Monday, August 14

Blogging Behavior

Bloggers are all a little bit self-centered, otherwise, why would we be blogging? I blog for lots of reasons, but does it really boil down to wanting attention? Perhaps. I do find my site meter statistics fascinating; who are these people all over the world who end up at my site? Who are my four private bloglines subscribers? That person at Microsoft who searched technorati for Rankism --- what did they think of my post about it? Occasionally someone will find my site by searching for CeCe or warshrags, and I feel useful. When Ryan linked to me after Stitch & Pitch I got about a hundred hits and I freaked. I didn't feel prepared, my blog was way too boring for such a crowd. Guess I am not ready for the big time yet.

There's a common blogger behavior that irks the hell out of me. Why is it when some folks blog about reading a book, or seeing a movie, instead of telling us straight out what it is they are talking about, they use generic terms like this book and make it a link to Amazon? Are they so important that they can command every reader to take that extra step of popping up a window to Amazon in order to understand their post? You can't even just highlight the link and read the url, the amazon links are long and in gibberish (well, I think they are by ISBN, but who knows those by heart?).

I see this a lot, and sometimes by folks I have met in person and liked, so I won't name names. Except this one. Yup, good old Yarn Harlot in her folksy, friendly way wants to chat about some DVDs, but won't even say what they are. Does she think it's cute to be coy? I don't get it. Doesn't seem cute to me, seems arrogant. Especially because these are special amazon links that let amazon know you have been redirected from her site. That means that if you follow her link and buy something, she gets a small kickback.

(From the comments, it appears the Harlot is Watching Battlestar Gallactica, but haven't verified that.)


Erika said...

IMDB links irk me for the same reason. Wikipedia links are great, though, because you can tell what it is without clicking.

I'm sure I'm guilty of having done this a time or two, myself, just out of laziness or not-paying-attention-ness. It's one of those things like dangling participles or too many adjectives - bad linkage falls into the same category as bad grammer. Loathe it, but sometimes too lazy to avoid it.

Dorothy said...

Erika, those IMDB links without the title listed on the blog irk me also. But it's not in the same category (to me) as a misspelled word or misusing its/it's. When a person goes to all the trouble of actually typing in "this movie" when they could have typed in the name of the movie instead, how can that simply be laziness? Isn't more work to get to imdb/amazon, search for the item in question, then cut and paste the url into your blog?

It seems to me that it is making a statement. Does the writer really want you to know something or does she just want to prove she can make you click on a link?

(now I am really really hoping I am not guilty of doing this myself. time to reread my whole blog? :) )

Kathleen said...

I agree. That being said, I think I usually name the name of the thing and then make the link. If not, please call me on it. I do not intend to reread my blog to check! :)

Jessica said...

I usually try to make my post as link-intensive as possible. That's what's dynamic about a blog. It can be a jumping off point in a many directions. I agree that it's irritating to have a link but not show the title of a book or film. I simply don't click on those links. I do get a "kickback" from Amazon if someone goes there from my site and buys something. It doesn't come close to offsetting the bandwidth expense for my blog. If they want to throw a few pennies my way, I'll take them. :)

Dorothy said...

Jessica, link-intensive posts are great. the concept of hypertext is younger than the internet, but we couldn't have the worldwide web without it. and firefox is great because I just have to middle click on the link and it opens in a new tab without disturbing the flow of what I am reading. Yes, sometimes viewing a link is needed to fully understand what the blogger is talking about, but to have the flow completely dependent on clicking on the link is rude, inmsho.

I am a strong believer that links ought to be self-explanatory. Some kind of context to let the reader know why they should follow the link and what to expect. I've seen posts where someone will say "these are my four favorite knitting books" and the last four words are all links to amazon. argg. although I have cable internet, amazon pages load very slowly. So I have to load all four pages to see if the information is new or helpful. That's irritating.

And I really don't mind folks having the amazon relationship, but I do wonder about the ethics of having it and not being upfront about it. For most folks it isn't much and might help pay for their blog, but someone as high profile as the Harlot? I'd be more comfortable with it if she were upfront about it.

Dorothy said...

I'm not overly fond of the un-named link either and unless I have a lot of time (rare) I just skip it.

I do try to say what it is I am linking to unless I am trying to surprise the reader or if I don't think I'll be able to describe it well enough for the reader to get an accurate picture.

That being said, I generally don't link things other than other people's blogs, patterns, exchanges or the odd word from the dictionary. I figure that people are smart enough to be able to find things on their own if they are so inclined.

Manifest Dignity said...

Hi, there -

I'm probably the one who find your blog via the Technorati search for "rankism". I maintain Robert Fuller's web site (, and I try to keep an eye on references to rankism I find on the Internet. Your earlier post is going into my next update of Fuller's bibliography page. I also came back tonight because I'm going to give Fuller an overview of interesting discussion of rankism, and your earlier post is on that list. :-)