Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
December 1, 200710:21 AM

Are Links To Other Sites Really A Compelling Blog Post?

I've avoided adding the functionality to the Six Pixels of Separation Blog where you get a Blog posting called, Links, with the date after it. I see this on so many Blogs, and I just don't get it. With the ability to subscribe to any-one's page or shared links via Google Reader, and the capability to add both of those as a widget in your Facebook profile, why do we still allow Bloggers to get away with a random list of links as a Blog posting? It might be OK once in a while, but some of my favourite Blogs pump out a Links Blog Posting every day. My understanding is that, for some Bloggers, this process is even automated. It just grabs their most recent links and posts it to the Blog on a daily basis.

In this era of the Attention Economy, shouldn't we hold Bloggers to higher standards? I'm known to drop a link or two in my Blog postings, but the links are always the motivation for me to add my thoughts and feelings about what is happening and how it affect Marketers. It's an ongoing trend where Bloggers are Blogging less, using twitter more and letting their Blogs lapse as Links Postings fill the feeds.

I think Bloggers need to come clean. If you're suffering from writer's block, too busy to Blog, or have fallen in love with another channel, why not let your readers know that you will be phasing out the Blog, and that if they still like your insights, they can find you on twitter, subscribe to your feed or find you in Second Life?

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of times when I do come across interesting links, and they inspire my own Blog postings, but I'd much prefer to find those links via an online social bookmarking feed than in a Blog posting. To me a Blog is all about sharing your thoughts, ideas and emotions in words on any given subject. Links play a vital role in keeping the conversation alive in the community by providing some kind of path to follow. Seeing daily, automated Blog postings generated from a feed is starting to impact how I feel about certain Bloggers that I used to hold in high regard (negative Personal Brand effect). I'm starting to see this tactic as laziness and, worse, a cop out for not taking the time to Blog. On top of that, it's sucking my attention to a Blog posting whose sole purpose is to keep the Blog highly ranked by generating links.

That's not much of a two-way conversation, if you ask me.

By Mitch Joel