Monday, October 02, 2006

To Link or Not to Link?

There's been a lot of discussion this week about links. With Tiggr and Dante leading the way, a number of other bloggers have joined the friendly debate. The questions center on when and why we link and how many links a blogger should provide. I don't claim to have the definitive formula, but I can offer some insight.

Over the past six months, I've evolved from being downright miserly with links to linking every worthy spanko blog I can find. This decision is one I've never regretted.

It's a lot of work to maintain a large blogroll, but I think it's worthwhile. I've had the pleasure of introducing a number of great bloggers and helping them to become established. I've met some wonderful friends and I have been exposed to valuable perspectives I might otherwise have missed.

But that's my experience. For a more general answer, let's consider the arguments on both sides.

More Links
  1. Makes blog comprehensive
  2. Builds community
  3. Helps new bloggers
  4. Service for readers
  5. Personal favorites list
  6. Reciprocal links
  7. Sources for inspiration
  8. Provides diverse perspectives
  9. No perceived snubs
  10. It's fun!
Fewer Links
  1. Less work
  2. Fewer dead links
  3. Better knowledge of links
  4. Maximizes reader interest
  5. Rewards friends
  6. More time for content
  7. No one can follow 100 blogs
  8. Higher quality links
  9. No perceived phoniness
  10. It's practical!

Each blogger must make this decision for themselves. In my opinion, there is no right or wrong, except in the context of one blog and one blogger. In the final analysis, what truly matters is not how you answer these questions, but that you gave them your consideration.

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A.S.S. said...

We think the only thing to ~avoid~ is offering a link to a site that you personally find inappropriate. Outside of that, it seems like it's personal preference. Like you say, there are pros and cons to each.

We only link to blogs/sites we read on a regular basis. But, that's certainly not the right answer. It just works for us. Perhaps one day we'll find another approach works better.

Will add this... we have used your site many-many times as a 'links site.' It's been a great help, and we've never found something you offered that we felt was inappropriate.

~Todd & Suzy

Tiggr said...

Nice, concise thoughts Bonnie... I agree with Todd and Suzy about this being a personal preference. I think that there are as many varying opinions on this as there are bloggers... but that's what makes each of us unique, right?

I, too, used your links when I first started my blog (along with those of a few other sites) and found them to be extremely helpful in guiding my path in the vast cyberspace.

Thanks so much for what you do!


Mitch said...

I tend to link to sites (blogs and otherwise) that would provide service to my readers by introducing them to a variety of sites. Hence, I have a fairly long link list, but the sites must show signs of being active (somewhat regular posts). I personally check each site at least weekly to assure it is still active. If I find a dead link, I may let it slide for a few days (web hosts do go down on occasion). If it's still dead, gonzo. If the site reappears, I will relink.

My nickel's worth.

FelineFrisky said...

I have used your site as the basis for many a search/visitation. I feel comfortable knowing that you visit these sites and recommend them so highly. I have never been disappointed. Thank you for the reference guide. D :}

jujubees1 said...

I enjoy discovering blogs with lots of links because I am always looking for more sights to explore. If all the blogs I read have the same links it limits me from knowing what else is out there. I always feel a need to expand my horizons from time to time, and when I get a chance I try to explore links I have not heard of before.

So more links? I vote yes, and should probably follow that advice on my own blog. I agree it promotes a good sense of community as well.

Best Wishes!

Grace said...

I don't have a lot of links. I only link the ones that I read regularly. I have a much larger favorites list, but if I don't visit it often, I don't put it on the list.

I DO enjoy your link list, I've found some wonderful blogs through your list.


Anonymous said...

Thise who maintain an extensive blog link perform a real service for me. When I was brand new, it opened a whole world for me that I didn't know existed. I came to understand not only myself, but that we spankos came in so many varieties, and yet I found we had much in common. Now, it helps me return again and again. I have only one family computer, and so cannot save bookmarks, and will never have more than moments alone. The quick, easy link to others means I can visit blogs I would be unable to see if I had to write down names, and try to hide them somewhere safe from young eyes. So for those of you with extensive links - from the bottom of my heart (and bottom!) thank you!

Theresa said...

This has been going on since Saturday. And I don't think I have seen a single comment on a single site that did not make a good point. Just proves it is a personal choice, I guess.

I appreciate the ones who link to me. I read the ones I link to every day. I am slowly reading more and adding more.

But from your point of view you are an inspiration to new bloggers, and your link list is helpful.


Cassie said...

Mostly I just wanted to say hello but this question is easy for me! I have forgotten how to add links so I just go to one of the sites I am linked to to go to the others. Life can be simple!

Love you,

Bonnie said...

Todd and Suzy - I do have some other criteria. With just a few extraordinary exceptions, I usually want to see some spanking content. I tend to trim links to blogs that haven't been updated in a couple of months. I also avoid linking blogs I consider sexist, mysogynist, extremely graphic, or solely commercial.

I'm glad you find the links helpful!

Tiggr - You're most welcome.

Mitch - I use that standard as well. I often ask myself whether the readers of MBS would enjoy a particular blog or web site.

Like you, I trim dead sites almost immediately and dormant ones eventually. If the bloggers return, they need only e-mail mail me.

D - I wouldn't say I necessarily "highly recommend" every site in my blogroll. However, each is unique and has something beneficial to offer.

Jujubees - Exactly! I feel the same way.

Grace - As everyone said, links are an individual choice. There is no right answer.

Anon - I'm glad to be able to help! It's great to hear from you.

Theresa - Thanks!

Cassie - Hi! It's wonderful to see you! Welcome back.

I guess the final answer must be "whatever works for you."

Fireman Chris said...

In general, I only link to blogs I read at least fairly regularly, if not daily. I tend to view providing a link as offering a recommendation and provide links accordingly.

That being said, I've discovered several sites through requests for links. If someone asks me to link them, I'll spend some time looking through their site, and add it if I like it.

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