Leveraging Political Power in the Blogosphere

19 Oct 2008
October 19, 2008

Hotlinking. I’ve written about this netiquette faux pas before. And as you can see I’ve found a number of ways to get even (here and here). If you’re going to use my images don’t even think of linking to them directly. Internet providers charge us for bandwidth when you do that. It’s costly and it’s just not nice.

But in this time of social and financial upheaval, when we’re watching the powers-that-be vying for control of the message, I have ways of maintaining authority over my own images. Link directly to them and you may find I’ve swapped your my favorite photo for something else, something a little bit more pithy.

Worship Warriors decided it liked the large iCal icon it found on my blog post about the application’s iconic July 17 date. So, they linked directly to it. But this time, given the political season and the very close presidential race I found a way to kill two birds with one stone.

Blog who hotlinked to my image: before

Before: This blogger thinks it’s okay to link to my image directly.

The election is providing unique opportunities to place candidates in heretofore untapped markets. For example, when someone hotlinks to one of your own images, simply replace that image with one of your Presidential favorite and you have free political advertising. From now on, when someone hotlinks to my graphics I’m swapping that image with a none-to-subtle political endorsement.

I’d like to say “All Power to the People” but I don’t want to risk a robocall attack connecting me with a 1960s fringe radical group. So lets just say who needs another 527 when I can do it myself? If you’re for my candidate then I suppose you can let it ride. But if you don’t favor impromptu politics on your own site, you might think twice before hotlinking. Remember, I control my own images. It’s how us ordinary citizens leverage power in these very uncertain times.

I’m Jeff Gates and I approved this message.

Blog who hotlinked to my image: before

After: Remember, if you chose to work this way, you don’t control what appears on your own site.

3 replies
  1. Howard says:

    In the Worship Warrior logo the horse is going in one direction, the shooter aiming in another. Seems like a metaphor for the GOP…clueless, directionless, and without aim.
    Thank you Jeff for making the world a better place.

  2. Karen says:

    Right-on Jeff! I love this. Are you planning on checking in to see how long your ploy goes unnoticed?

  3. Jeff says:

    Karen, it didn’t go unnoticed for very long. After all, it was on every page on his site. He downloaded my image and placed it on his own site, rather than linking to my own.
    But this is fair warning. I check my logs often and those of you who are unjustly hotlinking: beware! I know who you are.

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