Links and Lists

I caved in, finally, and bought a subscription to a tech website. I like the content. I like the style. I like the totally minimalist look and feel. I’ve scoured dozens of tech sites, and frankly, it’s what I want, how I want it. Then, too, the subscription model is one I’m fond of myself.

Dead simple. Subscribe, update the password sent via email — it’s WordPress — and click on the RSS feed. There it is, in my RSS Reader. That crosses iPhone, iPad, iMac, i-things.

One of the first posts, and I might’ve caught this on the free side, but I can’t recall, is about linked lists, and linking, in my mind, in a general way.

That’s something, over the years, I’ve had great fun with, the link-building. Not in a marketing, SEO, Google, Search Ratings way, but in a way to bury fun oddities in my horror scopes.

The Brooks Review is about Mac, Apple ephemera, (digital) photography(1), the search for the perfect pocket knife, and the perfect computer bag(2). It also — eloquently — addresses the intersection of technology and real life.

For me, the search for the perfect pocket knife came to an inglorious end with the onerous post-911 airline restrictions. Has to be in checked baggage, now. I was accosted by “security” in a casino in New Mexico one time. If the knife in my belt holster had been in my pocket? Wouldn’t have noticed or even been an issue. Weird.

Still, that’s an intellectual pursuit that I understand, the search for the best hand toy. Tools. Toys. Same thing, at some point. While I have different criteria, for years, it was a quest, and one that I’m not above still looking, if only from a mostly intellectual point.

Same applies to baggage. The search for the perfect companion bag, computer, tablet, phone, business cards, a coffee, all depends on the setting.

I’m reminded that I own a perfect computer bag, briefcase thing. Made when I was still in college, used for years and languishing in a closet, a saddle-maker in Montana did this one. Tough stuff, looks like a traditional “barrister” brief. I use it once, every other year, it seems. Too much or too little. However, for years, it was the perfect case.

Oddly, it fits any number of laptops and yet, it predates the laptop.

This isn’t about the search, the quest for the perfect knife, computer bag, or software, lens-cameras, and so forth. This is about linking.

A few weeks back, I was solicited by a link-farm to add my site to their collection in exchange for a link(3) on my site, in an effort to gain more exposure. Works like this: they get better rankings and I get, well, the promise of better placement. My standard response? “Outbound links are $20 per week.” I charged a lot more, and for three months, I kept some kind of link on the top of the horoscopes because I was paid way too much to put it there.

That puts a price on what I do.

More often, though, the outbound links are for fun. A historical oddity, as of late, or a trivial point, oftentimes, I’ll point to paying clients, albeit, in disguise because there’s something about the destination link that amuses me. However, as is clearly stated in the disclosure, as now mandated by law, “You leave here, you’re on your own. Outbound links are by no means a ringing endorsement.”

I do disclose. Been doing that voluntarily for years. A rather brilliant editor suggested the fine print long before it was required.

In the distant past, there was a cigar shop in Austin. Before it was cool, either Austin or cigars. I ran a link at the top of my page, and the horoscopes were carried by AOL’s astronet, and that popped up. This was before Google. That was when I learned the power of linking. Since then, though, it’s more to amuse me rather than some kind of a pitch. However, I still get offers, like the guy from the link farm, and here’s the second hint, English was not that person’s first language.

While there’s very little purity left on the web, every so often, I’ll pop up with something that is fun.

“It amuses me.”

    (1) Remember, I’m strictly point-and-click — nothing fancy.
    (2) Man Purse? Man-bag? Backpack, right now.
    (3) Front page, above the fold (!)

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