Understanding linking

Re my earlier post about news websites inviting the readers to participate: there is another way that is used far too little – the automatic linking of external blog entries from news stories. I’ve seen this before on US websites, and several Swedish news websites offers it today. See example from Dagens Nyheter — the links to bloggers referring to the article appear under the heading “Bloggat om artikeln”.

There are several advantages to this system. People who take the trouble of creating and updating their own blogs may be more inclined to comment under their full name and comment constructively. News websites attract more attention from blogs and give something back to them via the links. So this is also a way for websites to show that they understand the function and power of the link. As Jeff Jarvis says:

It is the key architectural element supporting a new structure of media, the steel beam that enables journalism to build past prior physical limitations, to grow taller, wider, and stronger than before. Just recently, I have heard confusion from working journalists about the role of the link. They still think it is an endorsement rather than an extension or an FYI. They don’t always understand how links power the algorithms that organize knowledge today, and how links are the basis of media distribution from now on.

(I found the Jarvis link via Kristine Løwe.)

Originally published on the Why democracy website.

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