Weak Link? Or, Why Links Expand Our Navigational Path

Saturday, August 11, 2012
Most mornings I begin my day perusing the headlines on the New York Times website. Then I head to MSNBC and catch up on even more headlines, like this one touting National S'mores Day.

I appreciate that the articles on these sites allow me to follow links, opening up other sources of information on a particular event or topic. And in today's news world, linking to original sources strengthens a story's credibility and offers additional insight.

That's why, when I stumbled upon Matthew Ingram's article on Gigaom.com, I found it interesting that some news outlets don't link back to the original source.

As a journalist, citing sources was drilled into my head during J school. Give credit where credit is due.

But in today's digital realm, I can see how easy it is to use someone else's news story and not credit the source.

Heck, if I Google my name and dig back a few pages in the search results, I'll find websites that have used my stories, blog posts and book reviews and link back to the original publication. That's great!

But for every site that does include that information, how many use my writing without giving proper credit?

So, I'm curious. How many of you writers/bloggers/journalists link to original material in your work? Do you click on links in articles? Or, do you think links disrupt the flow of reading?

Photo and blog post by LuAnn Schindler. Read more of her work at her website.


Unknown said...

Great look at links! I think that links add much to one's posts.

CharmedLassie said...

I do a lot of blogging for a political website and I always link back to the original. It's courteous, informative to the reader and often enhances their experience - I don't want to rehash something somebody's already discussed in detail, I usually want to look at it from a different perspective and I don't want to have to paraphrase somebody endlessly to get there. So it's ticks all round I think.

LuAnn Schindler said...

If I reference someone else's article, I link to it. But if it's my newspaper column, referring to a previous column I wrote, sometimes I forget to link. That's bad, I know...but sometimes there aren't enough minutes in the day to get everything accomplished!! I need to take the time though.

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