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Monday, August 20, 2012

Link Back Signatures: The Great Controversy (not really...just messing with you)

You came back! Glad you're not sick of me, yet ;-)

First of all, I'm not here to “sell” you on the idea of having a link-back signature. I'm not here to convince you that you need to change. The real beauty of Blogland for me is that we all get to be who we are. Or who we want to invent ourselves to be – we're all in one big boat, there's infinite room, and we get to hang out in any class we want, behave anyway we want (provided it's legal - my lawyer made me say that.)

In addition, the opinions expressed here are MY opinions. The opinions of Tina Downey do not necessarily represent the opinions of the ENTIRE A-Z TEAM. I do know that they are shared by some of the A-Z Team members. You can identify them by their, um, link back signatures at the end of their comments :-)

I think we'd better start with the definition, since 25% of our responders didn't know what the question meant. A link back signature is a hyperlink, just like any clickable piece of text on any website you visit, and by clicking it, you land on that person's blog. Sometimes it's their front page, sometimes it's on a particular post they'd like you to read. It's a wormhole, for you sci-fi fans, instantly transporting you past what I'm about to reveal, and lands you safely on the commenter’s blog.

Many of you pointed out that it's not necessary to have one, people can find you anyway. Yes. Patient, technically savvy, experienced bloggers can. They know that they can click on your name or your picture, pull up your profile, see the list of six blogs you own, guess which one is most active, click on that blog, find out you haven't written anything there for two years, stay patient, click on another blog, find that one more active, but still not the A-Z blog...and that's where I give up. Maybe it's different when you're a host and have to visit 300 blogs in the first three days. You're not quite as patient.

Another example. My friend Jeremy Hawkins (I could make his name clickable and you'd be right there, but he's in the sidebar, so you can easily click there) has MY blog listed in his list. That's because he's my admin. He built my beautiful sunflower and flamingo blog from scratch. I have him listed as a blog owner. I don't have to – but why wouldn't I want to advertise for someone who did such a nice thing for me, just out of friendship? He's freelance, word of mouth. I've got a button for him too. BUT, if you were trying to find HIS blog, you'd see Life is Good listed, might click there, and wouldn't be at his house at all. You'd be at Rydell IV, not the international space station. Am I making sense?

As a team, before the challenge started, we had a guest poster who wrote a FANTASTIC tutorial about how to make a hyperlink signature. You'll find it here. Check it out! Then you can choose how you'd like to operate, fully (fuller?) informed about this option of easily getting people to your blog. You are blogging to get people to read your work, right?

Thanks for listening.


Rob Z Tobor said...

Link back signatures can be very useful there is no denying that, but I an still unsure about using one.

I kind of like it when people find me as a result of curiosity or having to dig an escape tunnel navigate the forest climb a small mountain and finally peer into a deep cave full of spiders and critters that bite and glow in the dark. Only to go "O DEAR ITS HIM AGAIN YUCK".....

PR said...

I did have a link in my comments during a to z, but ten removed it. I don't mind if peeps don't visit my blog as long as they reply to my comment. but now you've mentioned peeps find it hard I may just put it back; I don't want peeps trailing through dark forests to get to me, poor things :)

Erin M. Hartshorn said...

I'm clearly dense. I still don't understand where this signature is supposed to go.

Arlee Bird said...

You know that I've been a big advocate for the hyperlink signature for a long time now. It's the logical approach to helping readers find me quickly and on the blog that I'd like them to look at. I get really annoyed when I end up at a profile with a bunch of choices, most which are not currently active. I've been known just to move on when I'm in a hurry. I like to get to exactly where I'm supposed to be so I can move on to the next blog.

One disadvantage is that spammers also use the hyperlink. Common sense should tell the discerning reader which comments are spam and which are not or that a blog title is legit and something like "best Italian shoes" or "cheap viagra" are ad sites.

The repercussion of this ad linkage I think has manifested itself on WordPress blogs. The screening system they use--Akismet--seems to automatically throw comments with links in them into spam until the blogger has tweaked things to accept my site's comments. This is unfortunate and now I find myself not commenting on WP sites as much unless I know that the blogger owner has made their site Arlee friendly or I will comment with no link.

Hyperlink signatures are a favor to the recipient and they make blogging easier and more time efficient.

Tossing It Out

Jeremy [Retro] said...

I love the link ideas, because it leaves the host/post an easy sometimes not confusing lead back to your site... It's nice when people come in and say hello... thank you for the shout out, you knows I loves yah, sis!

Jeremy [Retro]
Oh No, Let's Go... Crazy

J.L. Campbell said...

Thanks, Tina,
I'm all about learning new things every day, so of course, I'm gonna have a look at that article.

JudyH329 said...

Yeah, I'm going to read about this also, because I may be getting this confused with "Mr. Linky" at the end of a post. Thanks! I do agree I like clicking on a link and being there.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I used to use one when I had more than one blog. Not everyone clicked on it though. I don't use one anymore because, well, I'm lazy ;)

Mina Lobo said...

I learned how to do the link back signature from that groovy guest post of awesome, so thanks for that! (Gosh, I really have learned so much about blogging from you guys here at A to Z - thank you!).

Look, folks, the thing is that folks are tired. And lazy. But mostly tired. And if you want them to read your stuff, don't you want to make it easy for them to do so? Why, yes. Yes, you do. *I* do, at any rate, so...
Some Dark Romantic

Et voila! :-D

Elaine L. Bridge said...

I think the whole hyperlink idea is fantastic and is especially useful in situations like the A to Z challenge. Last year at the start of the event I caught that tutorial blog and tried and tried to get it to work for me, but to no avail. I'd just get my name but not my blog title and link. It was especially frustrating when so many other people found success with it! I know I'm not computer savvy, but my husband is, and he couldn't get it to work either, on our desktop or my laptop computer. I'm wondering if it's something with the way we have things set up. In desperation I would just type in my blog address after my name in the comments I left, because I love the idea that you leave people with a way to find you. Oh well. Maybe I'll give it yet another go...

Erin M. Hartshorn said...

Suddenly, I'm seeing what I missed yesterday -- the "at the end of their comments." I did that during A to Z, and I do it when I think someone might want to visit my blog and they're on Blogger, but . . . most of the sites I visit are hosted on or are WordPress installations, and I enter the URL of my blog when I'm entering my name and e-mail address, so I don't see a lot of reason to enter it twice. Which means I'm not in the habit of doing it.

Lynn Proctor said...

uhhh could you go over that one more time

Marianne (Mare) Baker Ball said...

I've created my signature linky using the form you sent us to. thought I'd try it and see what the hoopla is about. However, where do I PUT the thing? Does it get assigned to my settings somewhere? How do I attach the formula to my blog? That's not clear in the tutorial. Can't go any further until I hear something. Thank you!

Tracy MacDonald said...

I love the link back signature and learned about it from the 2012 A to Z challenge. The code for my link back signature sits on a separate word doc that I open each time I start blog hopping. I just wish I could do it from my phone, but I can't.
Here's how to do it/where to put it: I copy the link from the word doc and paste it at the bottom of my comments. Like this:
A2Z Mommy and What’s In Between

What I like about it too is that when a commenter uses it, and you click to go directly to their blog, it opens in a new tab, rather than the same tab which is what happens if I click on a commenter's name. This makes it easy to go back to the comments on my blog and visit the next person.
I so hope this was helpful, and not too confusing.
A2Z Mommy and What’s In Between

Arlee Bird said...

Mare-- The signature hyperlink goes at the end of your comment just like a closing signature to a letter. See mine below.

Tossing It Out

Marianne (Mare) Baker Ball said...

Arlee - so then you have to cut and paste every time you leave a comment?

Jo said...

Didn't know about signature links, will check it out.

Tina said...

Hello all, my apologies for not being here the last few days. My mother-in-law had a hip replacement and there were severe complications so my focus has been on family. I will get back to answering you and visiting. It's been fun for me to do this series, get to know and follow some wonderful folks that I still haven't met on the A-Z Road Trip. I so enjoy a lively discussion so a special thanks to all who spoke the truth even when it was different than the average answer. Thank you. The comment box at my own blog invites ALL opinions, positive, negative, anything, and I'm thrilled that our A-Z readers felt comfortable to do that as well.
Tina @ Life is Good

Arlee Bird said...

Mare -- In essence, yes, it is a cut and paste procedure. To make it simple I keep a doc open with a series of signatures that I use. I copy the one that I'm wishing to use on that days commenting. Then I will typically allot a block of time to visit blogs and leave comments. Since I'm leaving the same signature on these comments then I merely paste what I've copied for that session.

It's a very simple and quick process for me--much like having a rubber stamp that I use to sign each comment. Not time consuming at all for me and it saves time for the blogger who want to use my link to find me quickly.

Tossing It Out

Tina said...

@ Anna: can't email you, google+ won't let me talk to I hope somehow you see this. Hi. Glad you understand my point about dark forest adventures! Thanks for participating in this three part series. i've so enjoyed meeting new folks and visiting their blogs...wish I could have gone to yours...hint hint...maybe you'd like to leave me some bread crumbs?
Tina @ Life is Good