Whilst surfing through the blogosphere, you may have noticed that some sites’ blogrolls seem to lack any order or seem to change constantly. OTB’s is that way: I use the service provided by and have my list sorted by “most recently updated.” For this to be of optimal utility, however, requires that all the bloggers on my roll make it known when they have updated. This requires “pinging”, which blogrolling and other services check periodically.

For some odd reason, even some very established bloggers don’t seem to do this. It’s ridiculously easy. If your blog is on Moveable Type, Radio, or pMachine, there is no excuse: You can simply set your system to do it for you automatically every time you post. Mine is set to ping,, and itself ( For those using Blogger, you’re stuck with doing it manually, but it’s quick and painless. Laurence Simon provides clear and detailed instructions for the manual method.

Seriously, start doing this now if you aren’t already. It will increase your traffic–you’ll not only get more hits from people who have blogrolled you and sort as I do, but you’ll also get traffic from, Blogger, and other sites that show the most recently updated blogs.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Bryan says:

    Thanks for the tip re: I haven’t used their full service long enough to explore all the features.

  2. James Joyner says:

    No prob!

    Just change your sort settings to Order by “Recent.” I also have mine set to display HOT! by the ones that have been updated within two hours, but you can do a different time interval and put whatever you want before or after
    the blog name as an indicator.

  3. James Joyner says:

    Ah–never mind. I see you’re already doing that.

    The direct pinging isn’t part of the full service–I do it free. In MT, under Weblog Config, go to the Preferences link and then click or scroll down to Publicity. Check the existing boxes for weblogs and and then insert into the “others” box.

  4. Tom says:

    This is one of the main reasons I started coming to OTB, it was easy to see who was doing what, and it still is.

    And of course the intelligent commentary by James was a drawing point.


  5. James Joyner says:

    Thanks! I thought everyone was coming just for the nude pictures of Rick Santorum.

  6. Romulus says:

    For some reason my blog is not showing as recently updated on the blogrolls. Don’t know if the problem is with blogrolling for sure but there was a mention of a malfunction in the BR site news the other day. I just tried manually pinging on BR and it gives a fatal error message. Will investigate further
    Judicious Asininity

  7. Jay Solo says:

    I have detailed instructions for pinging, which IIRC are still on my main page. I don’t prefer sorting by recently updated, but I do like to be able to see that recent updates have happened.

    The whole deal seemed to be down for several hours overnight and into this morning. Even Instapundit wasn’t showing updated! Seems to be working now, for those who ping either manually or automagically.

  8. James Joyner says:

    Blogrolling is rather quirky to be sure. Not surprising, I guess, considering how many people use it.

    I’ve gone back and forth on the sorting. But I have 50-odd folks on my blogroll, so having it sorted chronologically makes it easier for me to keep up with my reading.

  9. joy says:

    Blogrolling reads the updates from, so as long as you are pinging, you should be ok.

    Also, *some people* need to change my link to the relative URL of *ahem*

  10. James Joyner says:

    True, although blogrolling can be slow sometimes to pick up on the weblogs ping. My way (via Kathy Kinsley) seem faster.

    Hmm. The link I have for you opens right up on your page…

  11. Romulus says:

    My problem seems to be resolved for the moment and relates to the percentage of changed text versus total page text. Here’s the word right from the horse’s mouth:
    “You’re not meeting the minimum change requirements. There is a small
    threshold of change that the page must meet before it is flagged as changed.
    You have a huge amount of text on your page so the minimum percent threshold isn’t
    being reached. I just dialed it down to as low as I’m going to set it which
    is a 1% change threshold so your page must be 1% different from the last
    time you pinged for it to be flagged as updated. Hope that helps.”
    Judicious Asininity

  12. James Joyner says:


    Odd. I don’t seem to have that problem even though I have a lot of text on my page. Although you may also want to try archiving your page more often; there’s not much point in displaying a week’s worth of stuff since they can just click the monthly archive if they want to read old stuff.

    Also, you do realize that your site URL automatically goes on your name hyperlink? There’s no need to put a separate link to your site in every time.

  13. John Lemon says:

    My problem is that when I ping my site, all you lazy bloggers on the East Coast are sleeping, and in the morning I look stale. Maybe I should take to reporting the scores of the Oakland A’s so at least you will have reason to look.

    I did take to pinging in the morning when I get up, but the consistency of that depends highly on the mood of my 3 year old.