The Power of a Link

Bryan Braun:

A link, on the open internet, is a vote. It’s your way of saying, “this is great, and more people should know about it.” We talk about how much power the search engines have, but if you think about it, the search engines listen to us. They see what we link to, what we click, and how long we stay. At the end of the day, we are the curators of what gets surfaced on the internet.

Analytics are bad and I try my best not to care about retweets or hearts or faves or follower counts. But damn, if a hyperlink to my work isn’t just the greatest compliment someone can give. And although I loved Byran’s post I think that it’s useful to note that—yes—links are power, but even more excitingly, links are a kindness, too:

The web is just twenty years old, and I’m not sure that we have yet come to terms with the power that this new medium grants us. When we create websites, it’s all too easy for us to fall into old patterns of behavior and treat our creations as independent self-contained islands lacking in outbound links. But that’s not the way the web works. The sites we build should not be cul-de-sacs for the inquisitive visitors who have found their way to our work by whatever unique trails they have followed.