I stumbled on this post from Tim Sanders – Why he’s given up on linking on his blog. It’s worth a peek if for no other reason than to make you think about how we use links. Mitch Joel’s post on Six Pixels of Separation offers a nice counter-argument.
My objection to Sanders is his vilification of the link. Links aren’t bad. Bloggers and the way they abuse links are bad. The gratuitous use of the link is a human problem.
I link for attribution and the option for more information. Sometimes I link to explain something that I think my readers might not understand. I only link where necessary and I try to curate only the best sources. I may write 2-3 sequential posts without ever using a link. But that’s not because I have vowed to avoid links. It’s because I didn’t think an outbound connection was called for in those cases. In other posts links offer a contextual pathway to more information. To deny the reader that depth is to put my writing back to the two-dimension age of ink and pulp. Or, in this case, paper on a screen.
While a well-written post should be able to stand on its own, links create an element that defines our medium and enriches the experience of the reader at his or her discretion.
For the uninformed, Tim Sanders worked as an exec at Yahoo during its prehistoric days. Nearly a decade ago I devoured Love is the Killer App, his first book which, ironically, promotes the importance of love, networking and reciprocation.
The link to Love is the Killer App is an Amazon affiliate link