Friday, November 20, 2009

Boring Link Within

A few months ago I added "Link Within" to my blog. It was a nice idea : it would search through my blog back catalogue and pull up three related posts which it would spotlight at the end of the current post under the heading "You Might Also Like". I assume it chooses the related posts by searching for key words in the titles or the labels. However it did it, it seemed to work quite well .... for a time. Then for some reason it became fixated on one particular post and added it to the "You Might Also Like" at the end of every post. What is worse, the post in question was one titled "So Boring"! After a week or two of my readers being asked whether they might also be interested in "So Boring", I began to get a bit of a complex and decided that I was being unfairly targeted by a Google gadget which was far too perceptive for its own good. Deciding to fight back, I deleted the original "So Boring" post in the hope that if the post didn't exist, the gadget would no longer direct readers to it. Did it work? Did it heck. It continued to offer a link to "So Boring" and, when you clicked on it, it suggested that it could no longer locate the particular post in question (hinting, I suspect, that there were too many that fitted the description to choose from). My only recourse was radical surgery and therefore I removed the "Link Within" gadget altogether.

Which was a pity as the ability to point readers in the direction of older posts was quite useful. And it would also be useful to point readers in the direction of some of the posts on my other blogs, or some of the posts of my blogging friends. The only solution was to manually add a Link feature at the end of posts and this I have been experimenting with for the last few days. So, from now onwards, at the end of each post, you will find a ""You Might Also Like...." link list. At some time or another I will try to include links to all the other blogs I follow, but the order will be totally random so if your blog doesn't appear in the near future, just be patient.

As we seem to have got on to the "boring" theme I thought I would share with you another postcard from my collection. I remember buying this postcard forty or so years ago. I was attracted to it at the time because I thought it was probably the most boring picture postcard I had ever seen. It features three buildings in Hipperholme - a village about six miles from where I live - and shows the church, the pub and the newsagents shop. Whilst such a triptych would normally have the power to be visually attractive, poor Hipperholme seems to be devoid of beauty in each case.

A CANADIAN FAMILY : A blog all about postcards that is never boring is the one published by Canadian blogger Evelyn Yvonne Theriault. Whether your interest lie in postcards or genealogy it is always well worth a visit.
POSTCARDS FROM AMY : Talking of postcards, you can catch up on the latest postcard from my and my dog Amy describing our coast-to-coast walk across America.


  1. I haven't really played around with the gadgets on Blogspot. I find them a bit boring, to be honest.
    Something which can never be said about reading your blogs...

  2. I know exactly what you mean. A year ago I did an abysmal video on my digital camera with me, in my kitchen, reading my poem "Orson Swells" (about a squirrel). In this video, I look very schleppy, have a terrible lisp due to the quality of the film and stumble through the recitation.
    A while back, I removed it from my archives, but the google gadget of which you speak, periodically pops up with this tantalizing invitation to see me "live" (an irony if ever there was one).
    I recently heard a standup comic do a bit on "Google" and how it prefills the search box as you are typing. He suggested that Google was being pompous and condescending when it asks, "Did you mean?..."
    Google is the new "Big Brother".
    That postcard link you've provided looks intriguing. Off to check it out...

  3. I have given up using many of the add-ins, widgets, gadgets etc as there is invariably a problem later that takes forever to fix. Either that or I just don't understand them. Some blogs are loaded with technology, and they seem to make it work.

  4. Anonymous4:12 PM

    I used linked within for a while but never liked what it linked of my stuff. So I just quit. I have tested it or what people look at once they land on the blogs and only a few stay long enough to go from the blog they landed on to another post I have made. I would say one out of ten does but may only stay an extra minute in doing it.

    Some people have made a fortune trying to come up with gadgets of all kinds to get readers to stay longer or to look around more and in the end, most readers, polled, stay a minute or less.

  5. Haha! I wouldn't take offense- google really does not have the best discerning eye... but that is so funny that even after you erased it it kept linking it!

  6. Great idea of yours Alan. I think your links stand out more than the Link Within pictures. I still have the LW widget but I often wonder if anyone bothers to follow a link. Mostly only the last post is read anyway. I link to other bloggers occasionally and some of my own posts.

  7. Same with me, Alan. I used it for a few months and of 600 some posts to chose from, posted the same dumb little post every single time. I deleted it. I think it also slows down the blog loading time.

  8. I mean "choose", but you knew that

  9. Hmm, glad you reported on the "Link Within" gadget. I was wondering about how it worked. Not so keen on it now.

  10. thanks for saving us from certain doom alan...and taking the time to add your links. you of course, are never boring...

  11. I love the postcard. I used to live near Hipperholme at one time. It was fairly....boring.

  12. I love the gadget. You do know you can contact their customer service with any issues... they usual get back to you within two days. I had an issue when I first installed it and they took care of it.

    Hey, it's free!

  13. You've saved us all a few hours mucking about with a gadget that doesn't really do much. We owe you.

  14. Hey Alan. I feel your pain, and like Willow, I have noticed that it uses the same posts over and over again. I like your idea much better, and may use that.
    Your experience was more comical than boring to me. Thanks for the laugh. Enjoy your weekend.

  15. Ah, gadgets! I wonder how that particular one really does work. But let me assure you, your blog is anything but boring. Good to see you took matters into your own hands.


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