It turns out that what I thought was my user name was a default...I hadn't set one up.
I was surprised that I could open an account without a user name, but, well, ok. So I assigned myself a user name and now the blogroll works.
So...all the almost 50 links to the blogs to which I subscribe are there, and it will automatically update every time I add a new one.
Much easier than maintaining the sidebar list... ;)