How to deal with link requests?
June 28, 2005 4:01 PM   Subscribe

So my little blog has gotten some attention lately and that's all good. BUT there's something I didn't expect, at least not this quickly or blatantly.

People want, cajole, insist, nag, almost intimidate me to link them, their stories or causes. I don't want to be rude and not respond at all. Until the hype goes away and the traffic moderates, can you suggest ways to deal with this? Thanks for your time. Sorry, no self-link.
posted by azul to Computers & Internet (18 answers total)
If you have a contact page (rather than just an email link), you should put on it something like "please keep all comments related to my site, bla bla bla, I do not accept reequests for links, etc etc etc. Any requests for links will be ignored." Then, if you get link requests, ignore 'em. You can't say you didn't warn them.

As far as dealing with the people who already contacted you, just email them and tell them that sorry, but you can't link to them. You don't owe them an explanation. It's not a public space, it's your site. If they can't accept that and keep emailing/annoying you, then you have every right to ignore them.
posted by AlisonM at 4:19 PM on June 28, 2005

As this experience would be new to me too, I would just pretend I'm mathowie. I'm not kidding around either. You are the ruler of your web-domain. So set up a little rules and expectations/objectives page and refer these folks to it.

Good luck!

on preview, I'm with AlisonM.
posted by snsranch at 4:27 PM on June 28, 2005

azul, there's nothing in the rules that says you can't link your blog in your profile!
posted by shepd at 4:28 PM on June 28, 2005

Remove your contact details. No amount of notices declaring "Give me feedback and contact me, but do not ask about XXXX or XXXX" will work.
posted by fire&wings at 4:33 PM on June 28, 2005

Just say no. If you just ignore requests or give a simple no, you're done. Your guilty displays may make people feel that if they lean on you, you will cave. Just say no. End of discussion.
posted by abbyladybug at 4:42 PM on June 28, 2005

Thanks for the helpful suggestions so far.

shepd: ok, I'll put that one up.
f&w: I need to keep it since the site welcomes submitted works.
posted by azul at 4:46 PM on June 28, 2005


odinsdream: Nope, they just came out of the woodwork. One lady has a legit-looking (but I haven't checked) charity but really its not my thing. My real-life friends and longtime associates are cool.

It all started with that NYT thing last Sunday and with more coverage coming, I need to come up with a standard, politely-worded link "rejection" note. Your help is much appreciated.
posted by azul at 4:57 PM on June 28, 2005

I deal with this several times a day. If it's someone I know or respect, I'll usually explain why it's not link-worthy. If it's someone I've never talked to, I usually either ignore it or say, "I'm gonna pass on that one. Thanks for thinking of me, though."

I simply don't have time to respond to every link request.
posted by waxpancake at 5:08 PM on June 28, 2005

What waxpancake said. Unless you actually know the person, they're exactly like people banging on your front door trying to sell you encyclopedias/brushes/religion (or, to use a more up-to-date analogy, like people invading your inbox to offer you penis enlargement). You do not owe them the courtesy of a reply; you don't owe them anything. Ignore them. Link to only those sites that you genuinely want to link to. Otherwise your blog will become a chore and you'll wind up nuking it from orbit.

Oh, and congratulations on the attention!
posted by languagehat at 5:19 PM on June 28, 2005

Ignore, ignore, ignore. I know, it feels rude. But their needs are not your problem. Write the ones you feel like, don't write the ones you don't, and don't fret for a second about it.

But don't take down the contact info -- you'll get interesting emails from your past, which is worth it.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 5:26 PM on June 28, 2005

Ignore them. That's what having a blog with attention is all about: being so important that you needn't reply to such trivial requests.

RE: people you actually know- Link them anyways, regardless of what you think of their sites.
posted by Count Ziggurat at 5:43 PM on June 28, 2005

hmmmm..."interesting emails from my...past"...."
posted by azul at 5:48 PM on June 28, 2005

I have a hugely popular site (not a blog) and get tons of requests like this, along with "will you please do my homework" emails.

I used to use a politely worded rejection letter to respond to them, but that just caused trouble--half the people want to argue with the rejection, or ask for a clarification, and that just gives me more email to answer. And then I'd get rude messages from some who felt it was horribly inappropriate for me to reject them.

Now I ignore them, and nobody ever complains about that. I'll occasionally respond to one if they're particularly polite (or actually link to them, if it's appropriate) but I don't feel like it's an obligation.

Including a clear notice on your contact form that you don't have time to reply to everything is a good idea. It won't keep people from sending you link requests, but you'll feel better about ignoring them...
posted by mmoncur at 6:15 PM on June 28, 2005

What about setting up an auto-responder on your e-mail? (And probably setting up a separate e-mail account that's just for people coming to you through the blog.) A polite but firm message could help deliver the message that "I don't respond personally to every e-mail", without seeming rude.
posted by LairBob at 7:27 PM on June 28, 2005

Check out the links policy section on Daily Kos. If you add something like that to your site and people contact you with link requests, just direct them to that explanation. If they still persist, ignore them.
posted by necessitas at 7:51 PM on June 28, 2005

Get a "suggest a link" post and allow users to post comments for suggested links. Do not publish your email id.
posted by webmeta at 9:23 PM on June 28, 2005

Got it! Thanks necessitas and everyone who shared their valuable insights. Viva AskMefi !
posted by azul at 6:49 AM on June 29, 2005

Check out What's Your Brand Mantra for an excellent way to explain to people that links are an extension of your blog's "brand." Hells bells, I'd steal what she's got to say--it's great.
posted by wordswinker at 1:17 AM on July 2, 2005

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