I start my blogs with an assortment of widgets and buttons and … stuff. In the beginning, I will put up anything that I believe serves a purpose or brings me more traffic.

Later? Not so much. Over time, I decide that if it’s not honoring a committment, bringing me traffic, reminding me to do something, or making me money, it has to go. Those four things are good yardsticks, though the order may vary for you.

I like to give most things two weeks to a month to take root, but if it’s not giving me one of those four types of booty, it’s bye-bye no matter how much it hurts.

MyBlogLog is on its last legs but it stays. It sends me enough traffic to be worth the headache at the moment. I’ll probably test the speed of the site without it later – right now, BumpZee is beating the pants off it as far as getting visitors is concerned, and they do page views, not just home page visits.

The BumpZee commmunity is less about “visit my blog and I’ll check out yours” and more about whose blog is good, and that’s part of what makes it smart to target a site like not just to marketers, but to an area of marketing. BumpZee stays (it’s really BUMPZee but I’m lazy) and may go up higher on the page.

That Blogroll button? Gone. Number 13 with them, not one visitor. Bye.

Carnivals widget. Bye. Doesn’t match the site, so I’ll have to remember to enter carnivals another way.

The rest of the Special Appreciation area stays. The buttons are small enough not to be obtrusive.

Maybe I’ll put an abbreviated tag cloud right there.

As far as additions, I’m gonna look for a better, possibly smaller MyBlogLog widget. I saw one that was just faces the other day. And I’ll be figuring out how to implement social media without making the page look like crap.

==>Sidebar, long one.<== I decided not to go with the hassle of trying to make the bookmarking sites launch in another window. You’re smart enough to come back if you wanted to, and whenever you bookmark a site in a shared area, you’re thinking about returning And bringing new people with you.

New windows within posts are different – I lose my place while surfing all the time and then get distracted, so I consider it a service, but it occurs to me that you might not. If you find it annoying, holla back. Your opionion is what matters.

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