Perhaps that sounds a little apocalyptic. Still, I was cleaning out my sidebar yesterday, evicting all the inactive blogs (several), the disappeared blogs (a couple), and the blogs that no longer interested me particularly (because they had changed topics or were simply repeating themselves). Which led me to contemplate the phenomenon of blog referrals, or the lack thereof. At this point, most of the incoming links to my blog are not from other bloggers--they come from Twitter and, on occasion, Facebook. (Even people who have blogs, I've noticed, will link to me via Twitter, not on their own blog.) Links that do originate from blogs tend to come from only a handful of sites, especially Crooked Timber and Ferule and Fescue; in addition, people arriving from Twitter tend to respond there (something Adam Kotsko has also noted). I would guess that that's also true of Facebook--all the more frustrating for the innocent blogger, because those conversations are completely invisible 99.99% of the time. Moreover, because many people now read blogs via feeds rather than just randomly wandering by, the site stats now go through a series of spikes and declines depending on whether or not I've posted something. One does not, that is, get the sense that readers are browsing.