Big Media: We can’t link to you…

I’m really hoping they fix this, but as of right now, links to get a 404…

I first mentioned the Blogging Summit put on by local broadcasters WTMJ 620 on June 12th, 2007 in a post title Citizen Blogging Summit.

The Summit was on June 14, 2007, and I recapped in a post title Citizen Blogging Summit Report.

There is a very good chance that in a few years, those links will still work. There are links to this site that still work nearly 10 years after I first created them. There’s an old saying: Cool URIs don’t change. WTMJ 620 doesn’t get that.

When we were at the Summit, someone mentioned they were re-launching their site in the next few days. The second I heard this, I was pretty sure all the bloggers they invited, who actually linked to the Summit page, would have dead links within a week. I was right.

I’m really hoping they fix this, but as of right now, links to get a 404.

And there are links pointing there. I mean, we’re bloggers! You invite us to talk about something, and we will, by linking to it. Will I link to anything on again? I don’t know, since there is a good chance it’ll disappear with the next web site re-design.

I might just be a little sensitive about this issue because I’m in the middle of doing some URL re-writing for a site that just underwent a major rebuild. But really, is a permalink so much to ask for? Honestly, I’m pretty disappointed. Just when you think someone is starting to get it, they let you down.

2 replies on “Big Media: We can’t link to you…”

I totally agree. But the managers who call the redesign shots don’t care about what they can’t see, and arguments that are founded on the health of the web ecosystem or concern for the commons are doomed.

Appeal to their self-interest, however, and you have an audience. Redesigning a site with the side effect of breaking all the inlinks is flushing all that slowly accumulated link equity right down the drain.

Show them their current PageRanks, inlink degrees, and SERP rankings and explain how it will all go away without a little 301 redirection and you have a budget.

Of course, none of this helps with a clueless radio station you’re not even working with, but I’ve found it’s a good way to persuade a client to do the right thing with link longevity.

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