MarComedy: Don’t make me laugh

For what tickles my fancy in media, communications and life in general.

Linking Me, Linking You

with 7 comments

Neat article from New York magazine that demonstrates how the Top 50 blogs (by amount of incoming link-love) connect to each other:

No surprise here that there’s a bit of an echo chamber effect. We can even see it among Canadian PR/Marketing bloggers. How many of us link to David Jones or Ed Lee or Tamera Kremer or Sean Moffitt, any of H & K’s bloggers or anyone else found on the Canadian PR Toolbar? The article refrains from editorializing, so here it goes.

Social media, in all its forms, has gained strength from its ability to link together like-minded individuals and create forums for dialogue, interaction and community/relationship building. It’s natural for people with common interests to find each other – on blogs, in SecondLife – and isn’t this what social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn etc are all about?

Personally, I feel there’s a fertile area of study in this "linkology". It has the potential to be the anthropological hallmark of our age. So much can be learned about someone or something by what they post, where they link, who links to them, what’s in their internet favourites, how they work with technology. But let’s not forget that these platforms are merely the enablers. They are what allow us to form meaningful connections or relationships with other users. It’s not the blogs/sites that are social, it’s us as human beings. The tools are only as effective as we are in using them.

Let us also remember that these tools are powerful drivers in fracturing the divide between the public and the private. You may think it’s funny to post about your debaucherous weekend (complete with pics) on your facebook page, but what happens when you are applying for a position and an astute recruiter unearths your (mis)deeds?

Despite curmudgeonly commentary from those who feel the internet age is breeding a race of insular and anti-social beings, let them see how our arsenal of tools makes us more social and connected than ever.

PS. For those who are counting, this post links to 8 blogs directly. 38 if you count the individuals on the PR toolbar (and even more than that if you dissect the blogs with multiple authors).

PPS. Ed, you can contact my lawyers if you have questions/concerns about the title of the post…;-)

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Written by Jonathan Dunn

February 16, 2007 at 3:34 pm

7 Responses

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  1. I think my lawyers and your lawyers will have a lot to discuss…

    But I don’t find that I’m being linked to a lot. to be honest, the people that bloggers should be linking to are David Jones (either for IPR or the always excellent prworks.ca) and colin mckay. their posts are always blog worthy.

    i’m not sure i can say the same.

    Ed Lee

    February 16, 2007 at 9:50 pm

  2. Don’t sell yourself short, Ed.

    Regardless, the fundamental point that you are part of an engaged network holds – whether you are receiving or dishing out a lot of link love.

    Jonathan Dunn

    February 18, 2007 at 4:22 pm

  3. Hmmm. So if I’m part of an echo chamber does that mean I’m talking to myself when I link back to my own posts?

    I need to get out more 😉

    Tamera Kremer

    February 20, 2007 at 9:31 am

  4. Clearly you’ve uncovered the existential question of our age, Tamera.

    I blog therefore I am.

    Jonathan Dunn

    February 20, 2007 at 10:17 am

  5. So John, if I do not blog, I do not exist (or I am unimportant)?

    I heard this morning from a classmate who had an interview recently. She was told that if they do not blog, they will not hire. I’m assuming that the blog is used as an online portfolio by potential employers.

    Personally I am still content to just read the content. I use it to enhance my educational experience, and will probably continue to read to stay in touch with current events. When I have an opinion, I deliberate and carefully speak up (case and point, right now).

    Do I have the time commitment to set up a regular blog? Can I provide content that is not overly redundant, or simply incestuous by internally linking within a small community? And most importantly, can my writing efforts be directed to something more constructive? (Potential employers: you will have to invite me in for an interview to view my portfolio to see exactly what that is)

    For those of us still hanging on the periphery of the blogosphere, there are many other existential questions related to social media that we have yet to ponder.

    Omar Ha-Redeye

    February 21, 2007 at 12:59 pm

  6. Omar,

    Thanks for stopping by. My Cartesian comment was intended to be tongue in cheek, but clearly it’s prompted you to ask some important questions.

    I don’t believe that if you don’t blog you don’t exist. But you’ve identified some important pre-qualifying questions before you enter the fray – can I make a time commitment to post regularly? Can I say something of interest? etc…

    Personally, I don’t feel blogging is an absolute pre-requisite for a career in PR (though different firms/snr PRs will have different positions on the matter). But, social media is a new and important medium and it will become increasingly relevant to PR activities. It also, as you pointed out, can be a useful tool for demonstrating your own knowledge and intellect.

    Whether or not you blog yourself, it is vital to understand what’s happening in the space, to read widely, to comment thoughtfully and to generally show that you ‘get it’.

    At least, I think so…

    Jonathan Dunn

    February 21, 2007 at 2:32 pm

  7. I do agree it is important to demonstrate we are aware of topical issues in PR. But most importantly, it has been a great way for me to connect with some really interesting people around the world.

    So although I do have a fountain of ideas (as anyone who spends more than 5 min. with me knows), I definitely do not have the time to do a blog justice.

    I would hate to generate an interested readership, only to leave them hanging for several weeks when my schedule picks up some.

    Now that I found your blog you can count on me browsing regularly, and commenting periodically.

    Thanks for creating content for the continuous students, such as myself, to learn from.

    Omar Ha-Redeye

    February 21, 2007 at 7:09 pm


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