If I list every blog of interest that comes my way, my blogroll can get out of hand. You see some sites where the blogroll disappears down the right column into the ether and beyond.
This makes for some interesting decisions at times about who to put on the roll. Recently the author of All About Forensic Psychology approached me to let me know about his site. In my private practice outside of the university I do mainly forensic work and this site is an excellent one in that regard and one I read regularly. At the same time it is somewhat outside the area of psychotherapy technique and as a result I have not listed it.
Similarly I received an email from Oxford University Press about their blog. This appears to have some good psychology stuff on it but not all that regular (actually only on Mondays). There was a nice interview with Stephen Hinshaw recently about his book: The Mark of Shame, however not quite enough psychotherapy material to list.
Today I get an email from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors about exchanging listings. This is what started this particular posting and I suppose the advantage of writing a blog is that when things get up your nose you can bitch about it. The email is addressed to “The Blog Editor” and goes on to tell me about the organisation and the many thousand of people they have accessing their website and all the benefits of mutual link exchanging and what a wonderful opportunity this will be for me. It then tells me if I list them they will list me (but I have to first). When I go to the front page of the blog most posts link back to something commercial. The vast majority of psychology and psychiatry blog do not push their own products or skills commercially in their posts. Many of them have advertising around the side but that is about it.
What got my goat on this email was firstly the impersonal marketing approach. Anyone who reads my blog can see clearly who I am. Secondly is the commercial nature of it. They would be making money off my link in exchange for one more notch for me up the Technorati ladder. Thirdly was the fact that for them to list me, I had to list them.
Nonetheless they are a psychotherapy website who also have some interesting general articles of psychotherapy and case studies in their library. I can’t deny the narcissistic pleasure of writing a blog and having lots of people read it or my own competitive nature and certain desire to be in the top 100 000 on Technorati. Do I list them? I am still thinking.
It seems to me that the creeping commercialisation of the blogosphere is even reaching psychology. Organisations and publishers are beginning to realise that many of the higher ranked psychology blogs access far more people than most professional journals.