I'll Link to Whoever He's Linking To

One only needs to have had a weblog for about five minutes to see the
relevance to blogging of Cialdini‘s ideas about how we are persuaded and how we
reach decisions — particularly concerning whom one links to or adds to one‘s
blogroll. If you’re honest, you’ll recognize that at least some of Cialdini‘s
principles have determined your linking/blogrolling preferences:

  • Reciprocity (If I put you on my blogroll, you’ll feel obliged to
    put me on yours.)
  • Commitment/Consistency (Now that you’re on my blogroll I’m unlikely
    to remove you.)
  • Social Proof (If all those other people have X on their blogrolls,
    then he definitely should be on my blogroll.)
  • Liking (The people I link to and have on my blogroll are similar to
    me, have praised me, are associated with events or projects I’d like to be a
    part of? at the very least, since I’m never going to reach the A-list, I can
    bask in the A-lister‘sreflected glory.)
  • Authority (Anyone on the Technorati Top 100 must automatically be
    knowledgeable, wise, and powerful.)
  • Scarcity (Since the A-list has so few members relative to the total
    blogging population, what A-listers write must necessarily be of high quality.
    Similarly, a link from an A-lister is enormously valuable?regardless of the
    quality of the item at the end of that link.)

Jonathan Delacour
I’ll Link to Whoever He’s Linking To (The Heart of Things)

This is a much more thorough examination of an issue I was muddling through a few days ago. Dammit, I wish I had time to pursue this further, but my plate is already full. I’ll just have to read what others write (which is a heck of a lot easier than trying to figure it all out myself).

Update, 10 Dec: I don’t think Delacour’s assessment of “scarcity” is right. Because the A-list bloggers have so many inbound links, their opinions online are anything but scarce. But I agree with him in his application of scarcity to an outbound link from an A-lister. Even if the Alpha blogger has pages and pages out outbound links, each outbound link can be very valuable to the recipient (if, that is, the recipient cares about the currency of the blogosphere).