The Power of Thanks


(Would it be cynical to have titled this post “Links are Currency… You should always say thanks when someone hands you a 5 dollar bill”?)

I’ve been struck by the power of saying “thank you” twice in the last 24 hours.

The first was when I was reading my fearless leader’s blog. He was writing about a recent post by Guy Kawasaki who was, in turn, talking about a paper by a Stanford Psychologist. Confused yet?

Anyways, in the comments of Jason’s blog, someone who worked for Guy took the time to stop by and comment with a simple “thanks”.

The second time was on my own blog (now rising from the ashes). Ryan Carson took the time to stop by and say thanks for linking to his damn insightful blog post.

I don’t know how Jason felt about the thank you that he received (having it come from Guy’s assistant cheapens it a tad, IMHO), but I definitely was effected by mine.

I saw Ryan speak in a panel or two at SXSW. He seemed sharp. But I still harbored a bit of grumpy jealousy (he’s managed to get a tremendous amount of attention for an app that grosses a mere $150k year…) and a healthy amount of suspicion (a web geek who dresses well with an affinity for hats?!). But between his recent blog post about shifting from selling Dropsend to actually marketing the damn thing (very humble!) and dropping by my z-list blog to say thanks for a link, he’s gone way up in my book.

The fact is that links (even from a small fish like me) are pretty darn valuable. Value aside, you not lose sight of the fact that the person linking to your blog has picked your blog (out of 55 million on the ‘net) and your post (out of probably more than a billion posts out there). That attention should feel downright precious, as Kathy Sierra points out. But you need to consider that SEO is the key ingredient to success online, and that links are THE key ingredient to SEO.

Plain ol’ text links are currency. Linking to a site has value. If you took the time, you’d probably be able to assign a dollar value to it. The time you take to say thanks (to a-listers and z-listers alike) will probably be worth it and will almost certainly help your link karma.

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