Sunday, April 29, 2012

Jump to Hyperlink

Some rights reserved by uncleboatshoes
My personal use of hyperlinks has drastically increased over the past 8 months since I started this blog. 
I have kept a personal / family blog of photos since we moved overseas.
That blog has been pretty straight forward. (Sorry, you don't get the link.)
I post pictures.
People look at them.

CIMG1600 Some rights reserved by Kristi Lonheim
When I was contemplating creating my own blog (other than pictures) I started paying more attention to the blogs I was reading. I began to realize that blogging has its own formatting 'rules'.  Hyperlinks are a part of this.
I noticed that people were linking to sources whenever they could.
I observed people sharing related conversations to enlarge the discussion.
I appreciated bloggers who took the time to link to Amazon for books.
I found communities that regularly shared with one another.

I spent time lurking. (I'll admit there are still a couple blogs upon which I only lurk.) Once I made the jump to writing my own blog I took on the responsibility of sharing my sources, joining conversations, and linking ideas with hyperlinks being a primary avenue.
Some rights reserved by lufcwls
A few years ago I started sending out our yearly letter only via email. (It is not a Christmas letter, rather an Easter letter. Long story that would be a huge tangent here.) This year I hyperlinked my letter. Why not? I was able to link to photos, blog posts where I further flushed out my thinking, or additional information. Why bog down the letter turning it in to pages, but also why not offer the information for those that were interested?
Through COETAIL courses I have learned more about embedding items within my blog and am now comfortable messing with simple HTML code. I have added video and Google Docs (including scroll bars). I think about the easiest way for the viewer, the person I am sharing with, to access the information I want to share. This pondering takes into account both layout and the size of files. (Perhaps next year's letter will be subjected to videos of my daughter.)
What is the point of hyperlinks? I believe it to be two-fold. One is to give attribution. I need to be pointing back to the places I get my information, ideas, images, etc. The other point is connection. Part of the blogging world is about building community. By linking, the conversation and community can grow.
I think I have made the jump to hyper speed hyperlink. Are you with me?
Some rights reserved by George

Note added:
I published this post and headed to bed only to realize the irony of spending the evening contemplating hyperlinks and then forgetting to publish my weekly "Inspired to Link". This is another way links have become part of my life. There are so many ideas I am compelled by throughout the week, but not necessarily writing about. I started my Sunday, "Inspired to Link" as a way to share some of the things I come across and allow them to inspire you as well.

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