I visited a friend’s blog the other day and followed some links back to an older post I’d missed, where I left a comment. The blogger contacted me, expressing concern that I got hacked because a) I seldom leave comments — yeah, I know, it’s terrible of me; I’m lucky I have time to respond to the comments so kindly left on my own blog and b) it was an older post.
That episode reminded me of the lastingness of blog posts. (Is lastingness a word? Spellchecker seems to think so. I don’t see that squiggly red line that so often berates me.) Some of my most visited blog posts are older ones — a few from my “writing hints” days, a couple from my “anything goes” days, and several from my early grief days.
Because blog posts are eternal, as eternal as the internet is anyway, the links we include are important.
In the case of my blogger friend, the links I followed were generated by Word Press, so they were all live links. In the case of links we add to our blogs — well, that’s a different story, especially when it comes to my blog. The links to older blog posts that I add to current blog posts are good — I never change the domain or the URL, so those links all work. But links I posted that link to other websites . . . yikes.
I used to link all my books to a certain independent bookseller’s website. Mostly I did it out of loyalty since all those links helped the ranking of the website, but doing so also served as a salvo in my own private war against Amazon. It seemed to me that Amazon overruns its banks and floods everything in its path, and I wanted to do what I could to stem the rushing waters. But I miscalculated, and now the Amazon river gods are laughing at me. Most of the book links in my blogs now go somewhere besides the requisite book page on that independent bookseller’s site, and I have yet to fix the more than five thousand links I have posted over the years. The current links all work (I capitulated and now they go to my book pages on Amazon) but the links in older posts, well, let’s just say they’re defunct and leave it at that.
The webmasters of that other site didn’t seem to see the importance of redirecting the links when the company changed domains, and I could not convince them otherwise. The web is all about links — if there were no links, we’d never be able to move from one page to another. It’s the links that make the internet an interconnecting network. It’s the links that make the web a web. And because the network/web is eternal, those links are eternal. And now I have an eternity of defunct links.
I’m gradually changing the links, but if you ever click on a link that doesn’t take you to the proper page, please let me know so I can fix it.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.