I periodically change my list, forcing myself to dump as many blogs as I add to avoid bloat. It’s very difficult to describe the interaction between inspiration, intellect, reading, and writing, but my new litmus test is thankfully simple. It’s not a general thing, it’s just for my own sake.
Blogs stay on my roll if they inspire posts of my own. My posts tend to refer to vague paradigm shifts that are happening inside of my head, and I want more of these, faster.
Steve Sailer and Vox day inspire a lot of posts, even though they take a long time to read (3-5 posts per day, with long blockquotes). They get to stay. Fred Reed no longer inspires many posts (if any), but he doesn’t write very often and his articles are so much fun that they just fly by. He gets to stay. Captain Capitalism was an easy read, but he certainly wasn’t shifting any paradigms and he writes a lot. So I had to drop him. (I still never feel good about doing that.)
So it’s a tradeoff of effort and time vs. inspiration. Ideally I’d want to generate the most posts from the least-taxing daily reading. Maybe I’d even start writing well and concisely by osmosis. Certainly gives me a goal to aim at for everyone else’s sake.
Therefore, every month or so I should look back at the number of times I link to each blog on the roll, and make cuts.