March 02, 2005

Links and Permalinks

I have a hunch that it may prove useful to have a separate category for certain kinds of letters - letters in which I try to explain something to somebody in an unsystematic way. Having taken forever to grasp the concept of the permalink myself, for example, I'm acutely aware of the permalink concept's rebarbative effect on persons over forty-two such as myself. Here, then, is a highly edited letter to a friend from several months ago, when I was writing about permalinks on my own Daily Blague.

Whenever you see an interesting post, sending the permalink is preferable, because although you may think that a site is always interesting, it’s unlikely that everybody else, even among your friends, will feel the same way, at least with a variety show like the Daily Blague. You might, for example, have really liked what I wrote about a movie, only for your friend to clink the main address link to be confronted by a discussion of the Augustinian settlement. It might just as easily be the other way round. As a regular visitor, you're used to the particular range of posts that appear there. A first time visitor has no sense of range. And in our busy times, it’s not a good selling point to say, as a close friend sometimes does when people ask her to explain the site, that the DB is about everything. I can’t tell you how honored I am that she feels this way, and I would never ask her not to say it. But her sense of comprehensiveness isn’t necessarily what a stranger will conjure when hearing that “everything.” A stranger may just as easily think “miscellany” or “dog’s breakfast.”

If you’re thinking of recommending a site to friends, therefore, you might send them,  instead of thelatest post or the general address, the permalink to a post that you think they’d really like, as, for example, a page about Mozart.

The permalink, in short, is a precision instrument at a time when precision is more than just helpful.

The heading sounds like Masques et Bergamasques, no?

Posted by pourover at 11:13 PM | Comments (0)