one man's journey into creating gibblybits

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Earth to WIRED: it's 2008 and links are your friend

I fight the linking issue on a weekly basis, it seems. Even within our own company I'm befuddled when my bloggers, or more high-profile blogs just ignore sources or don't link to quality sources, instead choosing to incestuously link ad nauseam or just lazily tag-link. So today I was really flummoxed when a TUAW blogger, Christina, was able to get Fortune to actually link to her piece on TUAW, but so far at WIRED, citing the same article, can't seem to figure out what we've been calling "hyperlinking" since 1997.

I'm sure Bryan Gardiner is under crazy pressure from his bosses to crank up those PV's, just like we all are-- I get that. And I'm guessing his people are being sold the same crappy snake-oil SEO junk regarding incestuous linkages, because the WIRED piece is just chock full of links to other WIRED pages. Oh, there's a requisite link to Apple forums, whoopee!

But I think it hurts credibility to not backlink. It sure doesn't help your karma! And frankly, linking OUT is a good thing for SEO. Not that CNN or PageRank 1 sites need that kind of magic, but why not share the love?

So I linked back to the Fortune piece, and not to the WIRED piece. Until they learn the magic of linking, they can really just f*** off. We don't need your blogtard audience, complete with inane comments and crappy understanding of tech and Apple.

UPDATE: Really nothing new to report, but after 2 emails to the editor I haven't heard a thing. I'll be sure to remember this next time one of my bloggers is hung out to dry because some journo decides we're not real reporters because we don't capitalize The Internet.


Christina said...

And what's frustrating, apart from the whole, "why pseudo-quote me if you aren't even going to link to me" (especially when you kind of mis-represent my argument) is that by Wired not providing a direct link, that pretty much stopped any other stie/blog writing abut the issue via Wired from linking too. It was on Boing-Boing, it was on Techmeme, it got lots of hits -- and honestly, since we were the first one's to really write up about the issue -- and since I was cited in the article, it would have been nice to get a link. Truthfully though, I took solace in actually getting mentioned (along with the blog), even sans link. Two pretty major tech pubs essentially picked up my QuickBooks story (including the workaround that one of the beta testers posted to our comments and that I added to the post) without so much as mentioning or linking to us. Nevermind that they were 14 hours behind us, or that in one of the article, the language was a little too close for comfort to my original copy.

I saw the Fortune thing by chance, because I happen to have Fortune in my RSS reader -- and you know, it made sense that the link wasn't there, because Wired never linked to the article. It would be nice for a third-party blogger to look up the link, but that's a lot to expect. I will say it was really cool that as soon as I posted my comment, both clarifying some of the technology/my own speculations and the link to the article, the writer immediately linked to us. That was really stand-up - and I have no doubt he would have linked in the first place if Wired had bothered.

But I agree, it is frustrating to see stories from our blogs not get links, especially by places that should know better.

_victor said...

And yet, the journalism establishment loves to hold bloggers to task for every little misstep. I know there is often a fine line between the two, and also a wide chasm between the two, but I think when journalists are quick to dismiss blogs but refuse to hold themselves up to their own (quite basic) standards-- that is hypocrisy, it is a falsehood, it ruins their integrity.

Bloggers write because they care, not (only) because they have been assigned to a beat and thus, are "just getting a paycheck."

Crap on a cracker, I wrote about this in my freshman English class in college and STILL we're fighting lazy journalism. Yeesh.

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