Join Me in the #LinkFreeSunday Movement

LFS
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I’ve always wanted to start a movement. You know, blow something completely out of proportion and then lead the charge on fixing it without having to do any of the actual work myself. It sounds like something I could really excel at. And what better way to have a profound effect on the world? After all, that empty feeling isn’t going to go away on its own you know.

But like any good movement, you can’t just declare that you are starting a movement. You need stuff. Not much. Just a few random things is all it takes. A hashtag, a clever saying on a t-shirt, perhaps a little face paint and of course some help.

That last part is where you come in.

Now, don’t start cooking up excuses about how joining a movement will not fit into your busy little schedule. You won’t have to recycle shoelaces or stop eating gluten or anything like that. I know you’re busy. And gluten is delicious.

Instead, I’m going to ask you to stop doing something.

For just one day each week, I want you to stop using links in your Tweets. That’s it. Every Sunday. One day of rest. No links.

If (insert your choice of almighty beings here) thought it was a good idea to kick the ole shoes off and take a break on Sunday, is it too much to ask that you do the same? Let’s face it, it’s not like you’re creating the universe in all its glory or anything. You are just promoting that crappy top 10 post about Facebook again. Which you wrote months ago no less. Yeah, we all noticed.

So, for the love of Twitter and all that is holy, I am starting a movement called Link Free Sunday. Think of it like “Follow Friday” but with some actual benefit to it. My goal is to make Twitter a more tolerable place. Even if it’s just for one day a week.

The hashtag we’re going to use is #LinkFreeSunday. Hopefully it’s not taken by a venereal disease or something. I really didn’t bother checking. If it is, we’ll just have to share it. Not the venereal disease, the hashtag.

Look, I know I’m asking a lot. You’re skeptical. Afraid of change maybe. Or perhaps you didn’t jump on board as enthusiastically as I had hoped. It’s OK. That is why I prepared a little food for thought that will help convince you to join us…

Links Are Nothing More Than a Crutch

It’s one thing to sprinkle in a few links here and there and another to have to go back six months to find a Tweet of yours that doesn’t include a link. Whether it is a link to your blog or someone else’s, it takes zero effort to post a link. Click the little birdie on the post you want to share. Tada! That’s it. It’s a chance to say something without actually saying something. And it’s completely self-serving. You are either spewing links to your own blog hoping someone takes notice or you are regurgitating links to someone else’s blog hoping someone takes notice. Ironically, we have evolved to ignore links so in the end, none of us take notice. Now, when you do actually do dust off your brain and have something profound to say, we’re not listening.

Links Don’t Start a Conversation

I have met some of my closest friends on Twitter. Some have helped me with a move 1,000 miles away by welcoming me to my new home. Others have introduced me to some amazing new people. Some have hired me to speak at events. Others have hired me to do work for them. And every single one of them taught me something new. But not by posting links. By connecting. By reaching out and starting a conversation. Or responding to a conversation I started. Links are a dead-end. No one has ever wanted to meet you because of a link you posted. It’s what happens between the links you post.

Links Turn You Into a Spammer

If all you do is post links to your blog and other borderline useless crap that you dredged up on the Internet, you my friend are a spammer. A Twitter Spammer no less…a Twammer…or maybe a Spitter. I’m not sure. I’m still working on the logistics. It’s not entirely your fault! There are plenty of “well-known” Twitter gurus out there that post links every 15 minutes. These are our “influencers.” We cheer them on. Follow their lead. And hope that we can earn a small piece of their 172,000+ following by mimicking their strategy. Stop it. It’s not going to work. Even their followers have stopped listening as we all become more and more immune to the incessant linking.

Links Don’t Make You Human

There are no feelings or emotions associated with the act of barfing up links all day. It tells me that you don’t value me as a fellow human. Just someone with a mouse that might click on your link and add another tick mark to your analytics chart. And how do I return the favor? I ignore you. I don’t care about you either. It’s a shame. I scour my Twitter feed almost every day looking for someone to say something that I can respond to in an effort to start a conversation. And every day it gets more and more difficult to find something that comes from a human and not from a link.

Here is My Humble Request…

Starting this Sunday and every Sunday from here on out, let’s start a movement together called Link Free Sunday using the hash tag #LinkFreeSunday.

It’s simple. Don’t post any links on Sunday. Instead, use your time on Twitter connecting with other people. Being human. Telling your story. Building relationships. Or perhaps if you have nothing to say, just get off Twitter altogether for the day.

Give us a chance to miss you!

You can always go back to blasting us with links again on Monday. But for that one day each week, we’ll have a little something special!

If you’re in, here’s all you need to do:

  1. Tweet this post to help get the word out otherwise this is going to be a colossal failure (just don’t Tweet it out on Sunday…although that would be pretty ironic, wouldn’t it?).
  2. If you catch someone posting a link on Sunday, which shouldn’t be too hard, don’t blast them for it. Just don’t click on their link.
  3. And of course, don’t post any links on Sunday. Instead seek out others and start conversations. Talk about what you’re doing. Ask questions. Build relationships. And make sure you end each post on Sunday with #LinkFreeSunday

Now let’s start this movement and take Twitter back! Who’s with me? If you are, let me know by posting “I’m in” or something equally as brilliant in the comments and let’s get started!

Featured image courtesy of Mike Corpus licensed via Creative Commons.

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  • Monkey Boy Designer

    I’m in and shared. God I hope this works then Twitter might be fun again.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Nice!! By my calculations, we just need another 554,749,998 and we’re well on our way!

      • Stan Bush

        allright. I don’t care what anybody says. That right there was funny.

      • http://www.lifestuff.org/ lifestuff.org

        554,749,997. I’m in.

        • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

          HA! That made me laugh!

  • http://rhogroupee.com/ Rosemary ONeill

    Love it. Is it ok to share the link to this post today, since it’s Tuesday? :)

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Of course!!! We have to get the word out somehow!

  • http://thedsmgroup.com/ Jason Diller

    Nice post Marc. Twitter is not feedly… If I wanted these links, I would subscribe via rss… That said, I have about 100 people that I do want links from… ie: when Rand finds a cool post…or someone like Joanna Lord, she’s wicked smart…

    I wish we could filter out the tweets that include links to their OWN content…

    Twitter needs great filters like gmail, with color coded labels without killing the UI.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Love that idea! You may be onto something Mr. Diller!

  • Stan Bush

    Great Idea. I’ll do my part to get it started! I’ve automated a tweet with a link to this article. It will start this Sunday and repeat every hour on Sunday until June of 2047. Wait.. uhh… let me get back to you with a better plan!
    As usual… nothing but good stuff from Mr. Ensign.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      HA! Thanks Stan!

  • Becky Gaylord

    Love this, Marc! Thanks for the great idea and post

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Becky!!! I appreciate you spreading the word!!! :)

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  • mickhaensler

    I’m in….but then again, I don’t Tweet on Sunday for the same reason my days of the week underwear have no Sunday….

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      I think you might be onto something! Commando Sunday!

      • Bec

        In Australia we call it no undie sundie.

  • Robyn M Sayles

    Wish I would have seen this BEFORE I posted a link on Sunday. D’oh!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      It’s NEVER too late!

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  • http://www.shapedaily.com/ Mary Slagel@Shape Daily

    What a brilliant idea! Sometimes I enjoy links on Twitter because they are a pathway to finding new blogs to read and bloggers to build relationships with, but often–as you mentioned–the link takes you to the same blog I’ve seen over and over as the person continues to try to promote the post. Having a day of link free twitter would be refreshing to say the least.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      The day off is really nice! It forces you to see Twitter a different way! Give it a shot!

  • http://www.patricia-weber.com Patricia Weber

    Then #LinkFreeSunday it is! Sounds like you have begun your movement you’ve been dreaming about. Since I won’t be tweeting this Sunday anyway, I’ll be in Las Vegas, I’ll catch up the next Sunday I’m in town. But I will need to remember, as will anyone else using curators like paper.li to change the settings to exclude Sundays for a post. Hmmm. Next Sunday for me too!

    Over from LinkedIn Group BHB

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Sounds good to me!! So I expect you to play along this week, right?

      • http://www.patricia-weber.com Patricia Weber

        I’m back from holiday and plan to join in tomorrow!

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  • Mariel Castro

    Thanks for this one. These tips are great. As someone who is trying to get word out there about what we’re doing (as organically as possible), I try to toe the line. To be informative, share something of value, and offer an alternative (if the situation calls for it). Thanks for the tips!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks! Please get out there and help spread the word!

  • http://janiceperson.com/ Janice Person

    Marc, I think we agree on the objective of having people be real and your suggestion would work for some, but I don’t like it. Sunday is a day where I learn a lot in my #blogchat time. Having links in the convo — not dominate the convo — really is helpful. So to me the better objective is balance your online presence EVERYDAY. Don’t just be out for your own objective. Think about engaging in the community in a real way.

  • Chichi

    Hi Mark, I’m in! Pity I can’t tweet this today as it’s Sunday. I’d like
    to reach out and connect with other people on Twitter, but it’s getting
    harder and harder to wade through the links, DMs and other spam on
    Twitter to find people I can have a conversation with. Thanks for starting this. I will help to spread the word.

  • nathashaalvarez

    I am going to do this! :)