Linking your story to the rest of the news world

29 Feb

Links are a tricky thing. An art form, really.

As an artist must learn his craft from the basics before he can break the rules, writers must first understand how links work.

The first step is to master when to use a hyperlink. A hyperlink can enhance a story, but it can also cause destruction.

To prevent this, one must learn to make their links linear. This is akin to an artist learning to draw the basic elements of straight lines, circles and squares without the guidance of a ruler. Once an artist has mastered these, they are on the way to creating virtually any object on their canvas. Alas, a writer can now make a story come alive and offer interested readers background without being repetitive in a story.

News organizations have realized this school of linking, and some, such as the BBC, have come up with guidelines on how to handle hyperlinks within their trusted brand. Some are struggling to deal with linking to one another, as they might provide a better understanding of an important topic. Others, like the New York Times, are offering quick-read news sites entirely composed of links.

However, hyperlinks are not without problems, much like an artist might make a painting similar to one that is already being critiqued in another part of the world. One must hope that others can laugh at these regrettable mistakes, and just learn from them in the future.

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