A while back, I read a blog post by Kevin Burton about how Google had implemented "nofollow" on all posted links as a baseline behavior on its new Sites implementation. (Briefly, this means that when Google's or anyone else's spiders go out and see what's on a web site, they don't follow links to other sites to see what those sites are and index them as well.) Now, I'm not a search guy, so I'm not sure what Google's reasons are for this. But here's what this has me thinking about.
This relates to what Steve Gillmor talks about with regard to gestures and attention and the like. If I put a link in a blog post, it suggests that I find value in what lies at the other end of the link. It means that I think you should click the link and see what's going on.
So think about that for a moment. Think about your behavior with links. When you write about Britt Raybould's Bold Words blog, but you don't put a link to it, you're signifying that you're not interested in people following the link to discover her work. When you talk about LinkedIn, but you link it back to your own blog post instead of to LinkedIn, you're signifying that you want to keep traffic on your site. Sometimes this makes sense. If I said, "Here's my other article about LinkedIn," then that makes sense. But if every link keeps the audience on your site, you're telling me that you don't want me wandering around the Web sharing attention.