When I added links to the homepage content section I promised to give a little bit more reasoning behind the decision, especially as it relates to this Kottke.org entry about the fundamental unit of the web. Well, after receiving an email from a source who will remain unnamed (though he’d probably prefer I plug his play Shore Points), I feel as though I must defend my decision. Basically the email told me that I need to get rid of the links in the body section because there’s no reason someone should have to scroll down to find one of my entries, especially with the site being named NoahBrier.com and all. Well, let me attempt to defend my decision (I apologize to all the RSS readers out there, but hopefully you’ll find this interesting anyway).
I decided to add the links as content because I believe that’s just what they are: Content. What I tend to do here is annotate/comment on other media. I read things and link to them with my own thoughts and opinions. While that’s not the entirety of the site, it is probably the majority. So with that in mind, why should the links themselves not be given equal real estate?
Yeah, they’re not my own work, but they (in theory) should be equally interesting to a reader since they are, essentially, where the majority of the commentary on this page come from. I am acting as a filter for you all (my readers), or at least that’s how I see myself. Links are part of my filtering process. Before almost anything is written here, the link is bookmarked. By adding a comment and tags to a link I am annotating it. I am pulling out what I think is important or writing it myself. How is this any different than writing a full entry?
Yes they’re not my words entirely, but why should I fear the work of others? I have no reason to be afraid that people will leave NoahBrier.com because that is my ultimate goal. If you come here and spot some great article to go read on another site then I have succeeded. It’s safe to assume that if you enjoy my links, you will return and enjoy my writing. By making those links as accessible as possible I am broadening my audience and expressing my belief that this should be both a place for interesting content to live as well as a place to find interesting content elsewhere.
Other mediums fight for your eyes and ears because they have advertising that relies on those sense to support them, I, on the other hand, only want your trust. I want you to believe that I am a good person to help filter and decide what’s worth reading and what’s not. If I earn that trust, I believe you will actively dig to find my own writing, wherever on the homepage it may appear.
Is this wrong? (It could very well make no sense since I just took a bunch of Nyquill that is starting to kick in.)
Update (7/21/05): I’ve added a link to the latest entry at the very top of the main content column. Thoughts?