Compassionate Hyperlinking

This post is intended to encourage you to give your use of hyperlinks — as creator, not consumer — a “second thought.”


being considerate about how you hyperlink

There are two commonly used types of hyperlinks inside “list items” and “in-text references.” List items include all the menus you create for your sites — e.g., “left nav” tabs, bulleted lists for site navigation, etc. In-text references are those hyperlinks you create using words in a paragraph. Today we’re specifically considering the in-text hyperlinks that, if clicked, take your reader AWAY FROM YOUR TEXT and OUT OF YOUR WEBSITE.

Consider NOT including such links in your text, but adding them to the bottom of your article as is illustrated in the screenshot above.

Note that in this description of a convocation from our “Convocation” web site, the names of the centers are parenthetically presented after the names of the directors who comprise a panel in this convocation. On first impulse, all of us might have considered just making those center names in-text hyperlinks. However, if you read this description of this convocation you can see each of these centers is “not the point” of the convo. The point is explicit in the first sentence: “A conversation on culture, race, and religion…”

The web content manager elected to leave the blurb text link free and, instead, list the centers directed by the speakers at the end of the blurb. (I added the highlighting to the screenshot for this post.) This is “compassionate hyperlinking.” It’s best for the reader and the page but still provides the center websites (your neighbors in our constellation) some prospective new visitors.

Related Links:

  • from Wikipedia “Hyperlink” (a good general essay about hypertext and hyperlinking)
  • Our Convocations website