Still in catch-up mode. Noticed on Scoble’s blog that Google finally released NoFollow a few weeks back, and a bunch of folks got bent out of shape about it. Haven’t read through it all & won’t.
Instead, I thought it might be useful to get a BloggerCon III perspective on it. Yeah, there is one. A great session by Mary Hodder on Core Values. (I’m surprised it only got 3 stars, but I suppose that’s due to a lack of editing… and the ability to keep 100 people on the same damn topic 😉
Here’s the countdown:
38:45 – Mary Hodder: “Here’s a quote unquote Seal Of Approval, linking counts…”
43:20 – Unknown Male Speaker: “…a way to know what a link means…”
44:45 – Dave Winer: “A link means that you think that the person’s point of view is worth considering by an informed person…”
49:30 – Me: “…I don’t know that a link implies consent or support. I think it’s very important to know that for some of us, when we link to somebody we may be tearing down – hopefully constructively – what’s being said as much as pointing to it because we support it. So it is the context around the link, which is the meaning of the link, and that’s what doesn’t get captured in Page Rank or other algorithms right now. And that’s what we really need to have in order for a link to have meaning. “
NoFollow, then, is an interesting (and useful) step toward a richer link vocabulary. This trend is not new, BTW. A similar thing has been happening in the Contact List of Social Networking sites that allow you to qualify your relationship with someone, at least as far back as ’99. I’d tie all the recent talk of folksonomie/tagging stuff in as well.
Perhaps we could call this mega-trend: Clarifying Our Connectedness
Ross Mayfield has a brilliant post on all of this from a different perspective. A must read. (Too bad the link doesn’t reflect that…)