Years ago, when you wanted to create community or participate in a community of webs of the same theme you joined or created a " ] webring ". The idea was that different websites with a similar theme would link together, usually at the foot of the web, to promote the exchange and dissemination of knowledge something that Google has benefited from for years, since it related content , which facilitated the categorization of information.
This concept grew and came of age with another, in this case called " blogroll ", through which you linked (also) to others – in this case – blogs with a similar theme, friend blogs etc.
And that's been the case for years, also and especially in WordPress, since I've known him he's had a link section and, when they appeared, a widget for your " Blogroll ", … until today.
And it is that the WordPress development team has decided to leave the links section, and the Blogroll widget or Sites of Interest such as you will have in the translation into Spanish, in favor of personalized menus, which should host this utility, through external links, share other sites of interest or your thematic blogroll .
If you want to set a date for this " murder " premeditated blogroll, will run with WordPress 3.5 in all safety.
In fact, in WordPress.com are already beginning to delete the section of links and although it has not yet been extended to all sites you may not find your links tomorrow, nor may you be able to use the widget to link your friends, so raw.
If you do not want to lose your links, in the absence of the Automattic guys incorporating a widget to the effect (using a plugin), in WordPress.com you will have to copy and paste your links in a text editor and, in the absence of other co sa, add the links you want to the theme menu . My advice would be to use the trick of to add menus without a link as superior and then add your custom links as subordinates of this one. This menu, you can even add it with the "Custom Menu" widget, the only reasonable substitute.
Another option would be to create a page where to add links quite common and available as a page template in some issues, actually enough.
Users of WordPress.org complete and installed on their own server, we have more options (a further reminder that freedom is important, although it is more convenient to use managed services ), since there are plugins that can help us like Link manager a substitute of the link manager in the form of a plugin for when WordPress 3.5 comes out, or WP render blogroll links that creates, as many topics do (another option), a page where " host " your links.
And, as with WordPress.com, you can also add external links as menu items or use a page or widget to this effect. At least for options that do not remain.
My opinion ?, because it is a mistake . I can understand that the official distribution is intended to be released, but that they leave it as an "inherited" plugin, just like the importers, but not that they load it. The webrings / blogrolls have created what we know today as Web 2.0 since they have been the beginning of the conversation between webs, they have exercised the work of spreading related contents and helped positioning in search engines to blogs new and all this is lost, or perverted, with this hasty and unnecessary death of the blogroll on WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
If the development team wants to free space from the distribution they could remove utilities such as the Hello Dolly plugin, or widgets that are fed from external sources in the Desktop (Plugins, Development News, etc) that, in addition, consume memory from the server from the zero minute of the installation, eliminate useless widgets for most people such as Calendar, Akismet, pages or even Meta, or even unify the management of entries and pages, merging the latter as a more personalized entry type. Come on, what alternatives are there?
And, well, now it's your turn, what do you think about this decision?