Link Salvation

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LinkSalvation is the belief that, if a hypertext is thoroughly linked, all the necessary connections will be available to readers and the underlying structure of the subject will become clear.

LinkSalvation is a red herring; nobody really believes it literally, and nearly everyone recognizes that linking can be a powerful means of expression.

People who dislike hypertext sometimes assert that their rivals once believed in LinkSalvation, and that the failure of the Web or of some particular hypertext to be sufficiently clear to them demonstrates the incapacity or dishonesty of their opponents. This is, of course, an unconvincing argument, though this does not keep it from being advanced in newspaper articles and student essays from time to time.

LinkSalvation finds an interesting echo in WeblogTheory, in the belief that the weblog community is best served if weblogs links often to a broad and diverse range of weblogs. Rebecca Blood's TheWeblogHandbook, for example, makes an eloquent appeal for LinkSalvation as a means of binding together disparate weblog clusters.

The counterpart of LinkSalvation is LinkMess, a hypertext tangle whose links reduce meaning rather than creating it.

Related: LinkMess PatternsOfHypertext

-- Last edited October 27, 2002

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