Week 7 – Links

29 Feb

Links’ Awakening: The New Form of the Hyperlink

A link can help or hurt your story structure. The new job of an editor is to ensure that the links in an article fit into a bigger picture of nonlinear storytelling.

The simple use of links to other stories on the Web has evolved from a significant part of online journalism to a new form of the art. The root cause of this is legitimacy; links let the reader instantly reference your claims and help back up the content of your story because the reader knows that relevant information already exists. Used the right way, links can make a story much more efficient, both to write and to read.

 

Properly edited, links can excite your readers and move your content in new vibrant directions. But there’s a delicate balance to cut here. Spend too much time aggregating links and your readers may start to become bored with your lack of original content. As Salon discovered, this cuts both ways; reporters feel most at home doing original reporting, so it’s important to spice up your links and set them off with original content.

At the same time it’s important to also keep track of what you’re linking to. To best influence the kinds of links you have in your articles you should have some guidelines set up for your reporters and media editors. If you just have it so your site links to every link you mention, it can distract from your message and even undermine it by causing harm to your audience.

The Dossier

I did Google searches on Emily Burmaster and Rachel Rowan, my groupmates. I started with basic searches of both names. Aside from both women’s Google+ accounts, I was able to find several interesting sites.

Burmaster’s search surprisingly turned up a lot of social media links right away, including her WordPress blog, Quora account and LinkedIn profile. Clearly the social media expansion techniques for this class have some merit!

Rowan’s search was less productive; I was only able to find a PeekYou aggregation (with a link to her MySpace, which is private) on the initial search. Adding “florida” tightened things up a bit, but I still had to deal with Rachel Rowans from Jacksonville and other places in those results. I also found Rowan’s Quora page on this search.


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