Yesterday, I got another email message, from a writer interested in higher education, asking to be allowed to guest post here (“in order to increase my writing profile”), saying that all the author wanted in return was “a by-line with a link pointing back to my site” — which, of course, is of exactly the same ilk as the one hosting the ostensible top-100 list. I’m super-curious now how many academic bloggers received the same request, whether they all came from the same author, and if we were all to agree, exactly how many different posts our correspondent(s) would produce.
There was a flurry of posts a few weeks back by folks noting that they’d been included (or not) on something that presented itself as being a list of the top 100 academic blogs. Just before that flurry began, I’d gotten an email message telling me that this humble site was included, and I was for about twenty seconds mildly impressed with myself. And then, as did Terminal Degree, I took a peek at the site and discovered that it was in effect a link farm, using praise as a carrot to get more inbound links to lure more traffic to what was in actuality a large and more than slightly spurious site dedicated to advertising for-profit online educational institutions.