June 7, 2008

The New Architecture Of News

Posted in Web tagged , , at 9:41 pm by Andrew McMillen

Jeff Jarvis writes about the idea of link layers within news stories, based upon blog etiquette:

…a new Golden Rule of Links in journalism — link unto others’ good stuff as you would have them link unto your good stuff.

I check ABC News often, wherever I am online. I consider their reporting the most credible and objective of the mainstream Australian news media. They tend to cut the bullshit and get to the heart of the matter succinctly. Few words are wasted.

It’s foolish to imagine that all of their reporters investigate and write original copy, though.

The only barriers between the present situation and superior navigation to news are habit and an unwillingness to adapt.

I’d happily embrace in-text linking to external sources. If news companies think that this would look tacky, they’re wrong. A link would save me the inevitable ctrl+T; ctrl+E; enter query. Furthermore, it’d show respect for their news-consuming audience.

To pretend that your news organisation is the sole carrier of a story is more than deceptive – it’s disrespectful to the intelligence of web users. The goal of web-based news services isn’t – well, shouldn’t be – to keep the user on their site. Initial content should provide a brief overview of the news story. Links should propel the user further down the rabbit hole of knowledge, if they so desire.

In an attention economy, taking my attention is stealing my money. That message, taken from a Bubblegeneration comment, is worth remembering.

When discussing online news, Jarvis is authoritative:

Cover what you do best. Link to the rest.

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