Okay, this is not a big rant, but it had to be said. Some weblogs actively appeal for people to send them links to stuff that they might like to post about. I do not. No doubt some people are delighted when people say, “you should put this on your site”. I am not. Let me say this really clearly once and for all – I do not link to stuff that people ask me to link to.
This is not an absolute rule, I’ll admit. Over the last five/six years I’ve probably been asked to post someone else’s links to my site about five hundred times. How many did I end up posting? Maybe four. I’m actually less inclined to post things to my site if someone has explicitly asked me to. When under those kinds of pressure, I feel I must demonstrate the independence and freedom of my site. I feel I have to demonstrate that it’s a space where I’ll act as I think is best, with full cognisance of my responsibilities to work, friends. If people explicitly ask me to post something, then of course my assumption is that all they want is the link, that they’re trying to exploit my site for their own gain in some way and have no actual interest in my opinions or being part of a community. I will be contrary in those situations. If you are listening, e-marketeers, then take note already.
Let me be blunt – I will not link to things if you ask me to. If you send me a link saying, “you should post about this”, then – unless I’m really clear it’s for altruistic reasons – I almost certainly will not. And I may look at you funny the next time we meet down the pub. I may not go down to the pub with you at all. Are we clear? Good.
In the meantime if there’s something you genuinely think I might find interesting, please feel free to send it to me! I like reading new things – I’m interested in all kinds of stuff. Just please make it because you genuinely think it’s something I might care about rather than because you might make a nickel out of it. I thank you and good night.