Tuesday, July 07, 2009

For the "no-link" crowd, something to consider

Simon Owens found one of his posts promoted to the front page of Huffington Post this week, and suddenly the unique visitors to his Bloggasm blog were coming in by the boatload.

It's a good, if not empirically rigorous, example of the idea that the Web is, well, a web, and part of the way things work is that you get to link to me and me to you -- and we both benefit.

This, of course, is not the way Judge Richard Posner and some media folks see it -- they would rather bottle things up, at least initially, so that news organizations retain the "exclusive." The logical problem is that people are less likely to link to you (as they are with the Wall Street Journal, which puts its paywall up to direct links, but does allow a Google workaround). And then they are less likely to find you while others find a way to paraphrase or write around your material.

So you are left with the "long tail" Chris Anderson has written about. The problem there is that the long tail is about pennies. The dollars are in the here and now, and they are very fleeting.

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