Be Cool, Big Blogs

Giant blog machines have come up with some rock-solid ways to increase page views, thereby increasing ad revenue. Occasionally these methods are obnoxious: slideshow posts where each bullet point is a new page, and my least favorite, RSS feeds that only show excerpts (requiring you to read on the site instead of in your preferred reader). But I get it. Gotta make the big bucks.

All understanding aside, I want to point out that it is objectively nasty to post about a person’s work and never link to their site. After seeing something awesome on a wildly-popular blog today, I clicked on the designer’s name, expecting to be taken to her portfolio. Instead, the link routed to an internal page containing all posts written about said designer (in this case, just the one). There was no designer-specific data—including portfolio URL—on that page. Out of curiosity, I clicked back to the article, hunted around for a link, and found nothing.

So, Big Blog has thousands of followers. The post has been shared (at time of writing) 1,200 times from the post’s share buttons alone. They will surely profit from reader traffic on the blog post, but they couldn’t link directly to the creator? They just had to crank the number of impressions?

Obviously, I ended up Googling the designer’s name and found her portfolio. Pretty quick task, sure. But to consciously exclude a link to the original source of the work in favor of an internal link is bad journalism, bad UX, and just plain rude.

Big Blogs, you need to find a balance between profitability and respecting the people who essentially create your content. This stuff just feels sleazy and it is not helping your brand.