I just came across a blog post by Doc Searl that link to a conversation about linking vs non-linking bloggers.
I was surprised to read this from Robert W. Anderson:
“What I should have said is that as a new blogger, linking is required to get into the conversation.”
My question would be: then how old bloggers can get into conversation without linking? The thing is that a link is the best metadata element we can use to link Web documents together. All the current technologies understand what a link is, and how to work and play with it.
It is sure that in the future (the Semantic Web, the Web of meaning) we will be able to link documents without “explicit links in document”. But for now, with the current technologies available, they are essential both for writer (to get into conversations) and readers (to know where the information came-from and go-to).
Links are definitely essential to beginner and expert bloggers to get into conversations.
By the way, I saw that weird argument a couple of times on the Blogsphere in the last weeks: “Strong web bloggers no longer link”. The argument here seems to mean: stop linking because the big ones stopped (you have to stop if you want to be one of these bigs). I have to confess that I don’t get it… Some A-list bloggers probably stopped to link to other people for some reasons. One of them could be because they think that they are so bright that they don’t need other people ideas to write something intelligent. For them I would cite Emerson: “Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I lean of him”. Okay, I agree, most of them probably stopped to link to other people because they see themselves as columnists and not as bloggers(people that get into conversations evolving on the Web via their personal Web log) anymores.