Links Are Content

Links are content: the fact of a connection between two pages/ideas/concepts is as important as the concepts themselves. Therefore: LinkMore

Also, using links to implement InformationHiding can aid us to ImproveSignalAndReadability


links are content

Absolutely. That was one of the founding principles of Hypertext that people miss now. -- KyleBrown

Recently I've caught myself typing WordsSmashedTogetherLikeSo in non-hyper media and getting quite agitated when no link appears. It just seems so natural to link to another page ... oh well, come the revolution all media will be hyper. -- KeithBraithwaite

Me too. I also always reach for EditText as soon as I spot an error anywhere; or feel something has been missed out. Of course, there isn't one. -- MatthewTheobalds

As an aside -- there's a great science-fiction novel by Michael P. Kube-McDowell whose main character is a "hyperlinker". All he does is create links betweeen masses of information in a "hyperlibrary". I personally think that would be a dream job... -- KyleBrown One of the stories of the Foundation series (by IsaacAsimov) focuses upon the librarians, whose jobs are to make links...

It was bound to happen: we now can't use initials as shorthand on this page. Where's Kent when we need him? -- kb

As proved by e.g. physics, great many (all?) things can be described in terms of their mutual relations - which describes the relations at the same time. :) -- PanuKalliokoski

Every word in the dictionary is defined by other words in the dictionary. -- EricHodges


Corollary: BadLinksAreNoise? HadTheLastWord? Dec04


QuickSurvey: Do people believe in this more than the converse (Links cannot be Content)?

Please use RealName
One Viewpoint

Intentions to collaborate can be the key to getting more information

If LinksAreContent, meaning adding information, then links to external sites are content as well.

It is consistent with the fact that most papers are published with a list of references at end.

The fact that new information is added does not mean the linked information has good quality. But the authors do have the intent to include links to good and relevant information.

If readers are uncomfortable with links included in a wiki page, they can ask questions regarding suitability, quality, etc and may even be request a summary of the linked information (e.g. an external article), but the original contributor is under no obligation to provide a detailed response, especially if it was felt that the requestor has no intention to collaborate on the subject being queried.

Put it another way, if the person requesting further details has shown interests (e.g. bringing out specific sections within external links for discussion), then it starts to suggest maybe some genuine interest exists.

Until there is a better CommunityResponse? to WikiTrolling, and a better environment for collaboration, I do not think it is reasonable to ask busy people to explain this, clarity that to any great depth. At the moment there are significant CollaborationLeadsToDiscouragement moments and we need to go back to the fundamentals.

Please start a LinksAreContentDiscussion page so we do not create more ThreadMess. Personally I think ThreadMess, if done in a respectful manner, is better than no collaboration.


Moved from TheAdjunct...

If LinksAreContent, then there is need to consider whether a proposed WikiName enriches the CommunityWiki:LinkLanguage? of other pages that refers to it.

Other examples of bad names: BTW the NonExcellent? label itself is NonExcellent?, as it is negative and acts as a disincentive to complying with PlayNiceBehavior. See MeatBall BarnStar as an alternate mechanism.


LinksAreContent can become An OverextendedArgument

When a page has a huge list of BackLinks, then LinksAreContent breaks down for the BackLink page. "Page A" leads to "Page B" type information can be asymmetrical, especially when the meaning of the link from "Page A" to "Page B" stops at the PageName.

Still, it can be interesting for the reader to have access to a page of "entirely unrelated topic". My opinion: creating such "incidental links" for that purpose alone is worthwhile as it promotes "wiki reading" alternatives to exclusive use of RecentChanges.

Huge BackLink list can be a case of ExcessiveOverloading (note "Name not content" link example used here). One way of solving the DisinformationOfExcessiveInformation? problem is perhaps to create a ReverseRoadmap?, where the "From Where" links can be categorised and listed in a better order. (This paragraph is a ThinkingOutLoud exercise). There is also such a thing as tenuous links of limited value. At some point linking can devolve into SixDegreesOfKevinBacon.


See LinksAreContentDiscussion, WikiSoundLinks, ReedsLaw

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