RSS Multi-Importer by Allen Weiss is the closest thing I’ve found to the dynamic blogroll widget on Blogspot that displays the blogroll with a snippet from the latest post, and bumps recently updated blogs to the top of the list. To use it, you’ll need to enter the RSS feed address for each blog (for WordPress blogs, that’s http://<domain>/<blog root>/feed/ – e.g., http://jahangiri.us/2013/feed; for Blogspot blogs, it’s http://<blogname>.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default )
You can see the results in action here:
This plug-in is only available to self-hosted WordPress blogs. Set up is pretty straightforward and well documented within the plug-in, but there are many shortcode parameters to control how the blogs are displayed. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you get it just the way you like it.
Caution: This plug-in also lets you do some nefarious (and possibly illegal) things I don’t personally approve of, like use other people’s posts automatically to fill your own blog with content. You could use it to populate one blog with your own posts from another – so it’s really not the plug-in author’s fault if you abuse its power. Play nice – don’t use it to violate anyone’s copyrights. As you can see, here, I’m only displaying a short “teaser” – a little excerpt from each of the recent posts to tempt readers to visit the original blog.
Okay, that sounds terrible. Don’t steal! But it’s fine to copy lists of links – and you can see this in action on any of the pages listed under recommended on my top menu bar. In some cases, I’ve merely copied and pasted a list of links – for example, from https://blogging101march2015.wordpress.com/community-blogroll/ and https://photo101march2015.wordpress.com/community-blogroll/ – or grabbed the LinkyTools code to display an up-to-date list of A to Z Blogging Challenge participants. It’s easier to copy and paste than to type all that in, and from one WordPress blog to another, the hyperlinks will generally remain links.
One caveat: Be thoughtful, reasonable, and kind. If you run a blog that deals with adult themes (sex, violence, drugs, alcohol, smoking, gambling, lots of profanity), don’t link to others’ blogs without permission. Generally speaking, if a blog is public, the blogger wants people to visit, read, and comment. But they may not appreciate being associated with strongly controversial content. Use your skills for good, not evil. If there’s any doubt, ask first. Remove links on request.
See the list of “Top Commentluvvers (30 Days)”? Those folks get top billing – over the blogroll – because they are actively engaged readers who are having conversations on my posts. This requires the CommentLuv plug-in (I’m using the Premium version, which also does a fantastic job of eliminating most spam comments). CommentLuv also lets you reward commenters by giving them an optional backlink with every comment.