The other day, I got an email with a request for a link trade from a web site called Chan Stickers. The email said that Chan Stickers had created a link for us in a “directory”, but that the link would be removed if I didn’t create a link to Chan Stickers.
The site owner explained that this policy of conditional endorsement was necessary so “I can protect myself from linking to people who don’t actually want to participate in my directory”. That statement struck me as odd, because I don’t think of linking to somebody else as something I have to “protect myself” from. If I like something, I link to it. If I don’t like something, I don’t link to it, or I put a rel=nofollow command in a link so that I don’t give Google Juice to the undeserving.
When it comes to Chan Stickers, I can’t find anything positive to say. The site has only one sticker design that I can find, and that’s for Chuck Norris stickers. Given the way that Chuck Norris has become an advocate for rather nasty right wing policies, I can’t link to a site that promotes him.
Political ideology aside, the approach of Chan Stickers is simple bad business. Chan starts communicating with a stingy attitude, when a generous message is more likely to build a working relationship.
Chan Stickers also makes a big mistake in attempting a marketing campaign before it has anything that’s worthy of attention. It requires focus and patience, but it’s much better to create something that people ought to see before you ask them to look at it and help it along.