Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

No more automatic link posting

And now that I’ve helped out the rest of you who want to automatically generate posts from your del.icio.us bookmarks (with my daily post fixer plugin), I’m turning that feature off here. It was an interesting experiment, but I’ve decided that this isn’t how I want to present that information. Let’s examine the good and bad of the automatic link posts:

Pros

  • Generates more content for the blog
  • Provides additional exposure for the pages that you bookmark
  • Creates a local backup of your del.icio.us bookmarks

Cons

  • Lists of links are not as interesting as original content written by the blog author
  • Clutters up the archives with lots of (potentially unrelated) links to external content
  • Diverts focus to other sites instead of keeping readers at your own site

As a personal example, my wife has told me that she has been looking at my blog less since I started the automated posts. The links were things that she might be interested in looking at some other time, but they were not as engaging as articles that I wrote where I was expressing my personal opinion about a subject. If my own wife doesn’t want to visit my site, something is obviously wrong, yes? Even before she told me this, I was already considering ending this experiment. I still want to bring my bookmarks more into focus, but I don’t think that this is the way that I want to do it. I’ll eventually address the problem differently, probably when I get around to designing a new site theme.

So. Ultimately, the del.icio.us daily blog post feature was not for me — at least, not for this blog of mine. But that’s not to say that other people shouldn’t use it. Their balance of pros and cons might be different than mine.

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
This entry was posted in Blogs, WordPress and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to No more automatic link posting

  1. maxpower says:

    I think that if you want to have a link blog then ‘automatic link posting’ is for you. But if you also write original content that others might actually be interested in then you are shooting yourself in the foot. Who wants to sift through all the linkblog entries just to find your special nugget of internet goodness?

    Visitors judge a website in a glance, and I know that if I happen upon a list of links, I usually leave. I can get link lists from social bookmarking services that are better than the average joe blogger. Good job on realising that link lists make your blog become wallpaper-ish, no one will see it.

  2. Pingback: An Experiment at Literal Barrage

  3. matt w. says:

    I would recommend checking out the del.icio.us linkroll feature. I use it on my blog and just call it my “link blog“. It works pretty good if you ask me. I had the same problems that you mention with the daily post feature.

  4. Yeah, it can get pretty sparse if I’m not otherwise posting, to be sure. But I figure that, for me, the stuff I link to is just as important as the other content on the Weblog where I push it. But then I am not a normal case, am I? 😉

    [Dougal, like an idiot I didn’t bother to check the calendar for when Easter is … so no hockey on Saturday. :(]

  5. hubs says:

    something to consider would be to de-emphasize you link posts using css so your site viewers can easilt discern a list of links from your original content. just an idea for anyone who is using it.

  6. Matt Walters’ suggestion’s a good one. (You can also roll your own Javascript starting with the info at http://del.icio.us/help/json .)

    Another approach is Bill Rawlinson’s excellent feedList plugin for WordPress, which allows you to display the headlines and descriptions from any RSS feed. I have it as a block in my sidebar (but just on the main page… I’m trying to avoid sidebarrhea on the inside pages).

  7. Another problem is that it highlights how long it’s been between “real” posts.
    I’m working on integrating a linkblog into my mother’s site, And it’s doing my head in.
    I mean if you put it in the sidebar or a separate page it becomes marginalized, Both attention and RSS wise.
    There should be a elegant solution to this. But if there is I can’t find it.

  8. I use a separate blog for my links, links and information that I would like to save for future reference, named Ctrl-S.

  9. Pingback: Inline Links Dilemma [rebelpixel productions]

  10. Pingback: miahz.com » Blog Archive » Link Posting Strategies

  11. Pingback: Feeds: ¿Con links o sin links? en yukei.net

  12. Pingback: geek ramblings » No more daily Twitter posts

  13. Pingback: links for 2006-04-11 | GFMorris.com

  14. I am an avid blogger myself, and my experiences are quite similar to ours: automatic link posting does not work. I found myself getting more results from manually placing engaging links in relevant articles.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: