Recently updated?

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I probably shouldn't write about this, as it will remove a competitive advantage I currently enjoy.

I have my blogroll sorted in most recently updated order, and I use it for my own reference to see who has new material posted. Other bloggers use italics, an asterisk, or some other special mark to highlight recently updated blogs. A websurfer visiting a favorite site is more likely to follow a link to another blog if it stands out in some way. In looking at my referrer logs, I know I've received some visits simply because I show up on a site in the Blogs for Terri, League of Reformed Bloggers, or Wictory Wednesday blogrolls, and BatesLine is highlighted as recently updated.

How does determine when a blog has been recently updated? When a new entry is posted on a blog, most blogging software will automatically ping Technorati,,, and other sites that track blogs. takes information from these sources and determines when a blogroll has been last updated.

Over the last few weeks, the number of recently-updated blogs in my blogroll has dwindled noticeably. At first I thought it was because people were going on vacation, but it seems that some blogs are never showing up as recently updated at all. If you hover your mouse over a blog name in the blogroll, you'll see when thinks it was last updated. For example, it thinks Instapundit hasn't been updated since May 25. Instapundit had seven new entries today. The problem is not specific to a publishing engine -- Movable Type, WordPress, and Blogger blogs are all affected.

My blog (yes, I've blogrolled myself) almost always shows up as recently updated when it is. That may be because, rather than relying on to get update info from the other services I ping, I directly ping Blogrolling at the following address:

In Movable Type, on the weblog config preferences page, under Publicity / Remote Interfaces / TrackBack, you can add sites to ping automatically with each new post.

I also found this FAQ on the subject. If you're a blogger on my blogroll, and you aren't showing up as recently updated even if you are, take a minute to read it. If you're on my blogroll, it's because I like what you write, and if you've just written more of it, I'd like to know about it, and I'd like my readers to know, too.


Dan Paden said:

I had noticed this problem, but flatly haven't had time to look into it, so this post was very timely and useful. Thanks!

FYI, Dan, your blog shows as having last updated at 12:19:16 GMT today (7:19 CDT). So apparently something you're doing is working. Blogger has an option on the Publishing settings page -- "Notify" -- which I think is off by default. I wonder if that makes a difference. Yours seems to be the only Blogger-based blog on my blogroll that shows up correctly.

Dan Paden said:

I've got that spot on Blogger checked, but it only seems to work on alternate rainy Tuesdays. It wasn't 'til I used the pinger at Blogrolling's site that it showed up as having been updated more recently than May 25th. Definitely appreciate the tip!

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 11, 2005 11:23 PM.

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