Introducing WOMBLINK — Word Of Mouth Blog LINK

By on December 4, 2006
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UPDATE (9 March 2012): I’ve disabled this tool as it ended up being a honeypot for spammers.
The discussion in the comments section of my most recent post prompted me to do a bit of coding. It struck me that libraries needed a tool to help encourage their patrons to blog about the library. And not just to encourage talk — to actively invite comment on particular web pages (describing events, book talks, policy changes, etc.) Weblogs may well be the most powerful world of mouth tool in a library’s Internet arsenal.
The result is a simple tool I’ve called Word of Mouth Blog LINK — WOMBLINK for short.
The concept is straightforward. A WOMBLINK is a link provided by a library web site directly back to a specific web page. It is designed to be included in weblogs and is meant to be drop-dead easy for the librarian and patron to use, requiring nothing more than copying and pasting for the site publisher or the blogger.
So what is it? A WOMBLINK is two lines of HTML that, when included on a web page, display the words “Blog This”. A prospective blogger can click on this link and receive a second short snippet of HTML that includes a link directly to the original web page as well as a small logo provided by the site owner.
So what does it look like? Well, if I wanted to make it easy for people to blog about this article on RSS4Lib, I would go to WOMBLINK and fill in a form. This would generate the following HTML:
<a href = ‘http://www.rss4lib.com/womblink/display.pl?id=103′>Blog This</a><br>
WOMBLINK provided by <a href = ‘http://www.rss4lib.com/womblink/’>RSS4Lib</a>
That code looks like this in the browser:
Blog This
WOMBLINK provided by RSS4Lib
Then, as a blogger wanting to comment on and link directly to this web page, I would click the “Blog This” WOMBLINK above and get the following bit of HTML code:
<a href = ‘http://www.rss4lib.com/’><img src =
‘http://www.rss4lib.com/images/RSS4Lib-Logo.jpg’ height = ’20′
border = ’0′ alt = ‘Link to RSS4Lib’><a> <a href =
‘http://www.rss4lib.com/’>RSS4Lib</a><br><font
size = ’1′>This link courtesy <a href =
‘http://www.rss4lib.com/womblink/’>RSS4Lib WOMBLINK</a></font>
Once copied and pasted into a blog, it looks like this — complete with a logo for the web site being blogged:
Link to RSS4Lib RSS4Lib
This link courtesy RSS4Lib WOMBLINK
While some blogging software packages offer a JavaScript bookmarklet to “blog this,” bookmarklets aren’t always that useful. The blogger may not be technically savvy enough to install it or may not be working at her own computer when she sees your web site. It makes more sense to use a software-independent tool that all bloggers can take advantage of. An added plus of WOMBLINK is that the source web site can provide its own graphic (as long as it works well 25 pixels tall!) to help reinforce that web site’s identity.
Let me know what you think of this tool — send your comments and feedback to me at womblink@rss4lib.com.

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1 Comment

  • 1. Peta Hopkins  |  December 6, 2006 at 12:15 am

    I’ve tried it out. Good idea, but the name!
    How about WOW-Link – word of web link. Or changing the layout of lettering — wom-blink.


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