Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Think links when writing

When you write a story for the Talon Marks we ask you to include multiple sources. Now is the to start thinking beyond sources and think links with your stories as well. Check to see if your source has a web site or public blog and include the link with the first use of the name. Look for web sites or additional stories on the subject and include links. Here's a good argument for including links. The idea is to add value to the story.

Now, of course, there is no way to include hyperlinks in the print edition, but it should not just be up to the online editor or other editors to think links. Every reporter and photographer should think links, too.

We'll have to experiment on just how to incorporate this because if you, the reporter, insert the hypertext markup for a link, it is something that page editors will have to take out for the print edition. But let's experiment and see what all is involved.

Don't know how to insert links? It's simple. At the beginning of the link you put the starting code for a link <a href=>. At the end you put a closing tag of </a>. After the href= you have to put the pathway to the link. The protocol is usually "http://server/folder/file". Remember to use the quote marks. For example::
<a href=""> Next you put the words that should be underlined, then you close the link </a>
There is more you can do with a link, but that's the basic. The simplest thing to do with the server/folder/filename part of that is to go to the web page you want to link to, select and copy the pathway in the field at the top of the browser, and then paste it between a pair of quote marks. Note that capitalization DOES count, so most people save their web pages in lower case text. Also note that some files end with .html (usually created on a Mac system) and some end with .htm (usually created with a PC/Windows system). It is important to pay attention to the suffix and follow it exactly. Computers are quite literal.


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