Patterico is doing a “pledge drive” of sorts over at his blog, asking people to send links instead of money, specifically to his brilliant Los Angeles Times Dog Trainer year in review post as a starting point. I’m more than happy to do so, and let me add that Patterico is in general a great read, and one of a few blogs that I will check routinely throughout the day for updates. You could do much worse with your time than perusing his archives.
In addition, I think it’s great that he’s asking people to send links instead of money. I wish more bloggers would do this, for three reasons. First, it’s sustainable – the same principle as “give a man a fish” versus “teach a man to fish.” As a blog making money off advertising, the more (consistent) visitors he gets, the more impressions and clicks he gets, which will in the long run likely be more profitable than a one-time donation – especially links in high-traffic places.
Second, it’s educational – many people do not realize the importance of the link trading that blogs do in regard to the health and growth of the blogosphere at large. Trading and spreading links does not just make more advertising money, it also creates a greater base of influence for the blogs that are linked – without links from other websites, you may as well not exist on the modern web. In addition, Google (which is, for all intents and purposes, the search engine) weighs links from other sites heavily in its algorithm used to place you on its search results page.
Third, it’s easy – how easy is it to drop a link in an email, or a Facebook post, or a blog entry? It takes 30 seconds of time and shows a little support for someone who provides you with a useful resource – or just plain ol’ entertainment – while costing you nothing. By asking for links instead of cash, Patterico is offering a sincere, meaningful way to support him without breaking open your wallet. Now this isn’t to say that money donations aren’t helpful – they are. But links to his site give him a boost to his traffic, which in turn provides him with more ad profits, more mindshare, and greater incentive to keep writing.
So go take a look, and browse around for a while. And if you like what you see, pass it along.