When Lorelle invited me to guest blog here at Lorelle on WordPress she asked “if I would like an invitation to the party”. She suggested that I should write about something that she believe I do particularly well namely writing link posts. When I first started Circular Communication link posts was one of the first things I wanted to write. Given the blogs title and purpose am I sure you can appreciate why. However, I did find that link posts was somewhat looked down upon as not being real content, but rather a shortcut used to fill up pages and get attention.
I enjoyed link posts and without them I am sure my feed reader wouldn’t be as full of interesting reads as it is. The quality of the link posts was however not particularly good. For the most part it still isn’t. You often had to click through all the links to find one or two interesting reads. They lacked a number of aspects, which I value and try to provide in mine. Instead of speed linking do I subscribe to slow linking if you will. Lorelle’s phrasing of her invitation and her suggestion of what to write about is the reason for the following analogy. I hope you are of the forgiving kind that allow discrepancies. Nonetheless do I think it illustrates the point quite well:
Imagine you are at a party. You mingle and meet someone you know. You do not know her well, but well enough to appreciate her. You also have an idea what interests her, but not in detail. Across the room you spot someone else. You go talk to them. They seem like interesting people. You may even know some of them from previous parties. Since they are open and welcoming you quickly get to know them. Since you like them you want your acquaintance to meet them. Taking them by the hand you cross the room and introduce them. Simply saying their names, where they are from and suggesting they should talk to each other you leave them to themselves.
What do think happens next? I think she is likely to chat with a couple of them, but having nothing to go on and no common denominator is it unlikely that she by herself are able to pick the one(s) she would appreciate talking to the most. As a consequence the meeting may not only be short lived, but also somewhat unsatisfying. Imagine that you instead had taken the time to introduce each of them properly. Not only mentioning their name and where they are from, but also what makes them interesting and not least why they could be someone who she would want to get to know better.
I am sure you can see what I am getting at. She represents your readers and the other people are the articles you link to in your link post. How to connect the two is the key to the strength and length of the connection. To how much they enjoy the encounter. Perhaps even making it a lasting relation. I am not suggesting you should aim at coupling readers and blogs with life long relationships in mind, but why not try for more than simply placing them in front of each other? I am not against speed linking as such. I just think you can do so much more if you take the time trying to do it better and ask your readers to do the same.
When you write a link post let people know what you are linking to, why you link to it and what’s in it for them. Make clear that it is relevant and why. Qualify what you link to and you will find that people appreciate that they are better able to pick what interests them. That they are not clicking away unprepared. That they enjoy exploring what you present and don’t find themselves wasting their time. The right introduction may just be the difference between a good experience and erratic clicking to find the suggested great reads. They may be great in their own right, but if they aren’t what I like or seek I probably won’t even care.
What do you think? Do speed linking work as well as my proposed and practiced slow linking? Perhaps even better? How do you like being introduced to new reads?
PS: Speaking of parties. Did you submit your article to the Carnival of Circular Communication yet? I would love to see you there. Just read the guidelines carefully before entering to make sure it will be the kind of Carnival everyone enjoys.