Show People What They Want by Linking on the Internet

Linking can be a good way to get people information without having to summarize everything by yourself.  Instead of reviewing someone else’s work and basically redoing the same piece, why not give them the original work to begin with.  Linking is a way to direct someone to a particular article, story, news feed, video, etc by taking them directly to that particular bit of news you want them to see.

Jay Rosen is a media professor at NYU and says that this is very different from the way people used to think when news was first broadcast on the internet.  In one of his videos, he says that newspapers wanted to be self contained and that the belief was to never send someone away from your website.  Now however, the belief is to send someone to a different site if that information is going to be useful to the reader.  There is no purpose in redoing and just rewording someone’s work to convey the same message.

Jeff Jarvis is an associate professor and director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.  He writes a blog entitled BuzzMachine and he gives other reasons why linking is such a good idea.  He writes in one of his blogs that newspapers should “Cover what you do best.  Link to the rest.”  This essentially means that there is no reason to be covering a story if that’s not what your newspaper is known for.  Just because something is popular or current doesn’t mean every single news outlet needs to cover the exact same story.  If you’re a financial paper, cover finance and let other papers cover the trendy topics popular for the week.  Provide a link if you still think it’s newsworthy but stick to your principles.

Linking can be beneficial for newspapers or other organizations because it builds trust with the reader.  If I know a site will take me to something else newsworthy somewhere else, I will more than likely keep coming back to that particular site.  If the organization can show me where to go and tell me how to get there, I’ll keep coming back for direction.  This is a fun clip from the Christmas Classic, Miracle on 34th Street that gives an example of how linking can build confidence with the reader.  Another clip here also shows the benefit that this new found faith can deliver.  Showing people how to get something that is useful to them builds a certain amount of trust that is invaluable.


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