Today I took a short trip down to the sea. I walked along the shore and arrived at a bridge. The world's longest suspension bridge.
Its scale is biblical. It lies balanced and poised on the horizon, zen like the silver sand gardens of Ginkakuji. It is a peaceful giant joining two lands, connecting its people. Like all bridges, it is a symbol of hope in a world of perpetual division.
Now what does this have to do with blogs, links and blogging strategy? There is no literal connection of course.
But a bridge is essentially a link. A way of getting from one place to another. In the same sense, we embed hyperlinks in our blogs and websites to transport our visitors to new pages or sites.
Not only do hyperlinks transport us around the web and establish connections between web pages, they also convey something of the author's intention. How so?
If I embed a link here, right here, then I'm asking you to consider following it. I'm asking you to trust me that the destination will be both secure and interesting. I'm inviting you to go on a journey.
Links are integral to our experience of the web. They are so second nature that we often forget their significance, or we focus too much on a particular usage:
- Links that build SEO
- Links for affiliate sales
- Links for advertising
- Links for navigation
- Links for information
- Links for…
What if we treated each link like a bridge? As something unique to a place and a people. As something with a plurality of uses and meanings – practical and abstract.
This would lead us to really think about why we embed a link: what its relevance and value are to our audiences; what its function is within our overall blogging strategy; what sort of journey it takes the user on.
I think we underestimate the power of links. Standing next to the world's longest suspension bridge certainly reminds you of the power of connections. Perhaps it's time to build links like we build bridges?