Livening up your Blogroll

While the best blogs are consistently updated with fresh content, blogrolls are often just a stagnant list of friends and sites with similar themes.  As a reader, it’s hard to put too much stock in these kinds of lists.  There is usually very little to describe the content or post frequency and many blogs live only short life spans.  As a blogger, it’s tough enough to keep up with your own content much less keep track of your recommended links.

I think I’ve come up with a fairly simple solution.  Rather than a list of links, use a combined feed.

Here’s how I put together “Fresh Links” (check my blog sidebar) using Google Reader.

1) In Google Reader I’ve taken my blogs folder and created a Bundle using the folder settings: Here is what that looks like.

2) I then took the atom feed from the bundle and plugged it into my blog using a WordPress RSS widget.  That’s it.

So now whenever a reader visits my site they will see a constantly updating set of blog post links with no extra effort on my part.  It’s a little different from a standard blogroll but my hope is that it might be more useful.  Let me know what you think.

If you would like to have more control over the Feed presentation I would suggest using Yahoo Pipes.   This gives you the option of changing the order, limiting the number of posts presented from any single site, or only selecting content that meets specific requirements.