“The WWW world consists of documents, and links.” — Tim Berners-Lee, in alt.hypertext, 1991.
Why do newspapers publish AP articles online? Why not just link to them? David Cohen says “Stop buying Associated Press articles.”
They are called hyperlinks. They are blue. They are useful. Look Ma’ – here’s an AP story. And it didn’t cost me a thing to link to it!
Money spent on the AP could be money saved and then used for… Innovation!
But, there’s hope! Scott Karp wrote on the Publish2 blog:
The New York Times has certainly embraced blogging, but it was striking to see… just how much they’ve embraced link journalism.
In a traditional newspaper article, all of these facts and analysis would have been synthesized, but the reader wouldn’t have had the opportunity to read for themselves the source material. This post does what journalism is supposed to do — empower people with facts, understanding, and perspective about important issues.
My local paper, the Chicago Tribune, doesn’t just suck at linking, they suck at being a web site. Their documents die. I don’t link to Trib articles because within weeks, they almost certainly vanish.
Ben Estes, editor of chicagotribune.com, spoke to our class last week. When I asked why the links died, he said that it was because they (I don’t know exactly who “they” is… I’m supposing the Trib brass.) don’t want to spend the money on, get this, disk space.
Disk space. Cheap-ass disk space.