Jeez, this shouldn't be so difficult! All I need to do is write a simple, thought-out page for my website. That's not hard, but there are so many little decisions to make!

But how do I decide? I really did not want to link during the text passage. I thought a nice, "For more information, see dot-dot-dot," at the end would suffice, but maybe linking in the text would be more appropriate.

Links tend to be largely ignored by readers these days unless they are genuinely curious about a given topic and want to learn more. Or at least I ignore them. Do other people go through a site clicking all the links? Sounds to me like that would be really distracting. Wouldn't you eventually forget what you were reading there in the first place? All that bouncing back and forth must become remarkably tedious.

Perhaps people choose to read the passage through once before they go back and start clicking through all the links. Still sounds tedious to me, but then I'm extremely stingy with my link-clicking.

Well, some kinds of links.

There's those links at the bottom of popular media sites like Buzzfeed with crazy pictures and really weird but eye-catching titles like "Serial Killer Baby Pictures" or "Why Kristen Stewart Never Smiles" or "Can You Survive the Battle of Hogwarts?" (I really need to check out that last one! Be back in a couple hours...) I can click on those all day!

Put me on Wikipedia where most of the text is blue from links, though, and not only will I never click a single link, but I struggle to read the thing. Wikipedia is usually where you go to skim for a single answer, but you can't skim a page full of links. A couple links, sure, but Wikipedia-level is extreme in my book.

I would never make a page like that. Sounds horrifying actually. I'll probably have nightmares about it now. No going-to-class-in-my-underwear nightmares for me! I'll wake up screaming because my subconscious made me surf Wikipedia links all night...

Wow, that was a tangent.

I wonder if the pictures are what do it? Maybe the picture does the eye-catching so a reader looks at the title, and if the title is interesting, then a user will click on it.

But people click on links without pictures. So why would they click on those? Is it purely academic? Curiosity on the topic? Does anyone surf non-picture links just for fun? Not my style obviously, but surely others could have the mind for that sort of thing. One could probably learn a lot that way, I bet, some useless information, some useful. I bet you could find topics you've never even heard of before. Anything from government conspiracies to top secret societies to black markets to dog breeding how-to's.

That would be incredibly time consuming, so those people are either locked in Mama's basement or hired to surf for a company.

I wonder how other's decide how many links to put on a single page. Probably depends on content. A site about a historical topic would probably be plum-full of references and citations that would need to be included whether with in-text links or a Cited Sources section at the end (also most likely with links). A site like Buzzfeed wouldn't have much for in-text links, because it's in article format and topics are so random, there isn't anything to reference or remotely relate them to often times. (Or at least the articles I look at are that random...) Then again, Buzzfeed uses links in those crowded side bars of recent/popular/related articles and quizzes (as mentioned earlier) that are impossible not to click on. There are also sites like Amazon where all one does is click on links to different products being sold. Do those count as links? I would think so, though the purpose of links is different.

The purpose of links varies just as much as the sites do. Isn't that a doozy? Links can be informative, selling you something, referencing, citing, relating, spam, or something really confusing like Chris' philosophical, poem construction that is free-flowing but still guided and eventually reveals a great picture and understanding (sort of) of the whole piece.

I remember somebody once saying that links are like doorways, and you can choose whether or not to go through them. You can have links arranged like a Cretan maze designed to trap you forever until you're killed by a beast born of infidelity or maybe a better arrangement would be a crooked seven-room Gothic style meant to guard you from the Plague but instead is a one-way towards Red Death or potentially something far friendlier like a brief jaunt through the local confectionery that, while often distracting, has the potential to be equally satisfying.

For my site, I think links are perfectly acceptable after all. What site doesn't have links nowadays anyway? All my links are additional information links for the related content I don't find appropriate for discussion on this page but may be relevant to a reader. Several links within the site and a couple outside the site should be plenty for my purposes I think. I very much prefer the confectionery-style links. No eventual death or insanity here! (At least, I hope not.)

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