This USA Today story is about increased website traffic from Super Bowl ads. Despite having at least 12 sites mentioned, not one is an actual URL you can click. Perhaps it’s laziness, ignorance or a “staffing issue” (as if they couldn’t take two minutes to add the URLs). Regardless, this is one we can’t fathom.
We’re not picking on USA Today because many major online news sites fail to embed the URLs of sites mentioned in stories, too. This Reuters story on Yahoo has embedded links to CIA news and web sites, but why not link directly to the page where the CIA is soliciting information from the public on WMDs. A link might be helpful here in the interest of national security, not to mention it would just be useful.
What’s just as bad, are the storys where the URL is inline with the text, but not actually hyperlinked, causing you to cut and paste it. See this story on E!Online for an example. Couldn’t their CMS at the very least automatically turn that into a hyperlink?
Sure, we’ve heard (but don’t agree with) the walled-garden, cul-de-sac strategy of not wanting to link to sites that are not your own – or paid for by advertisers. But if a site is important enough to write about it, isn’t it worth linking to it?
I’ve heard the walled-garden argument, but I don’t buy it. Corporations can be anal, but not that anal. I’ve also worked for several large media networks and I think a more logical explanation is the combination of a publishing process that is antiquated (taught to do web-posting after the fact) added to a journalism, production and editorial staff who simply don’t have the skills, and don’t want them (or a management that won’t pay union ransom to get them the skills?)
It’s a common scenario, and so easy to solve that it makes you wonder why the browser-designers haven’t simply added it in: I created a bookmarklet to take highlit text and open it as a URL. Fait accompli.
i, too, have seen the results of poor training (or understanding) in action. it’s a problem. but i’ve also seen other inexplicable things – like anti-deep-linking policies.
btw, cool scripts.
If you visit The Times of India website http://www.timesofindia.com, you’ll find they do use embedded links
When I first launched Guam’s news site (www.kuam.com) I used to include links within articles to external sites referenced within the story, as well as to internal content we generated. I then went away from it for awhile as it didn’t carry over well when I launched a mobile version of my site, and both sites called the same database fields. But, it’s not something some clever Regular Expressions and sneaky content stripping can’t handle. :)