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Ruminations, Philosophy, and Workshop Antics.......... #19: I HATE POSTS MADE OF LINKS.....it's not etiquette, it's about marketing...........

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Blog entry by Jim Bertelson posted 1524 days ago 1385 reads 1 time favorited 48 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 18: Quality Tools - LJ's Can Make a Difference! Part 19 of Ruminations, Philosophy, and Workshop Antics.......... series Part 20: Hallucinations from the Beach, on a Theme from a 'Project from the Past' »

In some sense, we are all in the business of attracting attention, everyone wants their posts to be read. If you attract attention to your post, and then get people to read it, then you maximize your impact. That is, you satisfy yourself, and you satisfy your readers. A win/win situation.

So here is why I don’t read posts that depend mostly upon links. Here is why I prefer, and push, for the whole post to be in one place, whether it is a review, blog, or whatever.

If you want a lot of LJ’s to read your post, consider the following:

1) READERS ARE CUSTOMERS
Wouldn’t you rather see the whole post in one place? It is simpler to read, allows for quick comparison with other posts, etc. In other words, I am in some sense your customer. Always imagine yourself in the customer’s place. It is an axiom of good service.

2) KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS.
I am not just reading, I am looking for interaction with fellow LJ’s. I am pretty typical, I think. It is a significant part of my relaxed socializing each day. If your post takes me away from LJ’s, then it interrupts what I came here for. In other words, I don’t just want to read your post. I want to read the comments, because many of them will be my buddies and online friends. Then we strike up a conversation within the comments.

3) COMPETITION
I can only read a limited number of postings each day. I almost never read posts dependent on links, it takes too much of my time and the post has a much reduced chance of being useful in the short and the long term (see below). In other words, in the competition for my time, link dependent posts are relegated to the bottom of my priorities, and are almost never read.

4) DURABILITY
Sometimes I run across reviews and blog items a couple of years old or so that I find useful, and additional comments may even be made by me and others. The older the post, the more likely that any link will be broken. If the link contains the substance of the post, then the post is lost. In other words, there is more mechanical integrity to the post if it does not depend on links.

5) MAXIMIZE IMPACT
What do LJ’s pay attention to? It varies, but when posts are truly informative, well written, lots of pictures, and lots of comments, then they ‘go viral’.

A well written post flows. Links break up the flow. You lose the train of the thought. When I find a link is integral to the post, I usually just move on to something else. There are a zillion posts on LJ’s each day. If yours are going to be read, then they should read well.

6) MAKE INTERACTION EASY AND INTUITIVE
When the post is broken up by links, then where do I make the comments? Are most of the comments going to the linked site? In other words, you are almost guaranteeing that the content is fragmented and the impact is compromised if it depends on links.

7) COMMENTS ENHANCE AND VALIDATE THE POST

Some of the best information is contained in the interplay between the commenters. A comment may bring to mind something in another commenter’s experience. And the comments are subject to critical scrutiny by others reading, and making comments. Some of the most important information on this site is in the threads that are generated by a post, which in and of itself, may not be as important.

8) MARKETING
Marketing is something we all do in some way, almost every day of our lives. But it is a large complex discipline.

As a hobbyist, if you write good posts that are enjoyable and informative, I will probably try to read all your posts, because I will learn that I can expect to find my time well spent.

If you are on LJ’s trying to generate business, you are probably competing with a couple of thousand woodworking businessman, I suspect. It takes a lot of work to stand out from the crowd. You have to give us value, make your posts interesting, and you have to get us to trust you. I don’t know if you really can generate business on this site, but there are some LJ’s that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to my friends.

But they have earned that trust the hard way.

(Most of this is blog entry was extracted from a comment to another post. That post was mostly just a link….....
But after I moaned and groaned….......the link was replaced by the complete text….........)

Alaska Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska



48 comments so far

View lew's profile

lew

9938 posts in 2352 days


#1 posted 1524 days ago

Great point, Jim.

For those who post just a link to their main “article/blog”, I get the feeling that we (here at LJs) are second rate.

I barely have time to even glance at the post that are complete, here, much less head off to another site, and your point about where do you post a comment is also right on the money.

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3622 posts in 1761 days


#2 posted 1524 days ago

lew
Thanks for the read….........did I market my blog item right?.................(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2245 days


#3 posted 1524 days ago

I’m 100% with you. when I login to Lumberjocks- I want to browse lumberjocks – the last thing I want is for someone to put some title to attract me , but in the body of the thread tell me that the context is elsewhere, and gives me a link …

I dont want to go to another site – I want to stay on lumberjocks.

if you write a review on lumberjocks – put the body of the review here
if you write a blog on lumberjocks – put the body of the blog here
if you post a video – make sure I can see it here, not elsewhere.

if I wanted to be elsewhere – I’d do a search for other things. not log into lumberjocks.

most likely – those who link to their other sites won’t read this though ;) the irony.

/rant over

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View a1Jim's profile (online now)

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2174 days


#4 posted 1524 days ago

I have picked up a virus by using a link on LJs so I rarely use them now . I also agree about links breaking up the flow of a post.
Good post Jim

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3622 posts in 1761 days


#5 posted 1524 days ago

PurpLev
Great comment, and you illustrate my points well. Someone reading the comments will find that my opinion is not an isolated one.

Skarp
Thanks. The first time I came unglued about this I did it in a PM. This time, I decided to make a bigger statement.

a1Jim
I suspected other people felt like I did, and I guess I am not wrong. Since you are an active poster, people should take notice when you say that you don’t follow links either.

It took me a while to figure out why I disliked the links, other than the obvious interruption they cause.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5378 posts in 1828 days


#6 posted 1524 days ago

Excellent point Jim.
Simply put, if your post is just a “look at my post by following this link” or has links to the pics or whatever, forget it. I am not going to bother with it… Links, IMHO should serve as external references, NOT as the meat of the matter… An example would be…

I bought XYZ sandpaper from (LINK HERE)... and really like it, however I thought the price was kind of high, or what not…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2130 posts in 1705 days


#7 posted 1524 days ago

Great points Jim. Just a few observations to “enhance and validate” your post ;)

1. Community vs the Id – I go through life everyday rather detached from the concept of community. Part of this is the nature of working from home, part from belong to the “me” generation. I don’t just get on LJs to grab info for a project or find the latest info on a tool purchase, I come here to interact with the community. When I see a link, I look at it as something to pull me from the community and direct me back to the “me” of the person who posts.

2. If you are marketing your own site, throw LJs a bone. Add a video, tip, or review in full here to add value to the site in whose client base you are pulling from. I think it is entirely unfair to Martin to capitalize on what he and other LJs have constructed without offering some value in return. I appreciate those that operate their own sites and conscientiously add material to this one. It advertises what they offer, but at the same time gives something back to the original host.

Great post Jim!

David

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

#8 posted 1524 days ago

Jim, You’re right on the money! In fact you may be the best long distance mind reader on the forum. I was planning on blogging the same theme.

I will follow a blogger who writes well, entertains and enlightens me and keep the blogflow going. I followed one blogger for quite a while before he started blogging on another site and just sent we LJs a link. I then discontinued.

All your points are valid and I applaud them.

Thanks for saying it for all of us who like the LumberJocks forum.

Don Butler

-- Will trade wife's yarn for tools.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3622 posts in 1761 days


#9 posted 1524 days ago

dbHost David
Exactly, and a link in a sentence like that allows the reader at his leisure to flesh out the point being made, if he wants to. Links like that take a little work, but I like them when I am reading, and I try to use that kind of link when it is appropriate.

David Craig
1. Your comments about the ‘me’ versus the ‘community’ summarize my feelings as well. There are times I come here with a focus to learn something. But even then, I am asking a question of the community. Mostly, I come here to interact.

I think you find newcomers in particular trying to post with mostly a link. They think this is like a lot of other forums. But this one, in particular, is about community, and it doesn’t become obvious until you have been here a while. Put another way, you need to read a lot of posts and comments, before you can write an effective post yourself.

But I still note some people who have been here a long time post with a link, and I don’t think they understand that they eliminate a large part of their audience by doing so.

2. I bristle about this implication as well. However, I am not sure everyone has the same feelings. There are those of us who tend to accept ownership and feel loyality more readily than others. I guess I don’t expect everyone to have my outlook on life. But I do think they need to understand that they will have to work to get me to trust them….....let alone read their posts. Actually I noticed that the first reaction I had to posts that were links was this one, that it was abusive of LJ’s. But I didn’t think that was the whole enchilada….........and it took me awhile to dissect out my total reaction, and to articulate what I was reacting to.

As usual…......you hit the nail on the head…..............(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3622 posts in 1761 days


#10 posted 1524 days ago

Don
Thanks Don…........shucks…..........if I had just been a little lazier, had slept a little longer….......I wouldn’t have had to write this post…....................(-:

This is a topic that has brewed in my brain for awhile, but it wasn’t till this morning that I really could articulate it. As I wrote it, I realized the implications were bigger than I realized. Sometimes writing it down helps you analyze a problem much better. But I don’t think I could have written this a couple of weeks ago.

Trying to understand why you like and enjoy something, or why you dislike something….......is not always a simple thing. This analysis is as much about why I like LJ’s, as it is about why I don’t like links as the body of a post.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View hObOmOnk's profile

hObOmOnk

1380 posts in 2724 days


#11 posted 1524 days ago

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3622 posts in 1761 days


#12 posted 1524 days ago

hobomonk
I didn’t follow your links…...........................(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View TreeBones's profile

TreeBones

1823 posts in 2620 days


#13 posted 1524 days ago

Good points, all around.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service http://westcoastlands.net/Sawmill.html http://westcoastlands.net/SawBucks2/phpBB3 http://www.portablesawmill.info

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2896 days


#14 posted 1524 days ago

Welcome back Jim

We’ve missed you while you were vacationing.

I think adding a link to a forum topic is alright. I’ve learned a few good new things on some links, but adding links to a blog or project isn’t proper.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View uffitze's profile

uffitze

199 posts in 1551 days


#15 posted 1524 days ago

I’m fairly new to the forum, but I have noticed that there are at least a few here who use blog entries to drive traffic to an external site. And, when the member’s only activity is to post a link to their external blog/site, I get suspicious that they are here simply to market their blog and are simply after a few advertising dollars. I’m not saying that’s bad … I’m just saying that I notice.

showing 1 through 15 of 48 comments

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