Tag: web

Thoughts on The Rule of Links

Every post I write oftentimes has a link to an external post, either as a reference or as a recommendation. And every single time, I go through this struggle of deciding which word should carry the link. It was so naive of me to think Dave Winer won’t have written about it. Of course, Dave had.

He recently linked to his post on The Rule of Links.

Linking is an art. It’s a choice. You don’t link from every word or even every noun, or from the subject of every sentence. But when a reader reasonably would want to know more about the subject, the Rule of Links says you should link to it.

It has to be the word that makes the reader curious with any of the 5 Ws on the topic. But something that is always pestering me at the back of my mind is what does this link communicate to the search engines. Isn’t this link also one of the signals for Google to decide what the outgoing link (the page) is about?

So I believe the first link of this post is correct as per Dave’s rules of links. However, I don’t think that helps a search engine understand the linked page better.

It won’t be a stretch to think Dave believes a writer shouldn’t worry how a search engine reads a post. But given the reality of today’s web, one just cannot ignore how a search engine sees your page.

Also, I am a bit torn on the below perspective.

In the Web, after having visited a link, you can just hit the Back button to regain your context. (An aside, that’s why links that open in new windows are non-web-like.)

On this site, I do adhere to this principle for all the regular posts. However, for link-posts, I do open the post linked from the title in a new window. I do not create such posts just to share the link — for that, I would, well, just share the link on whichever platform. I generally have some comment to make on the post or the section of the post.

So in such cases, I assume the reader visiting my site wants to read my commentary. And I do not want to lose her attention by forcing her out to the linked post. If she has already read the post, great. If she hasn’t, she can do so in a new tab and then come back to the commentary.

Is it really appropriate to open a new tab on a reader’s machine just to not lose that reader? No. Shouldn’t I trust my writing to pull the reader back even if she gets redirected? Of course, yes. However, given our diminishing attention span amid the growing distracting portals all around, how practical is it to assume she will be back?

Journey to a self-hosted blog …

Finally i succeed. I have been working on this site for around a month now. I, though, had finalized my contents quite a long time back. But it was because of my random vibes, i could never really convince my mind for a dedicated hosted weblog. But finally…  Though am not sure is it a simple blog or a ‘blogsite’?

Anyways this the first draft of the site i had in my mind for myself. I will note few points which, according to me, really heighten the user experience levels. It was all as a result of hours of skiing along the web and the constant feedback to myself of my experience as a user. So let me begin ..

  1. More space for the actual content on the page
  2. Clear separators between two posts
  3. Easy on eyes font family and sizes
  4. Non-disturbing ads
  5. At hand list of recent post and comments
  6. No bulky colors
  7. Easily accessible links and catchy titles
  8. A consistency in the overall site

I have thrived to please most of my expectations. Anyways i will, for now, not talk about my real journey right from ‘Blogger’, where it all started, to ‘WordPress.com’, where it all beautified, to ‘WordPress.org’, but just the final phase. The final shift, for me, was never a real pain in … uhh… head. And it shouldn’t be for anyone either. Only thing it requires is more of interest for designing and blogging.

So it all started, once on a frustrated day, with research on the preprocess. Had to earn my domain name ‘elatedamit‘ which i did. Bought the domain at rediff. Few pitfalls, never ever search for the domain you are planning to buy. Especially never on GoDaddy. The reason being various sites internally use GoDaddy for booking domains and, due to some random problem with their coding i guess, they are under impression you bought the domain even if you haven’t. Best example, Google Apps.

Moved to the host part. This was the most reasearched topic by me. I compared rates, providings, user experiences, expert comments and even overall look and speed of the hosting site itself. I really could not single out the best hosting site. Various people said, it depends on requirement. I feel the only thing it depends on is your luck. Choose, depending on how much you can spend, the best appearing host and leave it to luck. Hope that you won’t face any problem.

Roamed and jumped from Dreamhost to Bluehost to eWebGuru. But finally i stumbled upon Lunarpages based on the cost to feature analysis. I have hosted my blog with lunarpages for around a month now. I haven’t faced any issues of downtimes or slow responses yet. One valuable and important suggestion. Never complete the process right at the first time. Let them know you are interested. A guareented bargaining is about to happen.

Once your domain and hosts are connected, what remains to do is limitless. Remove your age-old thinking cap. Upsurge your creativity buds and dive in the vast sea of designing ‘blogsites’. There is lots to learn and bit to earn too.

PS: Do let me know your views on the overall experience of the site. Let me confirm if  i am normal or has randomness caught my mind too 🙂