My secret goal is to get picked up by Dynamic Ecology’s Friday links at least once a month.
I’m sincerely flattered that Margaret would set this as a goal. And while I don’t know of anyone else who’s ever set “make the Dynamic Ecology linkfest on a regular basis” as a goal, I do occasionally see people tweeting how happy and even honored they are at making our linkfest. But besides feeling flattered, I have slightly mixed feelings. (attention conservation notice: brief navel-gazing post ahead)
I totally get why someone would be happy to get a link from us. I’m happy whenever we get a link from someone else! It’s always nice to be noticed in a positive way. It’s especially nice when it comes from someone you respect.
But I hope it’s not more than that for anyone. I hope no one sees making our linkfest as an achievement, in a similar way to how it’s an achievement to have a paper highlighted by Faculty of 1000, or to get a paper accepted by a selective journal. Because while I can’t speak for Meg, I discover stuff to read, and decide whether to link to it, in a pretty casual, haphazard way. I’m not systematically searching for the “best” stuff by any criterion, not even “my own personal preferences”. There’s no formal mechanism for anyone to bring candidate links to my attention. And honestly I don’t even know how I decide if something is “link worthy”. So, yes, I do like the stuff that I link to. But I only link to a fraction of the stuff I like, and to a vastly smaller fraction of all the stuff that I would like if I knew about it. I’d hate to think that there might be somebody out there who’s bummed, or worried that they’re doing something wrong, because we haven’t linked to them lately.
So don’t take my choice of links too seriously. Because I don’t.