Don’t ignore linking. Send them away to bring them back.

Linking is one of the most important things an online journalist/blogger can do yet for those new to online media it’s probably the most overlooked.

Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) makes a great number of points on the power of linking in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/v/RIMB9Kx18hw&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0

Linking more than anything is the crucial difference between the web and traditional media.

As Jay says, old media asks: “Why should I send people away?”. And many new to blogging and online media think the same.

Your words as a writer hold value, but only so much value.

By linking with others you add credibility to your writing. You identify other voices on the subject of your writing and become part of the web’s wider discussion.  The value of the link can be likened to a friend who gives directions or advice.  The link forms a conversation.

Reader: Do you know the answer to this?

Writer: I don’t know for sure. Personally I believe this. But Blogger X knows a lot more than me and thinks this.

Reader: Thanks!

You’ve added to your own credibility by acknowledging others. Readers won’t forget this and it can increase your online reputation and presence. It’s vital than your blog plays to its strengths and compensates for its weaknesses with links. This is completely at odds with the old media idea of “the authoritative voice”, but it is the engine of new media.

And to live by own rule here’s some further reading on the power of linking:

Buzzmachine.com – New rule: Cover what you do best. Link to the rest.

ReadWriteWeb –  Link Journalism: Is Linking to News a form of Journalism?

copyblogger – Why linking to other blogs is critical

Kevin O’Keefe – Linking to and blogging about competitors’ blogs is smart

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