Why Links Matter: Linking Is the Lifeblood of the Web – Businessweek

Image representing Instapaper as depicted in C...

Every so often a controversy erupts over something that seems relatively simple: namely, the concept of linking to and thereby giving credit to the source of a news report. In one of the most recent examples, Instapaper founder Marco Arment—who broke the news about a wave of corrupted apps in the Apple store—kept track of both media outlets that repeated the news and whether or not they gave credit to him. Some did, but others didn’t, and some hid their links or otherwise tried to make it look like they broke the news themselves. There are a number of reasons why this kind of behavior is still so common a decade after digital media became mainstream, but none of them justify it. Simply put, linking is a core value of the Web, and if we lose that, we have lost something incredibly important.

Arment initially reported on Wednesday that corrupted apps downloaded from the Apple store were crashing repeatedly, something he noticed with his own Instapaper app first and then confirmed was a problem for close to 100 other apps. The news spread quickly throughout the tech blogosphere, but Arment noticed that many outlets were not giving him credit for breaking the news, so he started what he called Rewrite Bingo by cataloging the blogs that were duplicating his report.

In some cases, blogs such as CNET gave credit to Arment for the initial report and linked to him prominently, while others linked to one of the first outlets that repeated his news, such as the Verge. Some linked to subsequent reports at other sites without any mention of Arment. And several reports that didn’t initially give him credit were updated to add a link after the Instapaper founder started tweeting about the lack of credit. Both John Gruber of the Apple blog Daring Fireball and Alex Howard of O’Reilly Radar pulled together Storify collections of his Twitter stream.

via Why Links Matter: Linking Is the Lifeblood of the Web – Businessweek.

Strange Random Link Quote:

“It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.” – Winston Churchill (British Orator, Author and Prime Minister during World War II. 1874-1965)

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Posted on July 11, 2012, in Article and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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