Web 2.0 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
There would be no WWW without links. Links make the web, one page to another, one idea to another, one person to another. There should be no blog post without links.
Not only do links take your readers to more information about a topic, they provide breadcrumb trails for readers at those other sites to find you. In the blogger world they call this trail a trackback. I know, we all groan and roll our eyes over terms, but this one actually means what it says -- it provides a track for readers to follow back to your blog from the one you quoted.
In Flock linking and quoting are geek-free processes. To link a word, highlight it and click the button with a picture of chain links. Then type the address of the page you want to link to. I always open a second tab in my browser and go to the place I'm linking so I can copy and paste the exact address, no mistakes. Make sure you delete the http:// that is pre-inserted in the form if you do this.
If you want to quote text on another site, highlight, right click and choose "blog this". That's one of the coolest features of Flock. Often when I'm surfing, I'll see something I might want to include in a post later, so I use the blog this feature and Flock opens the composer, gives the post the proper credit and link back. All you have to do is click save. You can do the same with pictures.
Be sure to follow copyright rules of fair use and never include pictures that aren't specifically tagged as free to use. Open Stock Photography is a good source of open source images. My favorite picture source is Creative Commons Search, use the Flickr tag.
While we're on the subject of links, don't forget comments. Comments accomplish a couple of things:
They let bloggers know they've been heard. It can get pretty lonely out there and feedback keeps your favorite bloggers going. It also makes a link back to your site, so people who are interested in the topic can follow your comment trail back to your blog. Search engines love and reward links because readers love and follow links. So throw out those breadcrumbs and people will be able to find you.
You should thank your commenters with a quick little note of response or my favorite -- a comment at their blog. You'll be surprised at the wonderful friendships that can grow out of those breadcrumbs you scatter. And as I learned just a few short months ago, new opportunities and fascinating work can find you through your comments.
Go rack up some comment karma and let me know in the comments how it works out for you.
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