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====Make Me Think About Links====

====The Material====
- Rhetorics of the Web: hyperreading and critical literacy by Nicholas C. Burbules (handout)
- Web Style Guide, [[ Links]]by Patrick J. Lynch and Sarah Horton
- [[ Cook Up Hot Links]] by Jonathan and Lisa Price
- [[ Writing Hyperlinks]]: Salient, Descriptive, Start with Keyword by Nielsen Norman Group
- [[;rgn=div1;view=fulltext;xc=1#4.2 The Morality of Links]] by David Weinberger


====No Links, No Web====

===Links Are===
- Navigational: Connect pages within a site.
- Embedded: Hypertext links within the content that offer parenthetical material, footnotes, digressions, or parallel themes that te author believes will enrich the main content of the page.
- Disrupt the flow of content in the site by inviting the user to leave site.
- Can radically alter the context of information by dumping the users into unfamiliar territory without preamble or explanation when they follow the embedded links to new pages.
- Hypertext uses links to reinforce message, not to distract users or send them off on a chase.
- Most links in a web site should point to other resources within web site.
- [[ Mayo Clinic]]
- **The majority of content-heavy websites like sites for hospitals, etc. carry a lot of varying resources in even just their home page.**
- Links are the signposts that help users know which route is most likely to get them to their destination.
- Links make the web.
- The goal of the link is to help users predict what will happen if they follow a link.
- Links should have good information scent -- that is, they must clearly explain where they will take users.
- Regarded simply as matters of preference or convenience.
- An elemental structure that represents a hypertext as a semic web of meaningful relations.
- Hypertext seems to add dimensions of writing, and to that extent may encourage new practices of reading as well.
- Links are a part of what can turn information into knowledge, suggesting causal associations, category relations, instantiations, and so forth.
- Can be seen as metaphors.

===Links Are Not===
- Meant to send users off chasing a minor footnote in some other web site.
- Meant to distract.
- [[ Bemidji State University ]]
- **Are these links or floating heads distracting from the actual reason you are on the BSU website? **
- Supposed to lead to dead ends or require users to retrace their steps and waste time (nondescriptive links).
- Supposed to be confusing.
- Embedded links are meant to immediately grab the reader's attention.

===Links Are For===
- Guiding the reader to new information or related information.
- [[ BSU English]]
- **The first sentence on the homepage, or introduction (?) has embedded links that direct the user to pages the director hopes the reader is interested in. **
- Recognize that some users have not yet found what they want. Point them to related content on your site.
- Establishing pathways of possible movement within the Web space; they suggest relations, but also control access to information.

===When to Link===
- To point to other resources within a site, pages that share the same graphic design, navigational controls, and overall content theme.
- Whenever possible, integrate related visual or text materials into your site so that users do not have the sense that you have dumped them outside your site's framework.
- If you must send your reader away, make sure the material around the link makes it clear that the user will be leaving your web site, and entering
- Provide a description of the linked site along with the link so that users understand the relevance of the linked material.
- Avoid "click here for more information" phrases. Write the sentence and embed the link on the word or phrases where it makes sense.
- Help people skip linking.
- Digging further into the same topic.
- Exploring a topic more broadly.
- Exploring a topic that's related but not the same.
- To see an example of a site that doesn't understand the topic at all.
- To get paid for running an ad someone clicked on.
- To get further evidence that what the page says is right.

===Why to Link===
- To provide new or related information.
- Recognize that some users have not yet found what they want. Point them to related content on your site.
- Provide a lot of links to other sites, to establish your own credibility, and usefulness.
- Communicate trustworthiness.
- Easy-to-understand links make the page more scannable because they provide both information about what is on the page and an idea of where to go next.
- Links make it easy for the user to navigate to additional information about a topic.
- Increase page scanability.
- We send out visitors to other sites because we think those other sites will matter to the user.
- Links change the way in which material is read and understood.
- Links are generally one-way. A link goes from A to B but does not necessarily accompany the return from B to A.

===What to Link From===
- Anchor text.
- A web page that links to another because it's on a related topic.

===What to Link To===
- Related information.
- Further into a specific topic.

===How to Write Links===
- Typographically, underlining is undesirable.
- Link underlines ensure that users who cannot see colors can distinguish links from other text.
- Links must be visually identifiable with or without color.
- Links that appear within body text should be underline to set them off from the surrounding text.
- Make it clear what the user will get from the link.
- If your navigation offers Next, Previous, Back to, Up, See Also, or More links, tell people the name of the page each will take them to.
- Write surrounding text so as to help people understand what the link does.
- Try to match the link text that someone clicks on with the title of the resulting page.
- Write links that don't have to be followed -- don't waste the reader's time.
- Important information to include in a link title can be:
- Name of the site the link will lead to
- Name of the subsite the link will lead to
- Added details about the kind of information to be found on the destination page, as well as how it relates to the anchor text and to the context of the current page.
- Use labels that clearly indicate the function of links.
- Be sure that all links clearly indicate their destinations.
- Write relatively brief links and augment them with supplementary text.
- Some browsers have recently added the ability to pop up a short explanation of a link before the users selects it, which can increase the users understanding of good links and help them to interpret the destination page upon arrival.
- In a sentence or paragraph, put the linktext at the end.
- Underlining and bluing makes the link emphasized. So make a link out of the thing you want to emphasize.
- Write as if you were not using links. Say something interesting, and, almost incidentally, include some hot text.
- Do not point out that the link is a link. Let the formatting reveal its clickability.
- On a long page, put a set of links at the top, as a menu.
- Make your links as direct as possible.
- Make the URL human-readable and keep it short.
- String words together without hyphens or underscores.
- Avoid special charcters.
- If you include the year or date in your URL, write that out in full.
- Make them accessible -- use relative font sizes, stylesheets, etc.
- The most helpful link text describes the page that is being linked to.
- When writing links ask yourself, "What will the user get when they click this link?"
- The best links start with the most important words.
- Frontloading the link name helps users scan the page more easily. Eyetracking research has shown that people mostly look at the first two words of a link.
- **Overall, there are a lot of ways to do linking well, the biggest focus seems to be on understanding and knowing what you want your users to want. **

===How to Classify Links===
- By providing different link colors for visited and unvisited links, you allow users to identify the paths they have already taken.
- If you have a set of links of a particular type and you think it might be useful for people to know the kind of pages these links target, add an identifier.
- Add a relevance rating for every anchor, so users can decide how much they really want to download a page that may be off topic.
- Use boldface lead-ins for each link in a list, followed by a one-sentence or one-phrase plaintext description of the page.
- What do your visitors want? To have fun, to learn, to act, to be aware, to get close to people?
- If you have hundreds of links, describe the category and link to a list of links.
- Metaphor: unrelated textual points are associated.
- Metonymy: an association not by similarity, but by contiguity, relations in practice.
- Synecdoche: involves figurations where part of something is used as shorthand for the thing as a whole or, more rarely, vise versa.
- Hyperbole: exaggeration for the sake of trophic emphasis.
- Antistasis: Many songs work this way as it involves the repetition of a word--the 'same' word--in a different context.
- Identity: tends to freeze meanings by suggesting that core meaning resists changing context.
- [[ Bemidji State University]
- **About, Academics, Admissions, Student Life, Athletics, Alumni, Giving, BSU News**
- **All of the above are being seen as identical. Each page represents what BSU things they are in and as a university.**
- Sequence and cause-and-effect: they indicate real relations.
- Catechresis: in some ways this is the most interesting of them all. Though sometimes characterized as a 'far-fetched' metaphor or as a strict misuse of language, catechresis is the recognition that such apparent 'misuses' are how many tropes originally begin.

===How Links Create Meaning===
- Communicate trustworthiness -- connected to the rest of the web with links in and out. Not being afraid to link to other sites is a sign of confidence, and third-party sites are much more credible than anything you can say yourself.
- A few hyperlinks to other sites with supporting information increases the credibility of your pages.
- The use and placement of links is one of the vital ways in which the tacit assumptions and values of the designer/author are manifested in a hypertext.
- To create not simply to follow the links laid out for us but to interpret their meaning and assess their appropriateness.
- The web's links make it unavoidable that we care about what matters to others, even if we care in the mode of hatred, fear, and ridicule.

===How Links Create Difficulties===
- The set-up can mean confusing site transfers and wastes of time.
- Unnecessary links to outside sites may confuse or annoy readers.
- Even when the links visually stand out, they need to be meaningful to be helpful. Drawing people's eyes to something irrelevant will backfire.
- Poor link labels hurt your search-engine ranking.
- A link's speed in taking a user from one point to another can make the moment of transition too fleeting to merit reflection; the link becomes invisible.
- When a link is not evaluated correctly, an opportunity to translate information into knowledge of some sort is lost.
- **Can links be misinterpreted? Or just not constructed well enough to be utilized properly? **

- Include a FAQ page so if they need to, users will know why following the links will be helpful.
- It's good to consider the interests of others; it's good to try to understand others and what matters to them; it's good to let that understanding move us.
- Pointing people to a shared world, letting how it matters to others matter to us -- that's the essence of morality and of linking.
- The web's links make it unavoidable that we care about what matters to others, even if we care in the mode of hatred, fear, and ridicule.
- Think differently, to be able to stand outside the particular set of associations and assumptions that define the information space one occupies.

===Notes from Class 2/25/16===
- Photo: [[ Rabbit]]
- Link could be: rabbit, food, pet, peter, bugs, lagomorpha leporidae
- What is the relation between a photo of a rabbit and the words above?
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