A reader writes in:
One of my favorite features at Casual Kitchen is your Friday Links posts. How do you find all that material? You hardly ever feature the same blog twice, so you must read a zillion blogs, right?
It's ironic that I get this question just as I'm starting to publish my Friday Links posts less regularly! But it's true: I do read a lot of blogs--my feedreader contains 788 blogs at last count, which probably sounds ridiculous. But my process for digging up material for readers is simple: three or four times a week I spend about an hour or two a day wandering through my feedreader. I pick blogs and sites at random and wade through the past posts.
This is essentially my leisure reading, and when I see anything that really stands out, I'll cut and paste it into an upcoming links post. It took me a while to develop this system, but now I produce the majority of my Friday Links content as a natural byproduct of material I already read.
I also find about 10-20% of my Friday Links via Twitter, and finally, readers email me another 10-20%.
It's not always a perfect process however. Some weeks I'm buried in links to great recipes, but I can't find any interesting articles about food. Some weeks I'm buried in off-topic links to the exclusion of all else.
The last thing I do before queuing up each Friday Links post is use the 120% method. I fill up each links post with more links than I actually need. In my final edit, I go over the post one last time and eliminate (roughly) the worst 20% of the articles. I find that this dramatically improves the overall quality of each Friday Links post.
One final thought: I'd be remiss if I didn't take a moment to encourage those of you with your own blogs: do your own links roundups! Why not share with your readers the interesting (or controversial) things you read? You don't have to publish one every single week like I usually do. Ask your readers to share their thoughts, agreements and disagreements in the comments, and enjoy the conversation.
Links are the currency of the internet. This is how blogs and readers find each other, and it's one of the best ways to start conversations where we can all learn more.
As always, if you have any feedback, or if you'd like to share one of your posts with the readers here at CK, email me!
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