vini vidi vici (via) August 18, 2010 4:11 PM   Subscribe

is it OK to link to a friend on a "(via)" link?

I have a friend who's found something awesome that I want to share with mefi, and I'd like to give her credit for finding it, but I don't want to break the "no linking to your friends" rule. So, can I break the "no linking to friends" rule with the "via" link, or do I have to deny her credit for finding this awesome thing because she's a friend of mine (which is a pretty rude thing to do to a friend), or do I deprive mefi of this awesome thing because the moral quandary over posting it makes me hide under my desk?
posted by luvcraft to Etiquette/Policy at 4:11 PM (26 comments total)

you should not link a friend's page on the front page for really any reason.

no matter the intent, you are funneling significant page views to your friend and some will see it as trying to backdoor the rules.
posted by nadawi at 4:12 PM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Buy her a MeFi account and she can post it herself. Problem solved.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:12 PM on August 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


Credit for someone finding something on the Internet is like "discovering" a restaurant. It's not the invention of the steam engine.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:14 PM on August 18, 2010 [8 favorites]


Linking to your friend is linking to your friend, regardless of the text attached to that link. If you would feel like a cad not including the via, then, yes, skip the post. The good news is that if it's a cool thing, someone else may come across it and post it themselves. The bad news is that they might not do so via your friend's blog, but, well, them's the breaks.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:14 PM on August 18, 2010


You know, if you hadn't bothered to say anything...
posted by gman at 4:14 PM on August 18, 2010


Personally, I'd find it more of a problem that people would post awesome things that their friends along with "via" links to their friend's (maybe not so awesome) blog than I would people linking awesome things that their friends do.

But I also think that (via) links are a convention whose time has past.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:15 PM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


OK, thanks guys!
posted by luvcraft at 4:18 PM on August 18, 2010


Huh?

I would think that if Site X is out there and is the focus of the FPP, but there's a little (via) at the end that credits a friend at Site Y with finding Site X, that's not a violation.

But it should be a really awesome Site X. I mean, whales speaking to God awesome. If it's a mid-quality, acceptable link, it won't be enough to tote the baggage of a friend's (via) link.
posted by maudlin at 4:19 PM on August 18, 2010


And on not preview: cortex-speaks-to-whales-and-us. Oh, well.
posted by maudlin at 4:20 PM on August 18, 2010


Yeah, we want to keep the no-self-links, no-friend-links thing pretty bright and clear. There's a lot of headache-preventing value in not opening the door for a dozen different "well, but it's not really a big deal in this case, right?" loopholes, however well-intentioned any given instance might be. So it's nice of you to think of your friend luvcraft, and no harm at all in asking here, but that's why it's a firm "no" from us.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:27 PM on August 18, 2010


I don't know if this is too much of a cheat, but there's no rule against self-linking in comments is there? Perhaps you could give credit there?
posted by brundlefly at 4:28 PM on August 18, 2010


I would think that if Site X is out there and is the focus of the FPP, but there's a little (via) at the end that credits a friend at Site Y with finding Site X, that's not a violation.

There's no exception to the self/friend-link rule for links that are "little" and "at the end."

My mom blogs interesting links every day, and I could easily post them here as FPPs on a daily basis. In fact, I've done so a couple times, but there was no way for the Metafilter readers to know I got the link from my mom's blog, and that's as it should be. If I started posting "via" links to her blog in Mefi FPPs, I would be using this website to help a family member make money, and I would expect to be banned for that.

Of course, the problem is exactly the same if you leave it out of the post itself but put it in the first comment.
posted by Jaltcoh at 4:59 PM on August 18, 2010


[...] or do I deprive mefi of this awesome thing because the moral quandary over posting it makes me hide under my desk?

I think you've already gotten an answer to your main question, but have you tried the hiding under the desk thing? I highly recommend it. It's like a little fort under there.
posted by FishBike at 5:34 PM on August 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


MCMikeNamara: "But I also think that (via) links are a convention whose time has past"

This. Who cares where I found a link? If it's good it's good.

But what's especially annoying is when someone posts a FPP and someone else comes along and posts a via link "for them." That's just rude and annoying.

But I digress. So to sum up the important parts of this, via links are stupid and should be banished.
posted by theichibun at 5:47 PM on August 18, 2010


Linking to your friend is linking to your friend, regardless of the text attached to that link.

I really like how you guys are consistent about this.
posted by hal_c_on at 6:15 PM on August 18, 2010


If we could do this, half of my posts would have links to my friends' gchat statuses.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:15 PM on August 18, 2010


MCMikeNamara: "But I also think that (via) links are a convention whose time has past"

I'm old fashioned.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:35 PM on August 18, 2010


theichibun: "Who cares where I found a link? If it's good it's good. "

That's true as far as it goes.

But if even one person is curious enough to follow a "via" and thereby discovers a web site that, by definition, was interesting enough to have something FPP-worthy on it, so much the better. Why should anyone begrudge others the opportunity? Are they concerned that the Web may break under the weight of superfluous links? Are three letters in parentheses increasing their eye strain?
posted by Joe Beese at 8:43 PM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


BUT EVERYONE WHO READS MY BLOG IS MY FRIEND!
posted by klangklangston at 8:50 PM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


theichibun writes "Who cares where I found a link? If it's good it's good. "

It's a way to sneak a double in. If I find a cool link at a site I visit regularly but was posted to metafilter 8 years ago I can stealth double the link to the via site and simultaneously show one of the reasons it is so awesome.
posted by Mitheral at 10:21 PM on August 18, 2010


Would it also be a breach of etiquette to credit an offline source in that source were a friend?

I mean, if you made a really great post with some nice substantial links, then added a little [thanks Bob], sans link, somewhere on the inside, would that pass the smell test?

I don't think it's something people would particularly do, but in the spirit of giving credit or citing sources, I'd personally not be offended.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:07 AM on August 19, 2010


In the first comment, just put:

Via my friend Jim/Jane etc's awesome blog. If you're interested, memail me for details.

You're giving kudos where it's due, not cluttering an FPP and aren't linkbaiting or improving SEO.

I'm guessing that meets the spirit of the MeFi rules while still giving some credit.
posted by MuffinMan at 4:06 AM on August 19, 2010


If we can self-link *ourselves* in comments when relevant, linking the 'via' in a comment within the thread (i.e., not in the post or the 'more inside') seems like it should be a decent enough distance from the front page.
posted by mediareport at 6:11 AM on August 19, 2010


> If we can self-link *ourselves* in comments when relevant ...

The key word, I think, is relevant. A self-link / friend-link in comments is relevant when it adds something to the discussion (you wrote a paper, created original/related material, wrote a song about it, etc.) Interesting commentary or analysis might do it, especially if you are quoting it. Still best to keep a safe distance, though.

At any rate, I believe a referral to ANY blog that "found" something on the web is unnecessary.

(I'm looking at you, Kottke!)
posted by m@f at 7:38 AM on August 19, 2010


So, what if, in a situation like this, a user like luvcraft links to said secret awesomeness on their profile, let's say. And then, if another user finds it (I found some pretty cool stuff on other users' profile pages via that recent MeTa post), and posts it to the front page? Is that legit, assuming its not being done in a back-door-to-get-around-the-rules page? Or is it better to MeMail said user, and be all "dood why dint you put this on the bloo?"
posted by allkindsoftime at 8:50 AM on August 19, 2010


Why should any credit go to your friend? Why does finding a link even have credit value? If you're posting an FPP it's because YOU found something awesome. Even if it was on your friend's blog, you found it. If there's any credit, it should go to the creator. The reason metafilter has reasonably good quality links is that we act as a filter. Most of them are available elsewhere but we've picked out the one or two links that we like best. Your friend's blog probably has fifty odd other posts this year that aren't FPP worthy. Anyway, it's the Internet. Everything is everywhere.
posted by doublehappy at 1:48 PM on August 19, 2010


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