This week, we’ll be talking about connections, both the in-person links that create crowds and the digital ones that create, well, the Internet.
The term “the wisdom of crowds” was popularized by James Surowiecki, but it’s been around for a while. Some take issue with the idea that crowds actually have any particular wisdom; a crowd, after all is just a thrown rock away from a mob. Here’s a little tune on the subject from Nova:
Moving on to links and linking, consider some ideas from these posts:
- Start with the mechanics of links. Where do they come from? Why are they blue and underlined?
- Bill Thompson talks about links as the key component of “the semantic Web.” This one’s a little wonky, but at its heart is the idea that the meaning of a link comes from how it’s used rather than just where it goes.
- Did you know that the way you use links affects how your posts show up in Google search? It’s true! You probably realize that using bland link text like “click here” is an amateur move, but the quantity AND quality of your links affects your PageRank, which determines where you show up in search.
So how do you write good link text? Start with this rule of thumb: “link text should always describe what the user will see when they click on it.” Avoid “click here“or actually posting the full URL. Try some of these strategies for writing quality links (from Harvard – fancy!) and drawing search engine hits (scroll down – the first part is more about not using “click here,” and I think you know that by this point).
You will need to post your response as a comment to this post no later than 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8. Keep it concise and relevant, and provide some useful examples!
Write a blog post synthesizing (and linking) ideas from several members of your blogroll. As always, it must be relevant to your personal blog concept and must include:
- At least three links (more is better) to meaningful content. This means news stories, relevant posts, and substantive material, NOT to homepages (e.g., wvu.com) or general sites (e.g., facebook.com)
- At least three content links: Images, video, social media posts, etc.
You will post it on Thursday some time between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.