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17 Tips For Getting Bloggers to Write About You

Uber-blogger Cory Doctorow (Boing Boing) writes up his 17 tips for getting bloggers to write about you.  All pretty common sense stuff worth thinking about when you're trying to build buzz for a project, but one stuck out to me because I've still considered hotlinking images to be "bad form":

Don't worry about "bandwidth stealing." There's an enormous fooforaw among site operators about people who "hotlink" to images -- linking directly to images on an external site, rather than to the page the image came from. Dear site operators: Here's a quarter, go buy a terabyte from Amazon S3 and stop complaining. Back in the paleolithic era, inlining could add up to real money. If your hosting company is charging you enough for bandwidth in 2008 that you're still worrying about it, you need a new host. With your URL in your images (see above), every one of those inlining events is just a way of directing traffic back to your site. An inlined image is LOTS cheaper than a Google Ad, and far more targeted. (The same goes for handwringing about "framing" -- including an external site inside a frame on a site, rather than just linking to it.)


It sounds good advice, but

It sounds good advice, but I'd add:

Don't hotlink your Own work. Never cut corners by linking directly to the image file of your comic - always put the image in its own webpage with links back to the rest of the site. Apart from anything else, the image hotlinked in someone's blog has no links of its own and can't send readers directly to the rest of your comics. Decent bloggers will have the sense and good manners to link to the  webpage containing the image instead - if it exists.

Creative people are not who Cory Doctorow was addressing.

CyberLord's picture

Yes, he did mention a few times about attribution for images and the Creative Commons license, but I think his comments were really directed towards people who write.  People who draw or otherwise create images can probably ignore his advise.  The real concern is not about bandwidth.  It's about copyright and advertising dollars.

Most web comics depend upon advertising revenue to pay for the site as well as whatever little profit may be acquired.  A web comics creator would not be happy to learn that people were viewing their strip without visiting the page it originated from.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort but where he stands at times of challenge and discovery. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.---------CyberLord

Uh... yes they are.

Putting aside for the moment that people who write ARE "creative people" (Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author. He makes his living by postings his works for free on the internet FIRST and then publishing them for money), EVERY site that makes money these days -- unless they are subscription sites -- make money off of advertising dollars. Even the ones who use Creative Commons Licenses. I don't see how people who create images are somehow excluded in general from these ideas.

The secret to getting people to link to your site is to get them to WANT to link to your site. Cory listed a bunch of things that made popular blogs less eager to do so.

For my part, I'm perfectly happy to learn that people are viewing my strip (published under a CC license, for the recrod) without visiting the page it originated from, because overall the people who do that are more likely to come to the site anyway.This is also why I have an rss feed that actually delivers the comic images along with everything else.

Yeah, i'm with you on that...

Yeah, i'm with you on that... and it's not about paying for bandwidth:

Hotlinking images is bad news, especially for webcomickers. I mean, most of us make money from site-based advertisement, so hotlinking strips us of pageviews and therefore income.

It also takes the comic/page out of context... for example I had one of my strips 'stumbled' recently, twice – once as the page and once as the image alone. The comments I got from my page rating came back overwhelmingly positive as they had read the post below where I explain that I am hard of hearing... the comments on the image alone rating called me all sorts of names for taking the piss out of deaf people. Context is important.

The rest of the article should be old hat to anyone that has tried to pimp their comics around and if anything it is probably just standard practice amongst the webcomic/blog state.

In the age of Digg and

In the age of Digg and StumbleUpon, I used to get my knickers in a twist when I realized that people were linking to my comic images and not the comic URL. That cheesed me off because it felt like stealing. They were taking bandwidth to get free entertainment without closing the loop by visiting the site.

Visits to the site mean increased traffic, which means increased ad revenue, which could also mean new long-term readers.

But I realized it wasn't the fault of the people linking the images. It was my fault for not branding those images up and down with a URL. If the people viewing it want to see more, they can do the leg work from there. The rest is really out of my hands.