Beating A Dead Horse: The NYT Lack Of Hyperlinks Drives Me Batty

The most notable example is the long disappearance of Wael Ghonim, a Google executive and leader of the young Internet activists who started the revolt. Believed by many to be the anonymous host of the Facebook page that first called for the Jan. 25 protest that kicked off the Egyptian uprising, he wrote that day on his Twitter account, “We got brutally beaten up by police people,” and later, “Sleeping on the streets of Cairo, trying to feel the pain of millions of my fellow Egyptians.”

Let me count the ways this graph is wrong.

(1) There is no source for the “Believed by many” claim. Show me the links.

(2) There is no link or screenshot of the Facebook page referenced in the graph.

(3) There is no link to the two Tweets that are quoted in the graph. (The Twitter link is internal to the NYT, as is the Facebook link.)

This thumbing of the nose to the mores of the Net is moving me to the point of putting the Times on “ignore.”

:: Reposted from my Posterous account.

Update: Links to the Tweets:

(1) /Ghonim/status/29897901341671424
(2) /Ghonim/status/30033889711890432

Update 2: What appears to be Wael Ghonim’s Facebook page.

Update 3: The rallying Facebook page (in Arabic) and a Newsweek backgrounder (it does not mention Ghonim).

Update 4: Ghonim says that he authored the Facebook page that helped organize Egyptian protests.

Last week, two people with inside knowledge of the movement confirmed to Newsweek/The Daily Beast that El Shaheeed was actually Ghonim. His wife, however, requested that the story not be published. “I feel that [it] will put his life in danger,” she said.

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Author: Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, writer, teacher. Webmaster at King County Elections; educator at UW. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill, gplus.to/kegill, http://wiredpen.com

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3 Comments

  1. The lack of linking is CRAZYMAKING. I feel GUILTY when I have to publish something on the fly and have to add links later – I feel HAPPY when I have an item where there are multiple links in every *sentence* … even simple info links like, the name of a school is linked to its website, the name of a park or community center to its page on the city site, etc. This is what the Web is ABOUT – multiple hubs for spokes of exploration to radiate from.

    A close second in annoyance, though, is what I call link ghettoizing … where you don’t put links in your story but dump a short list of them afterward or in a sidebox. There is nothing wrong with inline linking!

  2. Hi, Andria — there’s SEO and then there’s using hyperlinks to acknowledge, tacitly, that there are other places in the world with info about your content. It is the later that offends me when the NYT — and other MSM — ignores it.

    In this instance, specifically, the hyperlinks would be *sources* — something that reporters used to have to include in a story. I haven’t looked very hard, but I have looked and have not found anyone else saying that Wael Ghonim may have been the author of the Egyptian FB page.

  3. It looks as if the NYT links are automatically generated and intended for internal links only, and they’re not the only ones. Newsweek/Daily Beat had the same issue in one story I checked Sunday night.
    And this post at Huffpo had folks chuckling on Twitter for its unabashed content designed solely for SEO: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/05/what-time-superbowl-start_n_819173.html
    SEO for Google ranking has invaded media sites, and it shows why many folks have become tired of Google rankings and search and are thus relying on other ways of finding their news. Maybe we’ll all go back to blogs.
    Sad, but it just changes the way we search, staying one step ahead of the SEO.

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