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How to linkbait me

Friday, April 27, 2007 by Dave Winer.

Today's meme, thanks to Jason Calacanis, is linkbaiting. Not why it's bad, or why he won't do it, or respond to it; rather what you should say if you want him to link to you, and what you shouldn't say. Permalink to this paragraph

Okay I'm game, even though this is likely to spawn backlash from the people who say the A-list sucks or it's a boys club, or whatever. Permalink to this paragraph

First, in the positive -- here are things that get my attention and make it more likely I will link. Permalink to this paragraph

1. Your name is Scott Rosenberg. He's a Berkeley neighbor, founding editor of Salon, a very nice person, but none of that is why I will link to his pieces more often than not. The basic reason is he generally says things I find interesting, even essential. Very rarely do his posts mention me or my work, so clearly I'm not being linkbaited. He's a good journalist, and imho a great thinker, and a very lucid writer. Permalink to this paragraph

2. It says it on the What is Scripting News page: "A link on Scripting News means that I thought that the story was interesting, and felt that an informed person would want to consider the point of view expressed in the piece." I know it's corny, but that's more often than not the reason I link. Permalink to this paragraph

3. If you link to something I wrote recently and add something to the discussion, esp an experience or point of view that hasn't come up before. I often start threads here, or pick up threads from other sites. If you're continuing a discussion that's hot right now, I'm likely to link. Permalink to this paragraph

4. If you say I deserve a MacArthur or Pulitzer, I'll probably link to that. ;-> Permalink to this paragraph

Now reasons I might not link. Permalink to this paragraph

1. If you call someone, esp me, a bad name. Permalink to this paragraph

2. In an email or other kind of direct communication you say or imply that I have an obligation to link. Anything other than "FYI" or "I thought you might find this interesting" is pretty much guaranteed not to get a link from me.  Permalink to this paragraph

3. Lack of reciprocity. If I observe over time that the linking is one-way, i.e. I link to you but even when I'm on-topic for you, I don't get a link from you, that will dampen my enthusiasm.  Permalink to this paragraph

PS: Obviously this is one of those times Jason wants some link-love. Jason, if you're reading this, see item #3 above. ;-> Permalink to this paragraph

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