Like many bloggers I have a healthy curiosity about how and where links come in to my site. But for me, the fascination is to do with the apparent randomness of events and connections — what prompts someone to link to my site, why do they choose that particular post … and for the readers — which links are popular and why. Then, of course, there is the strange world of Google search (I am sure that the person searching for “presentation” and “porn” is hugely disappointed to arrive here).
It was all this randomness that originally interested me in the Z-list. It single-handedly achieved its creator’s intention — to turn Technorati’s system of ranking authority “on its ear”. And, if you are one of the many hundreds who benefitted from the Z-list, then you will know that it has had a number of incarnations — including this effort that was compiled by Becky Carroll, Sharon Sarmiento and myself.
I have noticed over the past couple of weeks that there are a few new inbound links courtesy of a “new” Z-list. But then, today, while checking out one of the new additions I found that it was not just me noticing this. You see, many sites have installed the MyBlogLog widget that shows the photos of recent visitors. So here I was reading a recipe for Creme Caramel and there was a photo of David Armano. I was literally following in his hypertext footsteps. Another pattern in the chaos.
So it seems that, once again, the Z-list is starting to ramp-up — this time in the food and fashion category … and I have a feeling that if it takes off again, this category shift could generate even more links and traffic than all the previous efforts. But is this a good thing? Do we really want more links?
The challenge, of course, is to have already existing content on your site that is going to make new readers return (check out this recipe for Mint sauce). So, if you are new to THIS blog, here are some of my favourite posts (though not necessarily the most popular):
- The REAL Five Steps to Understanding Social Media
- I Want to Change the World
- Why Does Social Media Stink?
- Welcome to the Age of Conversation
Oh, what made my heart skip a beat? Recognition. It’s not WHERE we go on the web that is most interesting … it is where we find our friends. The Internet is still a growing and changing landscape which can be fun to explore — but the more we seek, the more we also secretly desire connection. It is the reward for exploration and risk. And on the web, the symbolism of tools like Twitter and MyBlogLog are not to do with the inanities of everyday life — they are the visible traces that we leave in our wake (or as Katie would say, the digital footprints) and they provide another means to connect the ambient dots of our everyday intimacies — giving substance to our thought and communication patterns.
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