Monday, October 3, 2016

Do you Hyperlink?

I'm feeling a tad frustrated here. I just read a blog post that interested me enormously because it contained mentions of a number of sites and resources that interested me. Not one of these mentions/references contained a hyperlink that I could easily follow so I had to copy and paste the names/phrases into Google searches to find and read further about them.

One of the advantages of blogging/online publishing is the ability to add hyperlinks that will take readers seamlessly to places where they can find further information. If one of the aims of your blogging is to share information then, PLEASE, consider adding some hyperlinks to your content.

Reposted below is my post from March 2014.

Where are your links?

It's funny the things that suddenly strike you when you are doing something else.

Today I was giving a talk to a non-genealogy group entitled "Share your stories in small bites - Write a blog" when a question about hyperlinks from an audience member made me think about one of the advantages of the blogging medium that many bloggers do not appear to use effectively.

I love the blogging medium because it allows me to add external links to other sites or blogs where readers can go for further information or clarification, to check on a source or find out more about a person mentioned in a post. When writing an article for printed media I miss being able to add hyperlinks to my text.

When I started blogging I tried to develop a habit of embedding a few pertinent links in each of my posts. Sometimes I fail dismally (especially when I am in a hurry) but I endeavour to add meaningful links to most of my posts.

Tonight, as I was catching up on blog reading in Inoreader, I took particular note of the use of links in the posts I read and was surprised at the opportunities missed by many bloggers to add value to their posts with hyperlinks.

There were several place names mentioned in the posts I read, if these had been linked to articles with further information about the places then readers who didn't have a clue about the place, its location or history could have followed the links to find that information. I came across instances of  meaningless (to me and maybe others) acronyms being used; hyperlinks to information on what the random letters meant would have helped ignorant people like me. Manypeople were named in the posts, most of these were strangers to me, links to their blogs, profiles on social media or entries in a genealogy databases would perhaps have told me if they were dead or alive and where in the world they were situated. And then there was the jargon, I and many blog readers are not a walking dictionaries. If you use subject specific terminology please consider adding a link to a definition or explanation to help us understand.
Adding value to your posts with hyperlinks slows down the blogging process; it takes time to seek and find appropriate links but it is worth the effort.
A slide from today's presentation 
Today I told the group of potential bloggers to think of their audiences and then put themselves in those readers' shoes. Our blogs reach audiences in all corners of the globe and our readers have cultural differences and a range of life experiences.

Do you make it easy for your readers to get full value from your writing by adding pertinent hyperlinks to your posts?

2 comments:

Dianne said...

My blog is all links. As a matter of fact I recently wrote a post on checking your links periodically with an online link checker.

Fran Kitto said...

Links are what makes the internet great. I spend a lot of time checking links before I share to make sure the content is of value to readers. For example Pinterest links. I cannot believe how many shared social media links go to bad content. Sharing on blogs causes issues too. I do get sick of those sites that move content. Every day broken links appear in my 2 work blogs and travelgenee. Still I try to include links as it make the content so much more valuable.

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