May 22, 2007

Crabby has Authority Issues? Who Says!

Please don't be alarmed by the picture of the book. Yes, this post is about research. But at the end, we can try something new and take a poll! Crabby has been wanting to try a poll about something. Those who are too shy to comment, or who have actual lives and don't want to bother, can register heart-felt opinions with a simple click of the mouse. So please, hang in there!

Observant readers may have noticed that when Crabby reports on a new study, or cites a nutritional tidbit (like, for example, "Crabby's favorite kind of Krispy Kreme donut has hardly any calories,") there is usually a link included with the information. (Often it is in a completely illogical part of the sentence, but what the hell).

It often takes Crabby some time to track these citations down, but she still feels they should be there. (True, when Crabby is feeling particularly lazy, she'll say something without citing a source, but she usually at least acknowledges her slackitude).

Crabby has a sitemeter; she knows that hardly any of you ever click on these links. She wouldn't want or expect you to; she wants you right here. Why then, does she bother putting them in there?

Mostly, because she appreciates it when others do. Often, in her google searches, Crabby comes across interesting or alarming information: "Krispy Kremes Cause Leprosy," a headline might say. "Really?" Crabby might reply. She might further wonder, "Does one truly have to choose between an occasional sugary breakfast treat and a much-loved extremity?"

And so the first thing she does is look beneath the headline to try to figure out: Who the hell says so?

Often, if the information sounds kooky, is because it's from an Unreliable Source. But sometimes, the information sounds kooky but it's actually true, according to Reputable Scientists. (Crabby sighs and says a sad goodbye to her toes.)

Just today, Crabby was reading yet another fine article by Martha from That'sFit extolling the benefits of exercise. Martha's article was properly sourced, but it led Crabby to an article from eDiets (which doesn't get a linky, so there) that mentioned that new studies showed exercise can curb your sweet tooth. "Great!" said Crabby, though she exercises a lot and hasn't noticed any such benefit herself. "But who the hell says so?"

eDiets, which is a big and popular and probably reliable site, doesn't want to tell you. Probably because they're afraid you'll click on the link and never return. Ifit&Healthy (also big; also no linky) does the same thing, only they're even sneakier about it. Crabby confesses she sloppily linked to iFit&Healthy on the Atkins/DUI story without checking their link. She never will again. They use fake links that look like research but that only take you somewhere else on their site. This link-stingy behavior makes Crabby very very grouchy.

(By the way, the exercise/sugar craving research is real (just animals) and it's here. How hard was that?)

So having made it clear that she's going to keep on doing the same damn thing she always does, Crabby will now take a poll and ask your opinion about it!

You probably have to have cookies enabled. (Crabby won't collect any information with these; she doesn't know how). She will try not to be embarrassed if only 3 people vote; she knows you are a link-averse bunch and she generally likes this about you. But since she would really like to give this a try, she hopes that you'll humor her this time and play along.

Note: the poll is in a drop-down box; there is actually more than one choice, or it wouldn't be much of a poll. Fingers crossed, hope this works...

Should Crabby Include Research Links?
Free polls from

And of course actual comments are always welcome.


  1. I think it's too slack happy when writers/bloggers leave important links or credits out. The information comes from somewhere. I think a writer's writing looks worse without a link or a credit, at least, because everyone knows you can't possibly know everything and the link gives credit where credit is due. I don't always click on links or go jaunt off to find the original source book to read but I do get the feeling that at least I'm dealing with an honest writer.

  2. Great poll, Crabby. Excellent, realistic, well thought out choices.
    It saddens me that I've never had a Krispy Kreme.
    Oh, umm links make stuff look scholarly and well-researched.
    I many use them someday myself.

    I want to put hyphens in "well thought out" but I can't decide if it's necessary.

  3. I almost voted for your oops answer just because it was so funny. :)

    I like having the links there in case I want more details. Mostly I am here for your comments, but when I need more info on something- for example the gross meatball dude, it was nice to be able to find the article without looking it up myself --lazy!!--

    Keep up the great work, and crabby comments!

  4. I believe in linking, too, and following them if the topic grabs my interest. There's a cool widget I use from "My Blog Log" that shows me the top clicked links on my blog. (there's an icon for it in my sidebar - it's not one of the most clicked links...)

    The top link is usually the "comments" link. Oh well.

  5. When I first started reading blogs I used to click on EVERY link just because I thought it was so cool. Maybe because I was so techno-challenged that I couldn't actually believe the article or other website was one click away. I loved the novelty of it. (silly, I know) but I ALWAYS appreciate a link because now, on the rare occasion that I will click on something (meatball man, or Krispy Kreme- I too, love the glazed chocolate cake!) it usually means I am really interested in the subject and will have genuinely appreciated the blogger who took me there. I become more loyal to the blog even though I had navigated away from the page.

    And thanks for the comment highlight!

    One more thing-
    Leah, you've never had a Kripsy Kreme????

  6. I'll admit that sometimes I click on the link and sometimes I don't. I must admit, I like the option.

  7. Thanks jennifer--i'm really glad to find out it that the research thing is worth it, since my natural lazy side rebels against doing anything that requires effort. And thanks for coming back after the unfortunate unsavory Meatball post! Was really hoping you'd hang around.

    Hi leah! I know people who can take or leave Krispy Kreme. I'm not generally a big donut fan, but somehow Krispy Kreme is one of our favorite Road Food treats. Helps if they're just out of the fryer. They're really bad for you too-full of transfats (at least last time I ate 'em; maybe they're better now).

    I have serious hyphen problems. I always get it wrong. I know there's a rule; smart people have tried to walk me through it, (recently in fact), but I just don't get when you're supposed to put them in. For some reason I'm allowing myself to get it wrong in public, repeatedly, 'cause I'm too lazy to learn. If someone wants to host a hyphen lesson here in the comments section of Cranky Fitness I could try again to learn when to put them in.

    Thank you, Holly! We love you here in the comments and want you to stay. So don't worry about any links or even any dull posts, just come down here and chat with us!

    Hi Dawno!
    You always have the coolest new stuff in your blog. And I think the comments should be the most popular link. It means people want to stay at your nice cozy blog and not go out in the cold harsh blogosphere where you could meet up with all kinds of ruffians.

    Katieo--glad you feel this way too. I've read a theory that one should limit "link leakage" on a blog, on the theory that too many links out will lower your google page rank. Screw that! I like blogs with lots of links that I very rarely click on, but could if I wanted to.

  8. At the very least, a link shows that the blogger has done her homework. As Samantha says, it's nice to have the option, even if we don't use it. Besides, having links around is comforting. It (potentially) connects us to the larger community.

  9. One of the reasons I enjoy reading your blog is because you've normally thought about what you're saying, and asked the sort of questions that I consider really basic!

    If you start linking me to ediets as a reputable source then I'm going to be very very sad indeed and your blog will annoy me as much as certain posters on That's Fit (sorry, but it's true).

    I really appreciate sources, even if I don't click.

  10. Hi Appleton!
    Always good to see you! But how embarrassing (sp?) to have you show up on a post in which Crabby's hyphen ignorance is on full display! (Appleton patiently explained hyphenation to Crabby elsewhere but not long ago, and the rules went in and out of her tiny crab head and she persists in alternating between using them everywhere and leaving them all out).

    Thanks! I want to give you a big welcome but I'm trying to remember if you might have dropped in before. If not, Welcome! And please come back, as I promise I will not let Cranky Fitness turn into eDiets anytime soon.

    You have a good point about certain bloggers that I link to--I try not to do it for primary info but I do like to be friendly. They're very nice to me over there and let me hang out and try to steal their visitors. (However now that they're running pictures I find at odd that so many of them look like models. What's up with that?)

  11. Nineteen votes?! Kickass! People hardly clink on any links from my site either, but I put them there because I am a good soldier with excellent blogger etiquette.

    I shall now crave a warm Krispy Kreme.

  12. "clink" now that is an interesting Freudian slip. Ha

  13. re: link leakage

    Firefox FTW! (or Opera, or Seamonkey... basically "anything except IE FTW")

    If only tabbed browsing were more common, everyone everywhere could link wherever they liked, secure that their readers would be opening those pages in separate tabs to peruse at their leisure instead of always being whisked away from what they were reading.

  14. You're not just a pretty crab are you, there's a scholarly head on those shoulders! (Do crabs have shoulders?)

    I like links put in so I could follow if I want.

    Love the sound of Dawno's widget that shows the top clicked links. I might look at that. I want to know if people really are following my Thursday Tour or just pretending to! There will be questions one day!

  15. Your blog is kinda uppity if you know wot I mean.


  16. Katieo, Krispy Kremes have (had?)an outlet in Calgary (about two hours from me) that caused a stir when it opened. Folk from Edmonton (three hours up the highway from Calgary) went there to be in line the moment it opened.
    Krispy Kremes then became available in packages at a large grocery store in Red Deer ( one hour from me and halfway between the aforementioned cities). I was tempted to try them, but wondered how long they'd been sitting and would it be a fair trial?
    How can I form a proper opionion if I don't have one fresh and from the source?

    Crabby, I might just add it to my road food treats next time I'm in the US.
    And, to keep this on topic, Links! Links! And More Links!

  17. Hi Smartcookie! I think I was over at your site while you were here. Pretty kitty! (And to "clink" should be a handy new verb that means to "click on a link"--I think you just invented it).

    And Chicken Girl--wow, you sound like you might be quite knowledgable about technical matters. Be careful, because Crabby knows very little and she's often tempted to ask smart people for advice.

    And Dawn (whose soon-to-be released novel has just been designated a "Prime Read" and who should be properly congratulated over on her site), hello there! Please don't add any quizzes or link-detectors to your thursday tours or you'll embarass those of us who tend to hang back and linger at the snack bar.

    Hammerhead, welcome!
    I suspect you're kind of uppity too and you'll fit right in here.

    And Leah, yes! Krispy Kremes: road food. Because it does need to be fresh from the source. (And not one of those gas station resellers).

  18. I'm with Appleton, having links around is comforting. Depending on how much time I have, I love clicking on links. Sometimes I'm frustrated if there are links and I don't have the time option of indulging in them.

  19. Hi Julia,

    I went to your very fine blog and stole an idea for your post.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  20. That will teach me not to Preview. "A post," not "your post."

  21. One of the reasons I enjoy reading your blog is that you do link to the original studies or related information. My local newspaper covers health and science issues by barely modifying press releases, and almost never takes the effort to determine if the studies are controversial or decently put together (or even if the PR characterizes the conclusions accurately). I'll admit that I don't always click the links, but the fact that they are there makes me happy.

    (And KK glazed chocolate is an abomination. The only way to go is the original glazed, fresh from the fryer and 200 calories.)

  22. Oh my goodness, Peggy!
    Not only do you know how to put links in comments, (I've never managed that one) you have a bazillion smarty-pants blogs that look both interesting and intelligent. Yikes! Please hang around and lend some class to this operation.

    (Although I still maintain that the chocolate KK's are superior and worth the extra 100 calories.

    And isn't it slightly suspicious that they're all such round numbers?)

  23. It's probably too late as no one is reading this thread anymore, but I was reading over a comment I made above and realized I wrote it sloppily. I didn't mean to imply that Martha was one of the bloggers at Thatsfit who is shady about linking to support her stories. She's one of the good ones who only links to a source for research info if it actually contains some! If there is some sort of junky article in the background for a post (I use these too) she makes it clear she's just having a general discussion about an issue, not alerting us to new research. Doubt anyone will see this, but I don't want to inadvertently slander poor Martha.


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