Link love is better (or why blogs trump MSM)

May 13, 2010 at 9:53 pm | In free_press, media, newspapers, web | 1 Comment

My husband is a regular reader of Bruce Schneier, and earlier today he pointed me to Schneier’s post, Worst-Case Thinking.

Here’s a screen shot of what the entry looks like – note all the links (in blue):

I’m particularly interested in Schneier’s final sentence:

This essay was originally published on CNN.com, although they stripped out all the links.

So let’s take a look at the CNN.com version, shall we?

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Sorry about the indecipherable text (but the images are clickable and will take you to the original posts) – the key thing is the absence of links in the CNN.com version.

The only links in the CNN.com post are in the editor’s introductory note, namely a link to Schneier’s site (which you can make out in my screenshot), and one single link in the article itself, which happens to be to one of CNN.com‘s own stories (which is off the page in my screenshot, but if you click through you’ll see it).

Ok, that’s so f*cking stupid. So, CNN.com, you’ll only link to yourself, and not to other sources?

Question: does MSM have any idea how stupid this is?

From my perspective the main take-away is that there was an editor (or maybe a team of editors) making the decision to be anal in such an epic way. The CNN.com editor includes a link to Schneier’s site, …and then makes the choice to strip all the other informative links from his article. The editor also makes the choice to “protect” the CNN.com brand by including only a link that points to another CNN.com story. How retarded is that? That is no way to grow the pie.

But bottom line? It’s people, stupid. Maybe CNN.com has a social media / links policy – but maybe they don’t. We know that Canwest’s Times-Colonist doesn’t – who’s to say that media giants have ‘em? It gets back at any rate to individual people making these idiotic choices – even if CNN.com has a policy, individuals made it. It’s not magically in the technology – it’s how people deploy it. In CNN.com‘s case, it’s a big fat #fail.

(Bonus: I like that Schneier included a link to Frank Furedi. Check it out.)

(Oh, and PS: Be sure to read Schneier’s post – it’s excellent.)

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Link love is better (or why blogs trump MSM) by Yule Heibel, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

1 Comment

  1. [...] of the time, mainstream media doesn’t share its sources with readers, as my post from yesterday (about Bruce Schneier’s article for CNN.com) illustrates clearly. Lapointe tried to cow [...]

    Pingback by » Journalism and (use of) social media Yule Heibel's Post Studio © 2003-2010 — May 14, 2010 #

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