You are reading a blog post (profound I know) and staple of blog posts is to cite other sources via links. Like when I wrote “You Might Need a Redesign if…”. In that post I linked to Niki Brown’s Ugly Website competition.
So why did I do that? Well ultimately Niki had content that was relevant to my post so I linked to her site. What does it mean to provide a link to her site though? Honestly it means that I endorse Niki and her content. Yeah that is what I said. Providing a link to someone else’s site says that you endorse that content.
Here is the problem, or at least the potential for problem. What if I did not know Niki and did not interact with her on a regular basis? Do I go back and continually verify that her content align’s itself with the overall goals and marketing strategy of my business? If something changes that makes her content objectionable to me I really should be removing the link.
Really this came up for me as we talked about it at my full time job. I work for an organization and we walk a fine line with our predominantly older and and conservative constituents. Regardless of our internal beliefs some of our constituents are more or less traditional. We need to make sure that we provide good content without presenting information that might be objectionable to our constituents. We need to seriously evaluate not just the single page we are linking to but the overall content of the entire site.
On top of evaluating the current content we need to make sure that over time the belief’s and values of the organization remain consistent with our own. For us this means a lot of work.
I suppose the point is that when you link to a site make sure you do some sort of evaluation. You need to realize that any link you provide is basically saying you approve of the site and it’s content. So make sure you do.
I really like Niki. She was just used as a recent example. I never forsee a time when anything on her site would become objectionable to me. Just so I put that out there.