Word of mouth is the way we find auto mechanics, doctors, lawyers, accountants, book stores, restaurants, plumbers, and even vacation spots. Relationships are the means by which we connect with the larger world. We often trust a plumber if we trust the source who claims to know him well and recommends him. And this got me to thinking.
Many blogs are being chocked by google ads, ad sense ads and side bar items in an attempt to make a buck. But what if we changed this into a word of mouth system that basically functions in the same way that we link to blogs we enjoy. So here is my little, probably misguided and flawed, idea:
I put links on my blog to people I know personally who provide good items and reliable service. If people in my network begin to add similar links on their sites the idea would be to provide free advertising for one another. Everyone’s business is advestised, but no one has to pay for it. It may not be pervasive enough to really make a difference, but heck, I’m giving it a go. Of course I don’t have any particular services to offer in return beyond producing snappy little newsletters, but in a year or so I may have some kind of freelance writer thing going. If that is the case, the people who find my writing to be good can put a little ad link to me on their web sites, but no pressure of course.
The other problem with this idea is that it’s a late night brain child of mine, which is never good. Julie is safely in bed and is not available to provide a dose of wifely wisdom. But Neal Morse is playing, I’m feeling good about it, and the links are going up: Shameless Plugs.
1. Should I keep them? Is this a good idea?
2. Do I know you? e-mail me a shameless plug at email@example.com
The first one is the farm of my roommate’s (from college at Taylor U) family out in Bryant Indiana. They make candles out of soy bean oil. Before you laugh, I assure you, they are the best candles around. As a closet pyro who will have candles nearing the double digits going all at once, a Holly Pines soy candle burns clean and evenly while adding a nice aroma to your room.
Next is Jesse the juggler. He’s another friend from Taylor U who is out in Kentucky at Asbury Seminary. He’s one of the best jugglers I’ve ever seen (which is not a lot, but I still think he’s top notch). I put a link to his blog, but at this point he is a much more polished juggler than blogger.
<%image(20060103-rich mug.jpg|120|90|mug)%> Rich Mountain Mugs is the web site of a friend of Julie and mine from the Philly area. Rich gave us some nice pottery mugs that we drink out of every day. The one pictured here is very similar to the mug I drink my Green Mountain Coffee out of every morning. I encourage every blogger out there to order a mug so they can blog in style much like myself. And why no, I don’t believe in branding . . .
Lastly, I couldn’t leave my friend Todd Heistand off the list. His church’s web site has the best design I’ve ever seen. His blog, listed on my blog log, is always redesigned, which makes it fun to visit, even if there’s nothing new posted. Todd dumped his manager job at Starbucks to free up time for ministry and to pursue freelance web design (I think I have that right). I share Todd’s desire for freelance employment and want to do everything in my power to help him get some more work.
Some other notes:
I’ve discovered that the alphabet is our friend. The links on my side bar have been in Ed-phabetical order: the order in which I open the sites when browsing. Now that I use bloglines I’ve decided to make the site more user friendly. Yes, that’s right, I’ve ALPHABETIZED my links. Novel idea. I’m usually the last person to catch on to trends. At least there are some people in the world who don’t even have written languages.