Love, Links and Lysistrata

oooh!Gia says “Typing ‘a href’ is not a creative act.” after her run in with Maryam Scoble.

I disagree. Typing ‘a href’ is *the* new creative act that makes all of this possible. Without links we just have nodes – we need both to make the network – the best bloggers have always been the ones who write amazing stuff *and* link to amazing stuff.

We’re playing the old game when we discriminate between different types of creativity. Shall I throw a tantrum because I didn’t get a round of applause for the amount of carbon dioxide and methane that my body has created today?

In my experience, demanding credit is a much less satisfying use of my time than just making more stuff that I think is cool.

I think we need to scale down our expectations of link-love a lot and be satisfied with the offline credit that we do get. It’s still great for me when people I’ve never met say “oh you’re at Perfect Path” or I hear someone go “there was this guy making bottles of Stormhoek explode” and I can say “yeah, that was me”. It’s taken a while, but there are now people saying “We’ve seen that you can do this stuff, have a large wodge of cash for doing it for us”.

Anyway I think Maryam’s way more pissed off with Robert than with Gia – time for some offline credit building activities I think – someone in her comments has already suggested the Aristophanean solution.

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8 thoughts on “Love, Links and Lysistrata”

  1. “In my experience, demanding credit is a much less satisfying use of my time than just making more stuff that I think is cool.”

    I agree.

    I used to say that ‘links are the currency of the web’- that ones value online was related directly to how many links to them they had AND how many unique links they provided. Then I realised that I was forgetting about content.

    What, exactly, is more important- the link or the content?

    What’s interesting is that no one has asked me where *I* found the video in the first place…:)

  2. gia, we may just be talking at cross-porpoises, that ‘c’-word is tricky. I spent a lot of time this summer talking to people from “creative” jobs in the “creative” industries who don’t seem to actually create anything at all (except the aforementioned C02 and CH4.)

    However, I do think you’ve nailed where we differ – to me, asking whether content or a link is more important is like asking whether a blood vessel or a hand is more important. They are both necessary* parts of the whole. Sure, the hand looks funky and more useful from some perspectives, but ooch, no blood vessels supplying it?

    Let me explain simply why I say that linking is far beyond changing channels – it is a creative act in that it builds another part of the network by creating a connection between two or more things that (may) have not been connected before. Wasn’t there before…is there now – that sort of creative.

    *with apologies for insensitivity to my hand-less readers.

  3. Lloyd, I’m talking “creative” in an artistic sense. Sure, linking to a video creates a ‘connection’ where one didn’t exist before, but the act of “a href” linking equates more to someone who digs up the street to lay cables so you can get cable tv in your home than to a writer, director or cameraperson who uses their particular talents to create the programme you watch on cable tv.

    Yes, the cables “create” a connection where one didn’t exist before, but they merely exist to facilitate distribution of content. The same goes for linking.

    There can, however, be minor elements of creativity when linking. You can, for example, inject humour by using an incongruous word-link combination. Or you and your readers can use linking to create a political point- search for the word ‘failure’ to see what I mean… These things use linking as a means of creation, still, however, the act of typing ‘a href’ is not the “creative” element of these acts.

  4. I disagree most strongly about “a href”. With it you can do the most wonderful things. You can shape, persuade and direct people to share, or at least see your experiential view. What Telly producer really thinks like that. Whole blog posts can be written using almost nothing but links which expand and explain a given point of view, validating the piece beyond just the opinion of the writer. Content may be King, but the links carry the litter through the street.

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