If you link to me I’ll link to you …

How many times have you received an email from someone you don’t know asking if you’ll link to his or her blog and in return you’ll get a link back? It happens quite often to me and I am growing increasingly less receptive to these requests (I am shifting from indifferent to moderately hostile) and I didn’t really wonder why until I read this post by Pamela Slim titled “I always knew there was a link between good blogging and good kissing“. Pamela was referring to a post by Andy Wibbels when she wrote:

What I said in a comment to Andy is: “Would you really walk up to someone that you had never met at a networking function, stick out your hand, introduce yourself and say “Hi Andy — I’m Pam, and I was wondering if you could include information about MY business in your next newsletter? Better yet, could you put my picture on a big slide in your next presentation?”

Of course you would not do that. Just as you would not go up to someone you had never met and plant a big, wet kiss square on his (or her) lips.

A kiss is intimate and personal, for heaven’s sake. And built on getting to know each other. And like and trust each other. All this takes time and conversation. And as any pained teenager can tell you (having been one myself), the best kind of kiss to get is when the kisser does it spontaneously because they WANT to kiss you, not because you ask for it.

I don’t mind linking to blogs or sites I enjoy or which I think are great blogs to read but what bugs me are requests to add a link as if that is something that I value in and of itself. What really gets my attention is when someone trundles up to me, figuratively speaking, and has a conversation with me and perhaps even gets to know me a bit. It is about relationships, this linking thing, so my advice to people who want to be linked to is if you want someone to link to you, make more of an effort to give them a reason other than a link back from your blog. Those links have value otherwise you wouldn’t be soliciting them.

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