Tagged with ‘links’

Use the link, Luke Stupid!

If you've read someofmyotherentries on this website, you'll have noticed that I'm kind of a fan of hyperlinking. Maybe I even do it too much.

But too many websites—including a lot of weblogs—seem to have completely forgotten what the Internet is all about: links. Links between different places on the Internet, showing the reader a way to get to more information, or another page giving an alternative take on something, or maybe even a place where an interested reader can actually buy the item in question.

I didn't1 intend this weblog to focus solely on books, authors, writing, writers, and everything else related to those things, but it seems that's what I've been writing—and consequently reading—mostly about lately.

And the lack of hyperlinks that I see in a lot of entries on weblogs and websites—and especially ones that are about authors and books—irritates me, frankly.

A case in point is this entry on The Unravelling Threads. And this is just the latest one I've come across that triggered this rant, I don't want to single out this site, or specific post (there's quite a fewothersI could have used to illustrate my point).

If you're like me, and see that entry, and are kind of interested in the subject matter (which, come on, hot girl hanging upside-down from the rafters in what looks like tight black leather pants, of course you're interested), instead of having a nice link to click on to get to more information I have to manually do a search for “Thief's Covenant”. And that just costs me time and effort that I'd rather not have to spend.

The hyperlink is a powerful tool, so use it!

Seen from the other side, there's a big bonus to actually providing that link to your reader. But, and this is even more important: there's an even bigger loss by not providing that link. Because now, you, as the author, have lost control over where the reader will go to get more information.

And see what I did up there? I hyperlinked the title of that book. In this case I linked it to the book's page on goodreads.com. But I could also have linked to its page on Amazon, or on Barnes&Noble, or to its page on the author's website. Imagine that!

The author of the original entry I read—which I must assume liked something about what he or she was writing about, and wanted to alert others to it—could have sent me straight to the website of the author of that book. Why he or she neglected to do that? I have no clue.

Writing for the web involves more than just putting words on a blank page. You have to be aware of the bigger picture that is tha intarwebs. Using proper hyperlinking in your weblog entries, and any piece of text on a website, actually, is crucial to being a good part of that Internet, as opposed to just another monkey banging on a keyboard.

Especially in reader-writer-land

When the stuff you are writing about on the Internet has to do with books or authors, or anything related to those, I would say it is essential that you properly hyperlink author names and book titles. Because nine times out of ten you'll be writing not about one of the big names or book titles that everyone already knows about, but about this or that author, or book title, you just discovered and want others to discover, too.

Why would you then neglect to actually point the reader to the pages that would actually help the author or book you want to give attention to? You wouldn't.

So, use the hyperlink, stupid2.

A Dance of Dragons reprimer

That's maybe one of the small drawbacks of long-running book series, such as George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.

I actually started reading the first book and putting it down after 20 pages or so. Not for me… And then I was stuck on a sailboat in the Turkish waters with nothing else to read… and read the whole book in record time. And then couldn't wait to get back home to place a little order for the rest of the books.

And then it became silent. It's been a while, so when the next book in the series is released in a week or so (I had completely missed this by the way) I think I'd better work through this helpful primer up on tor.com.

oxylogos

The sharp word.

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