Once in a while I get motivated to do ‘spring cleaning’. I start on one project like cleaning out a closet, but get easily distracted when I go to put something from the closet in the kitchen where it goes. Then I see something in the kitchen that needs organizing, so I start on that and work away at that for a while. I then remember the big closet project, so I go back to the closet and often get distracted again when moving in another room of the house. I still end up cleaning the closet, but along the way, I get some other tasks completed as well. That is a bit how I see hyperlinks working. I love reading blogs or articles and clicking on the hyperlinks to deepen my understanding of the topic, see a picture or read a short bio of the person that is being referenced…, but there are times that the hyperlinks can interfere with the flow of the original article I was reading, if I let them.
I have only learned how to add hyperlinks since taking this course and am looking forward to deepening my understanding of their use. I see the value of using links and know I will be using them countless times in the years to come. Even though like I mentioned earlier, hyperlinks can be distracting I feel as though they lend themselves to differentiation quite well. If I am reading an article or a blog and see a term that I know hyperlinked, then I would ignore the hyperlink and keep reading, but if I am unfamiliar with the term I can easily click on the link and get a definition. If I am in a hurry and reading an article I can skip the hyperlinks and come back to the article later and explore the links to deeper my understanding.
As I spend time on my Google Reader, I have found many links in the blogs to be informative. I would be sad to think I would have missed out on a particular video or interesting article if I had not clicked on the link. One such example is from David Truss’ blog where he links a TEDx Talk by Kim Cofino. I thoroughly enjoyed her talk and gained some new insights by watching it. I am never bored when I take time on my Google Reader and I always learn something new or feel challenged in some way.
I will end with a quote that I totally agree with from David Bullio’s blog entitled Modern Man’s Friends: Web Browsers and Hyperlinks:
For me, using hyperlinks allows me to dig deeper into the subject and I like to think that I use them to help me gather more information that will deepen my understanding of whatever topic I am inquiring into. One big reason I believe the “newspaper” is losing the war to the web is that one can’t easily read more about an articles subjects and/or topics as usually when the article is done in a newspaper, it is done. Hyperlinking allows us to truly gather so much more information than has been traditionally accessible to readers that it should actually come as no surprise as to why the web has become a place where people go for knowledge.