I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting ideas I can work with. Today I ran across this post on reader engagement and linking out. The article, interestingly enough, touched on something I’ve been thinking about lately–or maybe that’s simply why the article caught my attention.
I have several older websites that still get email. Those emails are usually nice comments about the usefulness of the site and I always smile a little when I get one. I wonder too, why some of my newer sites don’t see those kinds of comments.
The differences between these sites is simply this: The older site has tons of links that link out to other useful sites I’ve found over the years. The newer sites have fewer links out, and are more heavily populated with my own “original” content. Now, I realize original content is important, but sometimes I know there’s someone out there that’s better able to say what it is I want said. These are the times when link outs make the most sense and when I should be linking out.
Come to think of it, many of the sites I visit aren’t spectacular in and of themselves, but they are able to pull together stuff on the web and make it useful in a way that it wasn’t before.
That’s why I like social bookmark sites. Articles and blogs are all pulled together by tags. It makes browsing easier and more useful.
Aggregators are important tools when it comes to the web, because there’s just so much data available and that makes for some serious information overload. I use up a lot of time online.
I’ve been thinking of doing more aggregation sites like those older sites I still have. I love them and I’ve always thought they served a great purpose. These days you see fewer and fewer niche aggregators–or maybe I’m just not looking in the right places!–but there’s a bigger need than ever for them. Even the small social bookmark sites get overrun with so much content that narrowing it down to a very specific topic is difficult.
In essence I’ve created my own aggregated links within Google Reader. But I’ve still ended up with so much stuff to sift through that I feel a little like I’m going to go crazy sometimes with the speed reading that I have to practice to get through all the headlines.
I’ve also noticed how stingy some sites are about linking out, and I admit I’ve caught myself being that way too sometimes. Is this really the way I want to be?
I can make this stuff easier for others to digest by pulling it together on some of my sites. Frankly, I’m tired of trying to be an island of content. I’ve said before I have too many domain names and I might have just found a better use for some of them.
If my site is good enough, any visitors I send away will eventually make their way back.