I like to check out Arts & Letters Daily website a few times every week because, even though they are absurdly biased like the rest of the mainstream media, they do have links to some great but obscure posts that I would not otherwise notice.
However, they have a very specific, very ugly, very closed-minded policy about linking to posts on “conservative” websites. When A&LD links to an article on The National Review site or The American Spectator (for example) they always link to the print-formatted version of the article. They never do that with any of the obscenely liberal publications they link to.
Why does this make a difference? Because when a reader follows the A&LD link to the print-formatted article he does not see ANY of the rest of the target website including any of the design, links, other features, contributors, comments etc.
One of the main benefits of getting a link to your content is that your new readers will have a chance to check out your site and notice all your other content. You hope that your new readers will appreciate your site design and be drawn in to the display of your attractively presented material. Perhaps they will enjoy the comments enough to become part of the discussion themselves.
Arts & Letters Daily’s practice of linking to unformatted, naked, zero-context, dead-end versions of conservative website content is a mean spirited and petty way to prevent their readers from making a connection with websites like The National Review and The American Spectator. (It also prevents the target site from earning ad revenue on the visit.)
I have been watching this go on for some time now and I am really sick of it.
Let me show you an example. Here is a National Review article as linked to by A&LD: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/print/253676
Here is the same article as it normally appears on the website and how it would normally be linked to: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/253676/needed-economics-grownups-interview
That’s a pretty big difference, isn’t it? And (as far as I have noticed) it only happens with conservative websites.