I’m writing a paper and I suddenly have the overwhelming urge to link “Newark Public Library” within in my paper, so that my readers can get more information about my reference. Footnotes are new to me this semester. I’ve never used them before in my papers. But now I’m making a leap to virtual footnotes, an inherently bloggish technique?
Now she's created a really neat image to represent that urge. And she suggests that linking allows for more creativity, giving the reader more original writing with relevant links, should the reader wish to see the "background" for a given idea:
A link does not intrude or interrupt the flow of what I’m saying, but should my reader be sufficiently interested in finding out more information, they can click at their leisure. The interactivity of a blog post also puts more onus on the reader to extract the full experience of what they’re reading. The reader can read through what’s posted, or they can take more time and click the available links to give the post more breadth. Because the burden of finding out the background or ancillary information is shifted to the reader, the poster can focus in on what they want to say and write a briefer, more succinct, meatier post which gives their opinion without having to sift through a bunch of summary, etc. In this way, readers who are already familiar with the topic are not burdened with having to filter the post for only the unique parts and readers who have no idea what you’re talking about can get all the information they need to sufficiently “read” your post.
And I'm thinking that all this suggests so many possibilities for teaching writing. I've previously tried asking students to create hypertext documents so that they could get at this basic idea of using links to represent the sources without getting bogged down in the sources themselves. But active blogging probably teaches that practice much, much better than assigning a somewhat isolated hypertext document. Active blogging develops a habit, whereas trying out hypertext seems simply like a novelty.
Another thing to remember, to keep in my writing-teacher toolbox.