Are blog widgets really worth it to have on your blog?

I have to laugh at myself and other bloggers sometimes. We in the bloggerhood run like children to get the latest toy because someone else has it. At times it seems blogging has become an electronic high school; everyone jockying to be the most popular kid in school, or be friends with the cool clique of girls and guys.

Witness the frenzy that spiked and fell faster than a bottle rocket around Twitter this year after SXSW. Like the first day Playstation 2 came out, all the kids on the blog-block(me included) had to have Twitter because the cool kids at SXSW did. What were we going to do with it,? I have no idea. I admit, after having killed it once last year, I got caught up in the me-too ism for a couple of weeks, then killed it again.

Beyond Twitter-mania, I often look at my outclick stats and wonder if it's worth the effort to keep these widgets on my site. My current widget vices include:

  2. Tag List
  3. Technorati
  4. Technorati Favorites
  5. Technorati Top Tags
  6. Technorati Top Searches
  7. MyBlogLog
  8. Blog Roll (2)
  9. Google Reader
  10. Add This!
  11. Technorati link counter
  12. Feedburner
  13. Feedblitz
  14. Site Meter
  15. Feedblitz Subscribe via Email
  16. Amazon Book and Album Links
I'm excluding charity widgets because I feel those are important, clicked or not. That said, some of these I incorporated to consolidate functions. Ex. Add This! keeps you from having to put widgets for every tagging tool known to man like so many Skittles cluttering the bottom of your posts. But, do I have a 'Add this To My Technorati Favorites' button? Yeah because someone might wanna favorite me, like Guy Kawasaki. Now the madness in all this comes in when you stop to realize, Technorati provides a Browser button for users to favorite you if they choose, so why do I need a button on my blog?

The proof is really in the pudding here. If I look back at how many visitors actually ever click on any of these widgets, it is dismal at best. On average, 1 out of every 20 visitors at max. Now, I'm all for tools that get your blog more visibility. More and more I feel like Technorati etc is a big electronic popularity contest. For what?

I've been in the process of going on the 'Low Information Diet' prescribed by Tim Ferriss, author of the 4 Hour Work Week. Primarily it focuses on email management, however I would dare say a lot of blogs could go on a 'Low Widget Diet' and do just fine, mine included.

Over the next few days I'm going to go 'cold turkey' and add back only widgets I think are absolutely essential and useful . If I don't feel like maintaining them or tracking them, off the template they go.

I already know my blog will live. Agree? Put your thoughts down in the comments.