Just in case you weren’t sure quite how nerdy I really am…
The debate du jour surrounds blog writing etiquette and linking. We all know it’s best practice to link out from your posts – but is there a correct way to format these links? There are two ways to go:
1. Open link in the same window.
2. Open link in a new window.
When you open the link in the same window, it obliterates the page from which you received the link in the first place. This disturbs me as a reader because I lose track of where I was and can’t make my way back (especially if I was on a new site that I found and was focused on the content, not the name and url). To me, it’s the equivalent of falling down the rabbit hole. Who knows when I’ll find my way back.
As a blogger, it concerns me that my readers will experience what I just described. That they’ll click on a link and be lost forever. Via a lively debate on Twitter, Ron Miller said:
Maybe…but what about the person that followed a link that looked like this: “is.gd/e9k5”??? They might not know where they are. And this isn’t some sort of writer’s insecurity for me. I can be reading the most fabulous post I’ve ever read, click a link and get lost or busy or distracted.
Some people feel very strongly that the link should be opened in the same window, here are a few:
The issue for them with opening links in a new window is that users suddenly have multiple tabs open. I love multiple tabs. I build them up as my day goes on. Firefox allows me to have over 20 tabs open, and I move with the dexterity of a jedi from window to window throughout the day. My ADD mind loves the options, the accessibility, the madness of it all.
But, I also love that when I click on a link, I can read it, close it and then find myself back on the original site without having to store any info in my crammed brain. Suddenly this site is before my eyes, and I say, “Nice site! Hey, I’ve been here before! Oh, this is where I was before I clicked to read that other article….” Understanding sets in and a warm, almost fizzy, feeling of recognition floods my body. No, I’m not ‘simple’ – just busy.
Is there a right way? Is there a wrong way? Not entirely sure, but there do seem to be a lot of opinions. As for me, I’m thinking: If I love Japanese food, but abhor Italian, why would I feed you lasagna? You’ll notice that I almost always open links in a new window.
Image courtesy of Qtea