July 7th, 2012
Matthew Ingram wrote a good piece entitled Why links matter: Linking is the lifeblood of the web for Gigaom. First, about giving credit:
In the days when newspapers ruled the world of information, giving credit to other outlets was (and often still is) discouraged. Rewriting or “matching” a story that someone else broke — or taking wire-service reports and rewriting them a little — was standard practice, and code words such as “one report” were often used so a newspaper wouldn’t have to mention a competitor’s news story.
And, about burying links to the original source or credit:
One reason people often give for the failure to link (or the “hiding” of links at the bottom of an article, for which some have criticized outlets like The Verge) is that the financial model for digital media — that is, advertising — relies on page views, and one of the ways to juice those numbers is to pretend you broke a story.
This is yet more confirmation on my decision to finally bite the bullet and use Daring Fireball style links here on my blog. This blog only makes a few dollars on a few sparse articles that, for some reason or another, have hundreds of thousands of pageviews due to Google search results. I do not care about or even track those pageviews very often so making the link to other websites as prominent and easy to find as possible does not conflict with my blog’s “business model”.
The Verge’s model of putting the source and via links at the very bottom of the post could probably be improved on. I remember when their site first launched I had a heck of a time finding the links at all. I think they should work the links into the main content of the post. They can afford to do the right thing.
/via Shawn Blanc who has a great point about pageviews:
Metrics like pageviews and subscriber counts are a cheap and dying metric.
The web is getting too big for these numbers to matter as much as they used to.
July 3rd, 2012
For the past week or so I’ve been publishing Daring Fireball-style links for the links category (or as some call them, the link list). I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not to link this way for years. (The things geeks worry about.)
Readers find these style of links much more beneficial. Especially RSS feed subscribers. And, indeed, it does seem less “spammy” when you’re linking readers directly to the sources rather than to a webpage of your own. Though, this site very, very seldom has any sort of advertising or affiliate links – it can still seem spammy. When linking to something the full credit for that something should go directly to those who published it.
I’m not the only one who was mulling this over, on 1 July Stephen Hackett made the switch.
December 5th, 2011
I run into this problem every single day. Every. Single. Day. Brent Simmons simply reminded me that I need to yell a little more about it. He asks:
“Take a look at your weblog. How easy is it to find your name?”
You’d be very surprised how hard it is to find someone’s name in order to give proper attribution. And, unlike Brent, I think it is totally on purpose in some cases.
While curating The Watercolor Gallery I’ve seen countless Flickr and Tumblr accounts that simply do not list the name of the artist or their location — two bits of information I prefer to include when featuring a painting. Some would argue that these artists prefer the anonymity. Let me be clear; an anonymous artist is likely a poor one. (read: not selling a lot of art)
Some branding experts would want you to paste your name all over your work — even going so far as placing a watermark on any images that might be credited to you. I think that is unreasonable and more than likely not worth the trouble. Post your work on whatever service you so choose, just make sure to fill in your profile information to include your name, where you live (there are a lot of John Smiths on this planet) and perhaps a way to contact you (an email will suffice). This way people have no excuse if they don’t give you proper credit.
Please leave your name after the post. Beep.