Heck, I rarely click those and I put them there.

I call this the “ScrappleFace Effect” and I noticed it early in my blogging career. Scott Ott was one of the first blogs to blogroll PoliBlog, and certainly the biggest blogger to blogroll me for some time. I noticed early one that whenever SF was updated he would get more readers, and if I was updated at the same time, I would get more readers (James Joyner noticed this as well). The reason was that SF’s blogroll would cycle the updated readers to the top of its blogroll and people surfing in to SF would often surf out to PoliBlog. (There was a discussion of this over at Dean’s World a while back-that is, a discussion of blogrolls).

If I hadn’t been pinging blogrolling (and back in the day I had to do it manually because I was on BlogSpot), I would have missed out on a lot of growth.

All of this exposition is because I want to encourage my blogging brethren who do not ping blogrolling in some capacity (and it seems to be mostly TypePad and Blogger blogs who are the culprits) to start doing so. I beg partially out of selfishness (I want to know when your blogs are updated) and partially because I think it would help those blogs with readership.

The part that I find mysterious is that some TypePad blogs will show up as updated on my blogroll (e.g., Bainbridge’s site), but others do not (e.g., Norm Geras’ and Arms and Influence). Further, some Blogger/BlogSpot sites update (e.g., Althouse) while others do not. I am assuming that there is some setting in TypePad that would allow for pinging (but neither Steve nor Norm were aware of them-I asked). In regards to Blogger, it will ping WebLogs, which is allegedly connected to blogrolling, but it doesn’t always work. For example, I contribute to two BlogSpot blogs (Dallas Cowboys Football and Troy PoliSci) and both are set to ping Weblogs, but they never show up as updated on my blogroll unless I manually ping blogrolling. Ann Althouse tells me that she doesn’t do anything special, yet her site does show up as updated on my blogroll, so I am not sure what the deal is there.

I don’t get it, and any help in solving the mystery would be appreciated.

I have found the following for those of you who aren’t pinging and would like to do so:

  • - Recently Updated & Pinging F.A.Q.
  • Basil’s Blog has a manual solution that beats going to the blogrolling ping form all day long: Updating and
  • Also, Drink This has some pinging advice as well. It is on the older side in internet time, but it is still of use.

Good luck and happy pinging.


  1. […] although not doing some of these things will negatively impact your readership)… My previous post made me think of the following Seven Deadly (Mostly Technical) Blogging Sins: 1. Not pinging b […]

    Pingback by PoliBlog: Politics is the Master Science » Seven Deadly (Mostly Technical) Sins of Blogging — Wednesday, August 10, 2005 @ 6:16 pm

  2. um, Ping-o-Matic. :-)

    Comment by KipEsquire — Wednesday, August 10, 2005 @ 6:56 pm

  3. Not that it matters for me. I am on the “whose linking to” (that doesn’t get an “en fuego”) instead of your blogroll - although I have linked to you for over a year, comment fairly regularly, and am a Large Mammal in the eco system

    Comment by Director Mitch — Thursday, August 11, 2005 @ 9:44 am

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