You have expert knowledge enabling you to make informed selections of what is worth reading. You could probably recommend several excellent books, articles, videos, documentaries and other material well worth the time to check out. Where do people find that? Is there a page on your site? Is it up to date?
Probably not. Maintaining a website page sucks. So you throw a link into your Twitter feed or whatever instead.
Here’s how to to set up a proper reference links page with minimum hassle. And you can still tweet your links.
Your reference links page
A proper reference links page helps disseminate information, serves as a useful reference for your own memory, and bolsters your web presence. It makes it easy to see things you’ve found recently, automatically tracks your best finds, is searchable by text, and can be filtered by keywords. Your reference links page can be accessed either on its own or as a page on your website. It supports RSS so people can follow what you post, and it integrates with social media so people can follow there. Adding a reference link takes about the same effort as posting a link to social media.
A reference links page shows what you found noteworthy, enhances your memory, and provides interactive insight for others who are interested. The insight and memory improvements come from the short note you include with each link describing why it is memorable. For you, the reference page is about the links. For other people, your notes make it valuable.
What to post
The simplest way to build your reference links page is to take a subset of what you already post to social media. When you find yourself about to post a link that seems worth remembering, make a reference link first, then post it socially.
To reiterate about the value of a reference link, it’s your comment about why a link is memorable that makes it informative to other people. But it’s not just something you do for others; that comment also helps to jog your memory when you reference your own links. Your comment increases your recall and makes it faster to find things. Your reference links page is essentially an organized list of links, each of which has a sentence about why it is noteworthy. Each link-plus-comment reference link item is called a membic.
When you find something worth remembering, make a membic to associate why you think the link is memorable with the link itself. That also makes for a good social media post, so creating the membic doesn’t really take any extra time out of your day.
For the first half dozen or so membics you make, your reference links page might not be spectacularly impressive, but as it grows you’ll find it increasingly useful. If you consistently make membics for noteworthy resources, you may soon find that your reference links page becomes one of the more dynamic and impressive parts of your web presence.
Getting a reference links page set up is going to take a few minutes, but it only has to be done once. Here’s what you need to do:
- Create a membic account. You will need to provide an email address for password recovery. You will also need to provide a name and an image to be associated with membics you create. Pen names and icons are fine if that’s more comfortable.
- Make a theme. Click your profile icon, select your themes tab, and click “Create cooperative theme”. The theme will become your reference links page. Give it a name, image, and short description.
- Set a unique hashtag by clicking on the gear icon in the theme, filling the hashtag value and saving. You can’t reserve a hashtag worldwide, but it’s worth doing a quick search to try and pick something that won’t be confused with something else. The hashtag gets added when you tweet a membic, and it’s used as the URL for your standalone reference links page. After saving the hashtag, click the theme title to see the standalone reference links page link.
- Make some membics so you have something to look at. If you’re not sure what to add, try adding your top 3 books and the most memorable article you’ve read in the past week. To make a membic, click the write icon, fill out the fields, click the checkbox next to your theme and save.
- If you have a website, make your reference links page part of it. Click the gear icon for the theme, then the “Embed Theme” link. Copy the code into a page on your site to display your reference links there. You can customize the tab and link colors in the theme settings to match your site if you want.
There are vastly more things you can do with membic themes, but that’s the core of setting up a reference links page.