If you read this blog on the actual Whine Seller site (instead of through an RSS reader) you may have noticed a few new features on the sidebar. One of these is the long overdue links or blogroll section towards the bottom of the site.
I wanted a way to showcase all the blogs I read without making the list of links in the sidebar ridiculously long. Enter the free WP Social Blogroll plugin (previously called Feed Reading Blogroll). Similar to the way Blogger shows your blogroll, this plugin lets you limit which links show on the blogroll based on how recently they were updated.
For instance, I have mine set (for the moment) on the top 3 most recently updated blogs. This way, all the blogs I follow get a chance to have their blog show on the sidebar as the list changes whenever someone posts a new post. It also gives a bigger boost to the blogs I’m reading because, in addition to just a link to their site, it also pulls the title of their most recent posts from their blog’s RSS feed and lists the time of their last post. If you want to see what this looks like, just take a look at my sidebar where you can play with it.
The main reason I wanted to add this feature was that I noticed that when other friends had a similar RSS based blogroll, my site always got more click-thrus from those dynamic blogrolls than a straight links list and I wanted to be able to do the same favor to my favorite bloggers. My hope is that it also provides more value for you, the reader, to see what items are new on other, similar sites.
My blogroll is divided into two sections: “From the source” which is the RSS feed from all the websites we cover here on The Whine Seller. So if any of these sites have a new announcement, you’ll be able to see it there. The second “Other whiners” are the other blogs that I read. Those categories are pulled directly from the WordPress links structure so if you already have your links set up in categories, install should be a snap.
The other nice thing about this plugin is that, in most cases, it auto-detects the RSS feed of the sites. Sure, there are a few you’ll have to input manually but overall it converted my already existing blogroll into a dynamic RSS based blogroll in a snap.
I had been on the search for a long time for a solid plugin that could do all the things I wanted and I highly recommend this one if you have similar blogroll needs.