Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Salon: Blog Buttons - Pointless?

Happy Sunday, everyone! This is yet another scheduled post while I am on vacation with very limited access to the Internet. This is a bit of a musings post, I guess -- about something I've pondered off and on lately... is there any point to having a blog button to "advertise" your brand? I'm not really going to argue the case for or against, this is more an observational rambling, if you will.

Yes, I do have a blog button -- a shiny new one that came with my blog redesign. I also had one that I had made to go with my old blog theme because personally, I like the idea of sharing blog buttons. Almost all of the blogs out there that have been professionally designed have buttons and a few intrepid folks have made their own, as well.

But...

Yes, there's a but...

I almost never see blog buttons posted on other bloggers' sites. At least, that is how I feel when I browse the various blogs I follow. And no, I don't mean my button -- I mean ANY blog buttons.

This all came up because I have been debating how to share all of the blog buttons I have grabbed. In the "research" for this post, I actually made sure that I had a blog button represented for every blog in my blogroll that actually had a blog button. In the last few months, though, I have wondered if my scrolling list of buttons is very effective and have thought about creating a page that would link from my menu bar with all the book blog buttons I've grabbed. But then I thought people might not bother going to look at that.

Ever since I began blogging and keeping up with other blogs, I have wanted to link all the blogs I follow on my blog. Call it a sign of solidarity, I don't know. I just know that when I visit other blogs, I often look to see what blogs they keep up with that I have yet to have heard of.

So the numbers nerd in me decided to conduct some informal research of the book blogs in my blogroll. {Aside: This also gave me a great opportunity to clean up the blogroll and remove various blogs that disappeared.} I did limit it strictly to book blogs -- no author blogs or personal blogs. I went through EVERY one of those blogs (166 of them!) and looked to see (1) did they have a blog button, (2) did they post other people's blog buttons, and (3) did they have some sort of blog roll list? I guess I wanted some kind of "proof" to back up my theory that while a pretty fair number of bloggers have blog buttons, very few bloggers actually share other blogs' buttons. And guess what, I was pretty much right...
Really, I think I just wanted an excuse to display pie charts on my blog :-D

As you can see, just over more than a third of the blogs I researched have buttons up for grabs. However, only about 10% of all the blogs actually shared any blog buttons besides their own. Blogrolls were much more prevalent, with just over half of the blogs displaying blogrolls either in their sidebar or on a separate page linked from their header. Actually, I would have expected this percentage to be higher. Now, I didn't get into any fancy analysis beyond this with any overlapping data -- I was really just curious about the big picture.

And I really am not suggesting that there is a right or wrong answer when it comes to linking to other blogs. I admit I would have expected more blogs that have their own buttons to display buttons from other blogs, but obviously that isn't the case. I still haven't decided what to do about my own blogroll and blog buttons. The blogroll takes up quite a bit of space on my left sidebar and the scrolling space for the buttons really isn't able to do all of those buttons justice...

In the end, with so few "grab" buttons actually finding their way onto other blogs, I have to wonder if it is really worth it to have one? (Not that I wouldn't be happy for you to go over and grab mine from the sidebar, LOL.)

Well, I've rambled on about this enough. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on the matter. If I were to move my blogroll and create a page for blog buttons, do you think it would still be effective? Do you like to link to other blogs and if so, what's your preferred method?

4 comments:

  1. I used to have the blogroll and the list of buttons. After hearing a lot of input from others, I decided to remove the blogroll and make a page for the buttons. This was mostly for visual appeal and to declutter my blog.

    P.S. I added your button. :)

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    1. Aw, thanks for adding my button and stopping by my blog! I have to say I am leaning towards making a blog button page. If I could create a scrolling spot for my blogroll that looked okay, I would do that, but unfortunately I think my columns are too narrow to make it look right. So I'm still pondering what to do with that to try to declutter things... I hate to limit the number of blogs shown, but that may be one thing I have to do...

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  2. Personally blog buttons attract me like a kid in a candy store. I click on new blogs all the time with a blogroll and love the buttons. Haven't made one for my own page yet. Well made one but havent put it up yet.

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    1. Yes, I too love blog buttons -- as soon as I discovered them, I set about making one (back when I had my "old" look). As soon as you have yours up, I'll have to go grab it! :-D

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