The effects of blogrolls are a hot topic again. Roxanne Cooper points out, sensibly, that the blogroll originated as a convenience for the writer, a quick way to tour your corner of the blogosphere. Nowadays, we use newsreaders to do that. Blogrolls are now a sign of affiliation and friendship.
Shelley focuses her opposition to blogrolls on the supposed dominance of white guys in the blogosphere. What blogrolls (and link-measuring policies that give them lots of weight) really favor is the currrent A List.
Torill likes them.
A modest proposal: You should almost never include an A-List weblog in your blogroll. If it's in the Technorati Top 100, it's well known: you don't need to make it better known. Occasional exceptions for friends, family.
Obstacles to adding sites to your blogroll are too high. I think it would be useful, for example, if any site you discuss often were automatically proposed for your blogroll. The Tinderbox implementation might be interesting to do. Volunteers?
At the same time, we need some to make sure that dropping a link from your weblog is not a sign that the friendship is over. Instead of blogrolls being "150 weblogs of my friends", I think we might encourage smaller, more focused blogrolls. "New discoveries of the season", for example. When Summer arrives next month, you start a fresh new blogroll.