Re-thinking Linking (or Your Hijack is my Trackback)

J Philip Faranda September 13, 2010

Time to let the light in

I have read a number of places on Active Rain about the protocol of posting your own links in comments and the belief that linking back to your own post is considered hijacking a blog. Others have stated that if a link is posted by a commenter, they’ll delete it. Where did this start? Isn’t linking back to your own post a trackback of sorts? 

This is ironic, because with a trackback, you are typically creating your own material or response to a post, whereas I see most re-blogs as relatively weak in the commentary department, and they instead lean on the content of the original author. I have no beef with re-blogs either, for the record, I just note the irony. I think that offering a link to your own post on the subject is continuing the dialog. 

I know that there is a link to a member’s own profile at the bottom of their comment, but frankly I don’t click on that unless their comment is intriguing or provocative. What if they just emptied their cartridge on a brilliant post and can’t come up with another home run in a comment? I may miss out on some brain food. 

I have never deleted a non-spam link in my comments, but I have gotten emails from people asking permission to post a link or just offering their link to me privately. To me, not being able to freely post relevant links in comments hinders the ease of exchange of information and is antithetical to the platform. 

I want to make it clear that if you want to link to something outside that is relevant or germane to the discussion, please feel free to do so. I am not afraid of ideas. None of us should be. If it “hijacks the blog” or diverts the discussion, GREAT. So be it. Better ideas should take the stage. YouTube allows responses, WordPress and Typepad have trackbacks, and I have no beef with links. All I’d ask is that the link opens in a new window.

I welcome your thoughts. Tell me where I’m right or wrong. 

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