Lots of links in a front page post? November 17, 2001 3:31 AM   Subscribe

Lots of links in a front page post? [more]
posted by gleemax to Etiquette/Policy at 3:31 AM (13 comments total)

Personally, I think this is bad. I didn't click on any of the links because I couldn't determine which was the "main" link. This is probably because I'm on dial-up, but wouldn't it be better to make a comment with the other six links? Are there any serious disadvantages to limiting yourself to a few links?

I found the post hard to understand, but that might not have anything to do with the number of links. Should we (in the guidelines) urge posters to describe ambiguous links with a title attribute? (As was mentioned here recently.)


Okay, I clicked on all the links, just for this MetaTalk thread. Two of them pointed to the same document. In a post with so many links, this didn’t help any. Also, the link to Daily Rotten would be better as a link to that month's archive.

What's worse is that it seems Daily Rotten is wrong. One of the documents was almost certainly a fake, but The Times says: "Written in Arabic, German, Urdu and English, the notes give detailed designs for missiles, bombs and nuclear weapons." Obviously, they didn't just find the parody document. Also, the parody document has no mention of chemical weapons, while such documents were found.

The post, while seemingly well-researched, concludes with "God help us all," and not an explanation of what that's in reference to. Also, whose "hoax" (i.e., who was deceiving who)? I would be pleased if Voyageman would explain what the post's purpose was, because I'm still not entirely sure.
posted by gleemax at 3:31 AM on November 17, 2001

If you're confused by Voyageman's intent (I wasn't), it would have been better to seek clarification in the thread itself, rather than bringing this to MetaTalk. And in fact your last three paragraphs (a) have nothing to do with the subject matter of this thread, i.e. multiple links, (b) comment on the subject matter of the original post, and (c) nitpick. Why here?

There is nothing wrong with multiple links in a front-page post as a general practice (in fact, I think it should be encouraged), and in the body of this thread you concede that your difficulty in understanding this post may not have anything to do with the number of links.

If every less-than-crystal-clear front-page post was hauled into MetaTalk, we'd spend more time quibbling over semantics than commenting on the content.
posted by mcwetboy at 4:15 AM on November 17, 2001

Thanks for the helpful comments.
posted by gleemax at 5:07 AM on November 17, 2001

Personally, I don't have time to click through and read 5 or 6 links for a single thread. I usually just ignore those threads. Should it be frowned upon? I don't think so, as long as the links are good ones.
posted by jpoulos at 8:06 AM on November 17, 2001

I'm fine with too many links in the front page post... I may not click on all of them, but I might (and I've done links like that). Sites like memepool have ingrained people with the notion that they're only as 1337 as the number of links they put in a post.
posted by drezdn at 9:20 AM on November 17, 2001

Apologies for lengthy ramble.

No comment (and will wait for Matt's or others final direction) on:
1.Links in post vs links in comments?
2.Links to phrases vs links to words?
3.Ambiguous links (with title attribute) vs unambiguous links (with no title attribute)?
4. Explicit explanation (in post or in comment) vs suggestive statement (in post or comment)?
5.Respond in Metatalk vs respond in Metafilter ?

(If asked , my vote would be to focus less on etiquette, and more on content/opinion, but happy either way)

Re post structure: mild attempt at "thoroughness", included all links to allow quick access to relevant info, and ended I suppose with what I was feeling versus what I was thinking.

Re post's intent : Nuclear, chemical, biological weapons in the hands of religious terrorists, spread invisibly throughout the world , just waiting to die for their God , "frightens" me. Carefully finding and scientifically examining anything that is left behind in previously occupied territory is arguably the most "hard" evidence to date to help asses/respond to this risk. Instead, media correspondents are allowed to scavenge through the evidence looking for a story, and compete to be first to broadcast "alarming breaking news" yet again. Perhaps some divine intervention would have been in order to smite them down (and to be doubly clear - "them" being the press). (etiquette to link this explanation back to Metafilter?)

PS From the Metafilter thread : "the geiger counter readings in all their camps." Now that would is newsworthy (and classified?) like what may be going in with NEST in New York (kosher links?)
posted by Voyageman at 11:12 AM on November 17, 2001

Perhaps some divine intervention would have been in order to smite them down (and to be doubly clear - "them" being the press).

If you ask me, Satan has all too much influence on the press nowadays.
posted by gleemax at 1:16 PM on November 17, 2001

For the record, all I was doing was stating a style preference. You can post however you like. jpoulos and gleemax say lots of links turn them off and I agree. Unless I’m really interested in the subject matter (in this case journalism) I won’t click any of them. It’s probably the main reason I don’t read memepool often, but loved the first version of HotWired.

I mean, your list, voyageman, is the sort of stuff a style guide (not the CSS kind) would cover, and since there isn’t one just go ahead do whatever. I’d prefer if you must have lots‘o’links — which isn’t neccessarily bad, just frowned upon — that as few words as possible are linked.

The Village Voice reports on a hoax regarding bin Laden’s nuclear capability, spread by the Times of London, CNN and Homeland Security honcho Tom Ridge.
posted by raaka at 3:28 PM on November 17, 2001

Way better. Thanks. (Re style guide , these were all alluded to in this thread)
posted by Voyageman at 4:42 PM on November 17, 2001

I think raaka hit the nail on the head. Thanks.

I’d prefer if you must have lots‘o’links — which isn’t neccessarily bad, just frowned upon — that as few words as possible are linked.

I think this was a big reason the first post was hard to read. Just looking at it, so many words are links (i.e., boldface) that the paragraph itself is hard to read. I'm glad I have link underlining off.
posted by gleemax at 5:54 PM on November 17, 2001

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Links are good.
Relative links are good.
Links on a whole are good.
Links in comments are good.

Don't be afraid to link. Don't link ars artis gratia though.
posted by geoff. at 6:57 PM on November 17, 2001

I often put extra links after the topic link in my front page posts in order to provide access to information for people who might not be as familiar with the subject. I don't expect them to be read, unless the reader needs to understand the topic further.

If you can avoid a possible misunderstanding by providing misunderstanding, that's a good thing.
posted by iceberg273 at 9:10 PM on November 17, 2001

I no longer even frown on lots o links — as long as it’s done with concision.

I might even improve my [more]s.
posted by raaka at 4:36 AM on November 25, 2001

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