Link Policy

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There's nothing you can do that will automatically secure a link from me, unless you know me in real life. I won't give someone a link just so I can get one back. Some blogs in my blogroll are there because they were the first blogs to link to me, and I responded out of gratefulness to their reaching out to someone with little exposure. A few are ones I read once and loved so much that I linked them immediately. A bunch are just some of the most widely respected blogs in their categories. For a short time I linked to any high quality, contentful philosophy blog, especially if it was along my interests and not thoroughly offensive, as some are.

For many, I had enough repeat visits to the site over a long period of time and decided that the blog in question was consistently good on topics I found interesting and worth my time. A few of my favorite blogs didn't interest me at first, and then I found post after post that was just on the same wavelength as my own thinking. Some people leave comments asking for a link or asking to exchange links. Such comments will probably just get deleted as off-topic. If you consistently interact with what I write on my blog or link to my posts and discuss them in an intelligent way, then it's likely that I'll keep following you, just because I'm more likely to check your site to see what you're saying about me.

Of course, the stuff on your own site has to be of interest to me in the first place enough for me to want to read it now and then, or I'm not likely to link to you no matter how much you interact with my stuff. The most important thing is that I deem your blog good and worthy of promotion. I have very specific things that I think make a blog good. One thing I really appreciate is friendly interaction with people you disagree with and positive attempts to understand those who disagree with you. It's going to be hard to get my interest if the main purpose of your blog is to say negative things about anyone. I also have a fondness for thinking outside the box and not toeing a party line, even one I agree with. If you say things I agree with that every blogger is saying, you won't stand out as worthy of special attention. If you engage in careful analysis in a systematic and thorough way, I'm likely to be interested. If you spout off slogans that oversimplify and seem merely reactive, I'll tune out immediately. I tend to want to promote those who agree with me enough that we share a common basis but disagree enough that I will be challenged by their thinking. Regularly producing high quality stuff along these lines while consistently showing enough interest in what I do is the easiest way to secure a link from me.

11 Comments

I'm finding getting noticed by a high-traffic blog is a mixed blessing. You put some effort into writing something and you want to get noticed. Then the day comes when you get that big link and you realize you're not so much noticed as you are exposed. There are a couple click-throughs I wish I could rescind and I've only been at this for two months. Definately best to find a comfort zone and earn people's respect through one's own dilligence.

Well, being high-ranked is also a mixed blessing. It means you rate high in Google, which means you get more trolls, and it means you get more hit-and-run idiots who don't read a post but have to get their two cents in anyway. It also means more spammers. I'm glad I don't get anything like the traffic at Evangelical Outpost or La Shawn Barber's Corner. It's nice to know I'm being read, but the readers I like most will interact, appreciate what I'm writing, and perhaps even learn something or help me learn something. The readers that become most visible when you're high-ranked are exactly the ones I don't want, though I'm sure you only see them because they want to be seen, and others are much more humble but worthy of attention and just don't show themselves.

on the subject of links, a number of my readers (well one actually) have complained that my links to your commentary posts are broken. Is now a good time for me to update the links, or are they going to change again?

This was a one-way move. They're not going back again.

I haven't had a chance to catalogue them all again properly, but if you want to find them with the search button and update the links that's only going to help me.

I was just thinking about this today. As much as I want to evolve in the ecosystem - I don't want to join big aggregators and have a huge blogroll. I want to be extremely selective with my blogroll so people know I'm doing my best to direct them to good stuff. Thanks for helping me clarify my thoughts on the matter!

The aggregators help people searching for content of a certain sort find you, so joining content-related aggregators is usually good. Joining a blogroll of like-minded people is also usually good. Joining one people compile merely for the sake of links is less helpful, because it might draw those not as interested in what you have to say.

Funny, I was blogging about the mixed blessings of popularity earlier today on my blog. I must say reading your criteria for linkage sure makes me humble to realise I must meet them in your mind!

Just to say, I think people overestimate the value of being in blogrolls or aggregators in increasing ecosystem ranks. Also, from the point of view of the Blogdom of God, no one is obligated to include the full blogroll on their site. I fully understand that many people want to be selective re which blogs they link to. PErsonally I get round that issue by having the warnie list which is essentially my personal favorites blogroll then the fuller blogdom of God. one day I may even not include the complete list on my own blog!

Your blog was actually one of the few that I put up a link to the day I found it.

Aggregators do nothing directly in terms of ecosystem rank, but they increase visibility among those who read the aggregator, and thus someone might be more likely to link. That's not going to be all that much, though.

Mass blogrolls do have a huge impact on beginning bloggers, and people who are in a whole bunch of them might derive a fair share of their links from them. I'm not talking about small ones like the Reformed Charismatic Blogs. I'm talking about huge ones like the Blogs for Terri or the Blogdom of God. Enough people are using the whole blogroll that it does contribute to someone's ranking. It doesn't contribute anywhere near as much to someone who is already higher in the rankings, though. It's basically a way to get noticed so people can then see if they want to give a more personal link once they see you.

Do you get a lot of link requests? I get them occasionally, but I've always rather expected that the blogroll's for people I like to read, whether I agree with them or not (the link's an indication of being good at presenting something, not necessarily a recommendation of content).

I experimented for a while with long lists, reciprocation, that sort of thing, and decided lots of links are for the birds. Especially since people move and then you have to update the lists. But I've never bothered to express my perspective on linking - I suppose I will should the need arise. Thanks for the perspective.

I probably get a few a month. The only reason I have lots of links is because they're about different things. It's not limited just to things I read regularly, though, because it includes things I want to check once in a while and have a convenient place to click from.

Thank you for visiting my site - and thank you for such a commonsense approach to linking.

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