In regards to Lynch's thoughts on links:

Before I talk about what he wrote, I have to say he made a typo in his introductory paragraph: he started encapsulating a side description in parentheses and forgot to close it off. See: ("book contents, chapter contents", and the classic...

This kills me (being that I am an avid user of parentheses) .
The typo kind of fits though--being that he only spent one page discussing links. I feel like he thinks the "rules" for what define good links are so obvious that he feels annoyed that he had to include this parenthetical chapter.


He describes the only 2 kinds of links that exist: navigational links, and hypertext links.

1. Navigational: usually resides at the top of the page or in a prominently placed sidebar (directs the visitor to different pages within the site)

2. Hypertext: usually dispersed throughout the actual content of the site (most of the time leading the visitor to external sites)

He is not a fan of hypertext links--mostly because he sees them as distracting and disruptive to the flow of the site. Also, he says they alter the context of the site's content (being that the visitor might not totally understand why the link was placed there in the first place--because they would have to keep reading beyond the link to understand [which they obviously won't do because they will click on the link instead]).

Man, I'm sure Lynch probably hates reading David Foster Wallace's stuff.

I also noticed he doesn't include negative examples of sites that "dump" hypertext links in illogical places that lead visitors to unrelated sites. Honestly, there are very few sites I've come across (that I can remember anyway) that do this. The only sites I can think of where this sort of thing happens is Wikipedia or Reddit--but those sites are supposed to be like that. This kind of thing just happens with sites that thrive on user participation.

As for his little section on descriptive links, I feel we've read about this before. I almost feel like this is dated. I never see "click here for more information" anymore. In our Weblogs class, artful linking is one of the first things we talked about.

The last thing he mentions is the changing of color for used and unused links--meaning, using CSS to reveal to the user which links he/she has visited and which he/she hasn't yet. Google was my first encounter with this practice. I feel like they've always incorporated that into the functionality of their engine?

He's not wrong about anything. I just feel like he didn't want to talk about links. He figures if anyone is reading his work, they already know enough about links.

In regards to hot links

There is some similar information here--stuff that Lynch said. The overall message is: Make things painfully clear to the visitor. Keep things relevant.

However, 3e says: "Establish credibility by offering outbound links." This is a perspective not mentioned by Lynch--which I kind of agree with. There are definitely circumstances that would justify this sort of thing. For example, if you are running an environmental sustainability site--you'd probably link out to several studies done by kindred organizations as a means of reinforcing your argument.

Another thing not mentioned by Lynch is 3j: "Announce the new with special links". Use links to show how your site is updated on a regular basis (taken care of, nurtured).

In regards to Writing Hyperlinks

This one starts with a focus on link placement (rather than link aesthetic and link functionality)--claiming that visitors of the example site abandoned the "F-pattern" for well-placed links when reading the site's content for the first time.

They go on to reiterate what both previous sites have said: Use good link text (meaning, assign the hypertext link to the most descriptive set of words possible--so it is pretty much impossible for the visitor to be confused).

A Twitter FAQ page is used as an example of both good and bad linking--the bad linking being "duplicate" links (meaning, the same word used in multiple hypertext links ["here" being the one word example]).

The last section sort of repeats what has already been said in the first few sections (which is: use descriptive words in hypertext links--so the reader will know where they are going before they go there). The whole "don't use the same word for more than one hypertext link" is repeated again as well.

In regards to Parker

I was happy to see a reference to David Lynch and Eraserhead.
The site is not appealing aesthetically--very dense. Perhaps I'm just tired or not in the mood to read. To be honest, I scrolled down to the end to read his final thoughts on everything first--to sort of cheat and pretend like I had followed a hypertext link to the answer I was searching for (which was: what's the point of this site?).

Parker compares clicking on links to turning the pages of a book--and says they are one in the same. He says that people "need" to do this--being that it's a fixation (also compares it to a smoker needing a cigarette).

As I go on exploring the links placed in this site, I realize how intricate the linking really is. Nothing is accidental. This is all part of something bigger. I feel like I'm supposed to spend a ton of time searching, organizing, considering--all just to figure out why things are linked the way they are. This kind of goes against the "rules" mentioned in the previous sites. However, this guy is looking at links from a completely different perspective--as a form of art in online literature and the like. So, I'm not sure if this site is even relevant. Or it at least is speaking the truth of a completely different universe.
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