Quick survey about linksharing

May 31, 2011 @ 1:07 pm | Filed under: ,

Since my favorite thing about the internet is that it is one giant game of Show and Tell—you show me the neat stuff you’ve found, and I’ll show you the neat stuff I’ve found—I am perpetually pondering the best way to share things. I have this sort of hazily defined system for determining how to share a given link—whether in a post here on the blog, or via Facebook or Twitter or Google Reader or what. But I’m never sure what people actually prefer. (I’m sure it varies wildly.)

Well, anyway, I thought I’d ask. I’m interested in your general preference—i.e. where you, on the internet at large, prefer to encounter new links & are most likely to click through—as well as your preference regarding my shared links specifically.

For example, do you:

* like when I do a post here with links to three or four things that caught my interest (a la Delicious), perhaps with short notes about what made them jump out at me?

* prefer to check Google Reader Shared Items? (And if so, do you use the list in my blog sidebar, or do you read the “people you follow” section in your own Google Reader?)

* like when people share links on Facebook?

* hate when people share links on Facebook?

* keep as far away from Facebook as you possibly can?

* prefer linksharing on Twitter?

* deplore linksharing on Twitter?

* wonder why people like me are so doggone Twitterhappy in the first place?

* get annoyed when people pour their Twitter feeds into Facebook, so you’re stuck seeing each post twice?

* wonder if I’m overthinking this?

* subscribe to my Diigo feed (which was formerly my Delicious feed)?

* find yourself saying, Diigo huh?

* wonder if this post is a means of procrastinating some other task I ought to be doing, such as, to use a completely arbitrary example, tallying up my deductible expenses from the research trip so I won’t have to be plunged into hell come next April?

* need to break it to me gently that you skip over all that linky stuff, period, because let’s face it, you are coming here for book recommendations and/or pictures of bees?

Or, you know, none of the above. 😉 I’m just curious. And not procrastinating at ALL, no sir.

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47 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Jennifer says:

    I usually pay more attention to singular FB links. If there are too many links in a post, I get lazy. It’s embarrassing but true. Like I’m still trying to make my way through all your science books links.

  2. Celeste says:

    My favorite way of getting links is the first option: when you post here a few links that caught your interest with a short blurb. I also follow up on links posted on FB. I don’t do much link-following from twitter or Reader shared items.

  3. Heather says:

    The first one. And the next to last one. 🙂 I admit, I don’t follow even half the links, but I still like to see the thought proces that went into selecting them.

  4. stephanie says:

    I like the links in a post – then when I have time, I can read through it in Google Reader and click whatever strikes my fancy. I’ll click through a link on FB or Twitter, too – a lot of times I will mark a tweet as a favorite if I don’t have time to click through then, and then go back and check it out later.

  5. Drew says:

    I like FB links. That’s how I got here, in fact!

  6. Jen says:

    I like the posts with several links.

  7. sarah says:

    After getting this comment from me, about an hour after I commented on your bee post, you’re going to think I spend all my life on the internet. I like the links in a post. I click on them immediately, and bookmark the ones I like the look of if I don’t have time to read them there. I also like links at FB – which is just as well, since I offer alot of them there myself. I don’t tweet, tried it, liked it, felt too ashamed of adding yet another thing to my internet doings, haven’t gone back since. But I don’t mind tweet links at FB because – well, basically I love links from people who have similar interests to me (eg very cool to see a link to mythpunk turn up in your tumblr feed!)

    I never look at sidebars, no time, too much moving of the eyes’ focus.

  8. Theresa says:

    I like linky posts and facebook links. I don’t do twitter anymore or Google shared items or Diigo. I read your blog through Google reader,and only click over when I want to comment,so sidebar stuff is lost on me.

  9. Sherry says:

    Twitter or the blog–preferably both so that if I miss something one way, I’ll catch the on the other service.

  10. Susan Gaissert says:

    I like it when people share links on Facebook. Facebook is my town square, Thanks for asking. : )

  11. jules says:

    I also like links on FB (and like how Susan just referred to it — it’s the same for me, though I don’t care for Twitter). But I wonder these same things, so it’ll be interesting what you learn!

  12. Melissa Wiley says:

    Loving this feedback, thanks!

    @sarah—I found that Theodora Goss mythpunk post via your sidebar! 🙂 And sent it to my Tumblr (my online reading log) rather than here/FB because I wanted to revisit it more slowly & maybe comment here with a link.

    I didn’t include Tumblr in my questions above, but I ought to have. I use mine as a commonplace book, a way to track things I’ve read but don’t necessarily want/need to share. (Though sometimes I’ll return to share them later.) I figure if I’m so careful to record all my book-reading, I ought to be recording internet-reading, too. Easy to lose track of where you read what, when you’re reading in so many ways!

  13. Sheila says:

    Don’t have a FB account, don’t use Twitter, read almost everything via Google Reader. Rarely look at actual blog, which means sidebars.

    Personally I hate it when people share FB links, because then I am left out of the equation, because I am not taking that step. LOL

  14. Anne Marie says:

    Facebook. When I see a blog entry with a big bunch of links, I tend to ignore it.

  15. Irene says:

    Definitely Facebook. That gets me to click over to here. I don’t do Twitter at all.

  16. Allison says:

    As a visual person, I like linking on Facebook. There a picture and source can be “seen.”

    I tweet too, but I’m not too Twitter savvy…just trying to get a handle on hashtags.

    I just started on Tumblr for photos. I’m AllisonTTF and will look for you there, Melissa.

    The information that I am aware of and the speed with which I become aware of it is dazzling in this media age. We ARE making the world smaller…in a sense.

  17. MelanieB says:

    I do love the links posts with the explanations of the links because it’s got the thought process, a few words from you. But, truth be told, for some reason I’m not quite sure why, I often wait and wait and wait to actually click on those links. Maybe because when I’m reading blogs I’m in a mood for more slightly more linear reading and clicking?

    I’m most likely to immediately click on links in Facebook or Twitter because I’m in the clicky mode. I do like that Facebook gives a little teaser with the link. Sometimes that will catch my eye when the link by itself wouldn’t.

    I do follow your Google share stream and read those via Google Reader. I go to that when I’m in the mood for following lots of links and I do like that it collects and keeps the links for much longer than Twitter or Facebook where they scroll off the screen.

  18. Sarah says:

    I don’t follow you on Twitter or FB or Google, but I get your web updates on my feed reader, so I like the links there the best.

  19. MelanieB says:

    I kind of wish I were more thoughtful and methodical about my own link sharing. My default is to put something in my Google Reader Shared Items. However, when I see a link I like on Facebook I often just share it on Facebook. Likewise links I like on Twitter I retweet. Sometimes I’ll also add to my Google Reader Items but not always. Things I want to keep and remember I save to my Evernote but I often don’t and then later wish I had. I wish I were better at archiving what I’ve read for myself.

  20. Haley says:

    My first choice is Reader (I follow you in my own Reader). Second choice would be linky posts here on the blog. Somewhere after that is FB. And way down the line is Twitter and Diigo. Hope that helps!

  21. Annette W says:

    I use google reader as a friend. I often ignore sidebars…though not always.

    Facebook…I am still new to…have no desire to tweet.

  22. Karen Edmisten says:

    I vote:

    “* wonder if this post is a means of procrastinating some other task I ought to be doing, such as, to use a completely arbitrary example, tallying up my deductible expenses from the research trip so I won’t have to be plunged into hell come next April?”

    Lol! Well, I’m procrastinating, too, so I’ll take time to answer. 🙂 I follow links in all of the ways you mentioned, depending on where I happen to stumble on them (or procrastinate my way into their vicinity), so I’m probably not much help at all, but hi. 🙂

  23. Maureen E says:

    The first. I like knowing a bit more about the link and why you found it interesting.

  24. Melissa Wiley says:

    @Maureen (and others), I too like that about linky-posts—and it applies to FB too, since people often add a note to the top of a link they’re sharing. Often it’s that brief comment that gets me to click through to read the link.

    @Allison, here’s my Tumblr: http://bonnyglen.tumblr.com/ But I don’t use Tumblr like most people do (that I’ve seen); it really is just a catch-all notebook for me. Articles & posts I’ve read, whether I liked/agreed with them or not. Things I read part of but want to come back to.

    I’m really enjoying all these responses. Thanks, everyone. (Keep ’em coming.) As I suspected, preferences vary widely but I’m seeing some trends:

    —no one bothers with sidebars (not a surprise)

    —people who are on FB seem to prefer reading links that way

    —people who are not on FB seem to prefer linky blog-posts with notes

    —many have expressed being put off by posts containing a number of links, and I’m wondering if that’s part of the FB-link appeal: it’s a single link at a time, versus a post in which I might round up 3 or 4 things that interested me.

    That last point intrigues me. I actually save shareworthy links up until I have three or four to share, because I don’t want to annoy people with multiple (albeit short) blog posts a day. OH and also, it feels so weighty to share a single link in a post—like I’m saying THIS IS MASSIVELY IMPORTANT, not I FOUND THIS SORT OF INTERESTING. Whereas posting a single link on FB is simply what you do. In a post, I’d feel compelled to offer a longer commentary, if I were just posting a single link. And yet I love Bookshelves of Doom, and she posts numerous short, often one-line/one-link posts every day.

    I feed all my blog posts to FB (but only occasionally link to them on Twitter), so any linksharing I do here reaches that audience as well.

    It’s the Reader vs FB conundrum that stumps me the most. I Reader-share when I’m reading there, because it’s quick and easy. But that means the blog/FB/Twitter crowd isn’t seeing it.

    None of this is as big a deal as all these words make it seem, LOL. I’m just interested in the ways we share and find information these days. I seek out the Reader-share feeds of certain people because they’ve shown they have an eye for items that interest me.

  25. Lenetta says:

    LOVE the link posts with the comments. I am on FB and I sometimes click through on stuff there, but I often check FB from the ipad and I don’t like to click through on links from there because if I want to throw it in my favorites, I need to be on my computer. Which means I probably need to be using one of your other systems but I cannot seem to wrap my head around them. :>)

  26. Sandra says:

    I’m not a Facebook or Twitter user, and I like/need to keep thinsg simple so a post with links and comments works for me.

  27. Harmony says:

    I’m another who will not see any links you put on FB or Twitter and have no idea what Google Reader Shared Items or Diigo are. I do read your blog in Reader so that’s the only way I will see the links. And I’m much more likely to click over if there’s a short note about why you posted the link in the first place.

  28. Joy says:

    I usually ignore links no matter where they come from. But occasionally one will be interesting to me and usually that’s from a blog post. I completely ignore the FB ones and get annoyed that they clog up the feeder, when all I really want to know is what my friends are up to. And I don’t have a clue what Diigo is…

  29. Tabatha says:

    Wow, you’ve gotten a lot of comments about this! Just another vote for the first option. I had no idea that I wasn’t the only person not on FB or Twitter.

  30. Selena says:

    I follow all your links for book recommendations but I don’t do Twitter, or fb, or sidebars. LOVE your book recommendations!

  31. sashwee says:

    I like your links and comments. I frequently check your sidebar for books and links. I do not use facebook or any other social media, and would miss out if you stopped posting stuff here (wonder if there are others in the same boat?). I love your blog, basically anything you want to post is avidly enjoyed!

  32. Jennifer says:

    I like the blog posts or shared items in Google Reader best..it’s not annoying to me at all, and I can find the links easily later (thanks to Google Reader).

    I don’t do FB or Twitter. I try to minimize how many places I visit…

  33. Becky says:

    * do you like when I do a post here with links to three or four things that caught my interest (a la Delicious), perhaps with short notes about what made them jump out at me?
    –Yes. The last “Sciency fiction” post was perfect!

    * keep as far away from Facebook as you possibly can?
    — Yes

    * deplore linksharing on Twitter?
    — Well, I wouldn’t say deplore…

    * wonder why people like me are so doggone Twitterhappy in the first place?
    — Yes

    * find yourself saying, Diigo huh?
    — Yes

    I’m for the lowest tech option which keeps me on the computer the least! Thanks, Lissa : ).


  34. Katy says:

    I like links on the blog, b/c I’m not your Facebook friend and because I like to be able to find stuff later and it’s impossible to search Facebook like that..

    However, I would actually be interested for it to be on tumblr because that can go to my reader as well and can also be searched (I think!). For tumblr I’d prefer multiple one-link posts with short commentary.

    For a blog, I don’t know, on the one hand lots of links gets to feel long and I don’t have time to go to them all, but a million one link posts doesn’t work well either, so I’m torn! I think part is the mix of longer and shorter posts in a blog, whereas on tumblr they would all be short and I would know that was what I was getting if I clicked on it (so I could look through when I had time).

  35. Barbara says:

    I like FB links and links here, but I don’t “get” Twitter so I don’t see stuff when it’s posted there.

  36. Heather says:

    I love links in your blog posts and often click to them

  37. Frannie says:

    I always start at your blog, because it reads like talking with you. The fb links are fine because they remind me I haven’t read you in awhile and I should see what you’re up to. Don’t do any of the other stuff.

  38. yvonne says:

    I just love your blog; I’ll take the links anyway I can get them. Do you include all your links on your Writer facebook page? I think, maybe, I need to check there more often. Thanks for always sharing so much great stuff with us. 🙂

  39. Michelle says:

    Blog or fb is the best for me. I don’t follow twitter or have any idea what Diigo is. I don’t mind multiple links, I might not follow them all but I will peruse them at leisure. For instance we just recieved the “Oregon Trail” game in the mail yesterday because we followed your link. It was perfect because we had just finished reading about it. Anyway…

  40. Melissa Wiley says:

    @Yvonne, no, I don’t post many links to the FB author/fanpage—only when they’re related to books, I suppose. I don’t use that page well at all. I don’t want to cross-post and therefore litter the feed of people who follow me on both my personal FB profile and the fan page, but so many more people follow the personal page so that’s where I wind up posting stuff. Fuzzy lines.

    @Michelle, Oregon Trail is a hoot! Enjoy!

    Diigo is like Delicious—both are social bookmarking sites. You can save links you like, and share them with others if you wish. At times I have done an autoshare thing where Diigo will generate a post here whenever I’ve got at least three links to share. But the autoformatting is wonky, so I have to manually clean it up, and that sort of defeats the purpose.

    @FRANNIE!!! So fun to see you here!!! Am really hoping to see you IN PERSON this summer, if we can swing it…

  41. sarah says:

    I guess I do a little of everything, Facebook, blog from Google Reader, and sidebars from blog site along with blog. At least 75% of the time I click on a link because of the discussion that precedes or follows it, the other 25 because of the title alone (those are more likely to be current event posts from facebook). I do purposefully go to a lot of blog sites even though I may get them on my reader, just because I like the creative side of blogging, enjoy seeing their headers, music etc. and I have a few favs that have shared links on sidebars that I especially like. A little of this, a little of that. Can’t wait to see what you come up with. Hugs.

  42. Jeanne says:

    I like the links in the blog post and the blog post on Facebook so I know there is new stuff up. Love seeing the links in context of the blog post – the thought process behind them gives me more incentive to click through, or if time is of the essence, helps me decide which ones might be of value to me right NOW. I almost always come back and click thru the rest of posts of blogs I read regularly.

    I also think the sidebars are really helpful in finding stuff, sort of a more inviting filing cabinet. Oh – I remember Lissa wrote about that, let me find it over on her blog. And to the sidebars I go first. Sometimes I direct people here too – I used to especially do that when you had tidal homeschooling in the sidebar — because I often find myself mentioning this in my homeschool talks (with credit to you).

    As for Twitter, I’m a great candidate for it because I love the way form can precipitate thought, as in poetry. I mean, first you’re 19 and have to free yourself from it, but then suddenly you’re 29 (and 39 and 49) and writing to the form makes things come to you that would never have come had you not had to go for the rhyme or the rhythm – or the number of characters. That said, after creating my Twitter account, I’ve not found myself using it, but then, my poetry is suffering too, so maybe there are too many other “forms” competing for my attention these days.

    Love hearing people’s comments on this stuff.

  43. Ami says:

    * like when I do a post here with links


    * prefer to check Google Reader Shared Items?


    * like when people share links on Facebook?

    Yep. Except, then people always leave comments on facebook instead of on the blog, which is really annoying when it’s my blog and I want publishers to see comments there:)

    * wonder why people like me are so doggone Twitterhappy in the first place?

    Twitter totally gets on my nerves. I used it when we were judging Cybils – sporadically – and haven’t touched it now in months.

    * find yourself saying, Diigo huh?


    * need to break it to me gently that you skip over all that linky stuff, period, because let’s face it, you are coming here for book recommendations and/or pictures of bees?

    Oh, definitely the bees.

    Now I will go back and read everyone else’s comments to see what I should have said and didn’t.

  44. Melissa Wiley says:

    Jeanne—good to know about the sidebar links. I do have a tidal homeschooling link there still (small, buried in text up on the left)—perhaps I should restore a bigger one?* I used to fill the sidebars with links to individual posts or categories that might interest newcomers & casual explorers, but recently I took them all down.

    *I did; it’s back.

  45. coffeemamma says:

    The first. I love your linky posts with commentary.

    I don’t do Facebook or Twitter.

    I read through Google Reader, but do click through to read posts often.

    I love to read others’ shared items- so much fun, and so many rabbit trails!

  46. Kathy says:

    I’m doing these backwards. I still tend to keep my online and irl life separate, and FB is my real life location (because I’m stuck in my ways, and I can’t move past my freshman year where FB was just me and my new college friends).

  47. Fe says:

    I tend to follow links I come across in facebook—but given that I only use facebook for people I actually _know_, I’d never see any of yours there. I tend to Reader share things to my own blog, not so much for the benefit of other people (I know the sidebars aren’t really looked at), but so _I_ can go back to them… not that I recall that I ever have…
    I prefer links in the blog, because then I know I can find them. (That being said, I’m really enjoying Pinterest as a way of ‘doing something’ with interesting posts [assuming they have an image!] that I might want to come back to—but I’ve yet to investigate including that in _my_ blogging.)