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The tyranny of the hyperlink

  • Steve H
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26 Sep 2013 16:12 - 26 Sep 2013 16:14 #1 by Steve H
The tyranny of the hyperlink was created by Steve H
Working on some web content recently had me thinking about the general language used on-line and how it might be aligned better with PBs thinking.

Whilst there are certainly violent metaphors around (e.g. website "hits"), the area which I believe could really do with upgrading is the liberal use of "command language". Often we are instructed to "click here...." or "Find out more", rather than given an invitation to follow a link that one may or may not choose to accept. A link that simply says "Read" is, frankly, so off-hand as to be down right rude! My absolute favourite is "Like us on Facebook...." - how on earth could I like something or someone because they are telling me to?

The beauty of on-line information is that it does have these so-called hyperlinks - it's what makes the web work and allows you to surf effortlessly from page to page. But when they are text-based links, I'm thinking that more consideration could be given to the way the link is written - although it's probably unintentional they can easily convey a certain authoritarian tone.

Click here for a history of PBs
A history of PBs may be found here
This site features a history of PBs

One of these is "colder" than the other two, and subtly reinforces that you are being told what to do!....

This realisation had me scouring the PBPeople pages looking for links that could benefit from re-wording. It's really not hard to find a non-dictatorial alternative and I've modified the few that I've spotted, but if you see any that are still in a "command" state I'd be grateful if you would let me know.


"build it and they will come...." (Field Of Dreams)
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Last edit: 26 Sep 2013 16:14 by Steve H.

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  • Sally Ann
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26 Sep 2013 19:11 #2 by Sally Ann
Replied by Sally Ann on topic The tyranny of the hyperlink
Hi Steve,
Interesting stuff. Just got back from a PB Day Foundation training and when talking about Theme 2 and networks, Facebook was mentioned there too in terms of the command 'Friend'. Again, why would someone 'Friend' someone because they were told to - unfortunately some people do.
Will think and look for more of examples - thanks for the idea.

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26 Sep 2013 23:25 #3 by dimar
Replied by dimar on topic The tyranny of the hyperlink
Hi Steve and Sally Ann. Am back on line again thank heavens. Steve you are so right about this. It always amazes me how we continue to learn and see now things we have never thought about before. I have always felt uncomfortable about the facebook thing and how young people are drawn into seeing how many 'friends' they have and how it can affect their self esteem. Once again Language is the Key. :lol:
Mind you in the weeks I have been unable to log in my language has not been PB consistent!! :evil:
Cheers from a lovely Spring day in Melbourne OZ

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27 Sep 2013 20:50 #4 by Ann
Replied by Ann on topic The tyranny of the hyperlink
Very true and well pointed out. Good work Steve!

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