This post is part of a 95 post series discussing the 95 theses of the Cluetrain Manifesto as they relate to business in 2009. Read more about the series in the introduction post. And check out the rest of the series!
Thesis #7: Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy.
While the interactive hyperlinks that geeks are familiar with come in the form of text, code, bytes of data, hyperlinks also come in the form of dialogue, rapport, and relationships. Most importantly, both kinds of links represent shortcuts. They represent a faster way to get to that other thing that I need, should I need it.
One of the best definitions of the value of hyperlinks was one I heard from David Dylan Thomas, a writer and film maker in Philadelphia. David explained from his perspective as a writer how hyperlinks gave him freedom to write in a third dimension; he found himself able to write more concisely and for more audiences when using hyperlinks. He was able to focus on his core message and provide value to many of his readers, writing movie reviews that had enough self-contained context to be useful. By adding hyperlinks to other websites and resources, David was able to provide further depth to his words, sentences, and even to illustrate tone more effectively to someone who, perhaps, wasn’t as familiar with the content or his writing style.
The hyperlinks of 1999 were the chief source of interactivity on the web. They were what got me from over here to over there.
In 2009, hyperlinks are more than a pointer.
Hyperlinks are inclusionary. Their purpose is to point to something else and include it in the given context.
Not just what, but who, are the hyperlinks in your business?
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