Friday, March 30, 2007

Blog Redirects

I've never been a big fan of people who post blogs that just point to another blog posting, essentially reiterating the original point. I've always thought the motivations behind these can too often be lame attempts at name recognition, increase hit-counters (ad-counters), or just the "I want to be part of something bigger" that I feel permeates the blogosphere.

I do feel there is some merit in linking to a blog if you're refuting someone else's blog entry, or referring to them to enforce a point of view, but all too often I feel these "blog redirects" are just an attempt to increase hits, with little to no additional substance involved.

This is one of the reasons I haven't put ad-banners on my page. I decided to blog as an outlet, not as a money maker or for industry recognition - hell, I don't even use my real name. The anonymity is something I enjoy, not because I can say stupid shit without people being able to hold it against me (those of you who know me socially know this is the last thing I worry about when my lips move). I write these little tidbits so that I can share some thoughts that otherwise would need to be sensored for various reasons, or I just believe I have something valuable to contribute.

I will admit to having a bit of a soft-spot for humour though (shameless redirect to something that had me laughing I think sharing someone else's great (and especially funny) idea is good, and it gives credit to the person who came up with the original content. I am NOT going to provide links to the type of content I'm talking about - that would be somewhat hypocritical - but if you're reading this site (which gets very little traffic) then you read enough blog entries to know the type I mean.

My point is this:

If you blog, and you are talking about someone else's article, please make sure you have something MEANINGFUL to add, don't just rehash (sometime badly) what the original author wrote, then link to it. Alternatively, if you really liked an article, a nice suscinct intro to a "good article about..." is usually enough - don't try to make the idea yours.



treguly said...

So what are your thoughts on blog redirects when it's your own material?

Bruce Schneier commonly links to articles he's had published in other magazines.

I'm also guilty of this... I have two sites I blog one, one is my own and one is corporate... I prefer my own blog but have to occasionally post on the other. So when I do, I redirect my readers to the post I've made on the other blog.

There's also the question of linking. One of the most common ways to obtain new readers is they stumble across your site by clicking on a link on another site. For that reason I will regularly reference good articles that I feel others should read... I may not have anything to add, or I may fully agree with what is said. Does that mean I should not link to them ? That means my readers may possible miss this very interesting and informative post.

Simple Blogger said...

There are reasons to blog and post a link to another post. Sometimes you have a different audience and are trying to direct people to something new. Scoble does this all the time without really adding much more than "look at this cool stuff".

Other times you want to give the person recognition. In the blog world this is perfectly natural and something we all want a little of.

I understand your complaint, but it's not as simple as you might imagine. I'm sure you read blogs where all you get is a link and you are happy, while others frustrate you. Ultimately, you are here to tell your story of that happiness or frustration. Keep on telling, just like everyone else.

rG0d (CISSP, GCIH, GEEK) said...

Note the summary at the end

>if you really liked an article, a
>nice suscinct intro to a "good
>article about..." is usually
>enough - don't try to make the
>idea yours.

I'm fine with redirects DONE PROPERLY - what I hate are people who read someone's blog, chat about nearly the EXACT SAME THING. It's boring, it's useless, and it wastes my time.

It sort of reminds me of watching TV with an 8 year old; you site there and see the exact same thing they do, then they go on to describe what you both just saw for 20 minutes. At first, this can be cute. But any of you with a kid knows how annoying this gets after the first 100 times.

If you're blogging, and redirecting, LOOK AT YOUR CONTENT - if it's just re-iterating the same thing as the other writer, seriously consider some edits.

lennykaufman said...

Remind me to cancel my ZDnet subscription and pull my "yah, yah ... what rG0d said" post on the corporate blog. ;-P

Now for some (hopefully) original perspective ...

One of the things that separates good and bad blogs for me is the clear distinction between thought provoking content and shameless self-promotion. Some of my friends are too quiet (post more, ya lazy bastards!!) and some are the opposite. (hint: if you have a tatoo of a better looking version of yourself on your left ass cheek, it is appropriate to blush now)

Our current obsession with manufacturing heroes drives me every bit as crazy as my daughter's current obsession with Lil' Chris. (As this grumpy, nostalgic old man remembers) it used to be that a select few would do something very cool, keep their f'n mouths shut about it while they got it done, and other people would rave about it once they caught on to how cool it was. Then people started entering their own bio's on wikipedia.

I've heard it said many times that there hasn't been an original thought in Security in the last 5 years. While that's clearly exaggerated to make a point, the point is a good one - *do* something meaningful and market it (and yourself) appropriately.

Link to other peoples ideas if:
1. You think they're full of shit and you want to call them on it.
2. You think they're on to something and you want to expand on it.
3. You think they've said something interesting and you want other people to hear about it.

Notice the common theme here - *YOU THINK*

I took a couple of writing courses last year and one of them included a section about blogs and plagiarism.

Not rocket science ... it goes like this:

- See Dick blog
- See Dick recycle somebody else's ideas without giving credit
- Don't be a dick

In a recent survey of grade school children, there were some disappointing (but not surprising) responses when kids were asked "what do you want to be when you grow up?" The number one answer: "famous".


Boo-urns. :/