To Link Or Not To Link

   
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@ColinTheMathmo

My latest posts can be found here:
Previous blog posts:
Additionally, some earlier writings:

... that is the question ...

Over the past few years I've noticed a rise in a particular type of spam that I'm receiving. It takes the form of an email like this:

Dear Editor/Webmaster/Person,

My name is XXXX and I'm the Editor at YYYY. I was doing research on subject and just finished reading your wonderful blog post:

  • <Solipsys link>

In that article, I noticed that you cited a solid post that I've read in the past:

  • <link on site ZZZZ>

I just finished writing a guide/article/post/thingy that is even more detailed, updated and comprehensive - packed with practical tips and advice (including videos), and completely free. You can find it here:

  • <link on site YYYY>

If you like it we'd be humbled if you cited us in your article. Of course, we will also share your article with our 50k newsletter subscribers and followers across our social platforms.

Either way, keep up the great work!

Warmly,

XXXX

Almost invariably the Solipsys page they link to is not actually a blog post or article, but is a simply collection of links to things I might want to look up later. Occasionally it's a link to a generic description of something I've referenced to provide a starting point in case someone is interested in following up something.

I'm being deliberately vague here, as I don't want to get bogged down in details.

The thing is, every now and again, once in a while, I go and look at the link I've been sent as a suggested alternative and I think:

Actually, that's quite good.

So what to do?

Should I say yes, but only if they pay me? After all, it's clearly of value to them and not to me.

Should I simply adopt this newly suggested link? To do so might be to encourage this sort of spam. Is that actually a bad thing? As always, XKCD has something to say about that:

Should I reply? Should I ignore it?

Should I write stupid, ranty blogposts that accomplish nothing but make me feel better about it?

Answers on a postcard ... (only kidding - use the comment box below. Unless you really want to send me a postcard).


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