Link Builders, do you look at the world through a link building lens?

So I think that this video is MUCH more than just something link builders should watch. I tend to look at the world as one big link waiting to be acquired, but I think for anyone who tries to persuade people to take additional steps. In the video (below) Seth Priebatsch of Scvngr illustrates how to change the way you look at the world. I ended up watching this video on a bus on my way to Valapraiso on my iPad using the TED app - sweet app.

Start at about 5 minutes. Much like I look at the world as one big link, Seth is looking at the world as one big game. Seeing the world through that lens he is able to show how everything from happy hour to farmville, to airline miles are all nothing more than a game. His thoughts on creating status are huge, until I saw this video I never thought of the black card as a status symbol, yet I've often wondered when I am going to get one :)

The way he looks at school as a game, and why we should consider moving from games you can lose vs. "leveling up" are interesting.

So how does this help you in link building? I think he illustrates the concept of looking at the world through a lens, everything he sees is a game. You and I see a valedictorian, he just sees another status that people are working towards.

When I walk home, every stimulus I see is a possible link - while I have discussed at length about my favorite example "being pet friendly to build links." Let me give you another example - I had a friend who was recently mugged - as he was driven around in a police car I thought, damn...if he had a tool like lookout he might be able to find the jerks who took his phone. When then led me down this path of using twitter search to find people talking about losing their phones, which then led to some ideas for microsites for our client.

It wasn't that I was being an opportunist, its that I can't help but look at the world this way. I try to shove in as much stimulus as possible in a given day, all of which serve as sparks. Many of those sparks will never be used, but once in a while they are gems, so my question to you, where are your link building sparks? how to you provide stimulus every day to expose you to new ideas?

Here's one of my new tips:

Just today I decided to start following data scientists, which was recommended by Will Critchlow at the Distilled conference. The reason is simple why is that they will see data in a different way then I do and if I can learn to look at data in a different way then I currently do, it will help me build links for my client.

Here's another one: We all read a LOT of blogs to stay on top of the space, but bookmarking great posts as inspiration, is critical...every time I get stuck, I go and open up in new tabs all of my inspiration posts (the ones that get me looking at the world differently) and inevitably, I start coming up with new ideas.

Sparking new linking ideas is about much more than following "link builders" on twitter, sometimes you gotta go follow some mommy bloggers, some tech geeks, but just make sure they are people who have a zest for their topic.

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Wil Reynolds
Wil Reynolds
CEO & Vice President