Ladies and gentlemen, we are at a crossroads.
Yes, we are at a crossroads, our destination not yet known, our journey far from over. We are weary travelers, but also soldiers, pilgrims, wise beings in search of a distant star.
We are at a crossroads, and not lightly must we tread onwards. We must step forcefully, and with resolve never to look back from whence we came. These are the times that try noders' souls, and we must aim to step right.
And this is the crossroads we have come upon: to link or not to link.
I know that a few of you are sitting out there today, wondering if this is an exaggeration, a sermon of misplaced proportion, better suited for kitchen table conversations and mild-mannered msgs among friends. To that I say you are wrong, and this decision that is facing us is not so small, and not so misplaced.
Recently, a writeup was submitted. It was promptly cooled! And upvoted! And all the lavish words of affection and praise that could be mustered were thrust upon it. It was, in short, a wonderful success by almost any E2 standard. And yet ...
It had no links.
Yes, not a hardlink to be found among its eloquent passages, its silver-tongued content! Devoid of the connective tissue upon which this site was founded! Deprived of the bonds that define the nodegel, that define the very soul of Everything!
When asked about it, the author merely replied that they had, much to this editor's chagrine, done it intentionally and, though without malice, with pride, that most noble of sins, that one's radical ideas had not occurred to others. And yet I say to you now, noderbase, there are many flaws with not linking, the least of which are these:
It weakens the nodegel, violating the ability to traverse nodes in a fluid and meaningful pattern!
It offers nothing to the nodegel save its own, isolated self, perpetuating the individual at the expense of the community!
It denies the reader the chance to educate themselves on the more rudimentary aspects of the article through simple clicking!
It conveys the arrogance that linking somehow diminishes a piece's value, rather than increases it!
It not only goes against the core tenets of this site, but also against the core tenet of the medium it is placed upon, the Internet! I say to you, simply say the first part of the word INTERNET and ask yourself if linking is merely a passing fancy, to be not done as easily as it is done!
Yes, my brethren, we are at a crossroads, and we must choose our path..
And we will not hold ourselves slaves to the stagnant modes and methods of yesteryear! We the noderbase are a living creature on this site, and we must evolve in order to thrive. We can no longer simply say, "This is so because it is so," and be satisfied. The ways of old are being questioned, and must be validated anew.
And so we shall have a vote! A vote in which all users are welcome to speak their mind. The question is simple:
Should writeups be required to have links?
This question will appear as a Current User Poll in the near future, and we will tally the votes there (NB: This vote will not be definitive policy. All polls are tools which help us administrators evaluate E2 policies.) In the meantime, another editor will be posting a dissent against my position for your evaluation shortly. Please send all msgs regarding this topic to me, and I will include them at the bottom of this log. Thank you, and good day.
wertperch says, "I'm 100% on this. If something doesn't have links, it might as well be on a piece of paper. And in this household, paper is chewed up and used in spitballs to tease the unfortunate neighbours. We have spoken."
mauler says, "Links are *not* optional. Never have been, never will be. I've had this talk with a number of users over the years and I've yet to hear an even vaguely plausible jusfication for why a writeup would be better without links."
Wiccanpiper says, "I had this “links” discussion with another noder who eventually saw the light. IMHO, links are an integral part of an E2 WU and a requirement, last time I looked."
panamaus says, "Bottom line: Unlinked writeups are not acceptable on E2. Period. It's at the core of what the Everything Engine was created for!"
borgo says, "I don't care how "brilliant" a w/u is, it needs to have links."
Heisenberg says, "Hardlinks are one of the few discerning features of e2. Without Hardlinks, this would be just another site, without me being able to ponder over my fellow noders wild associative powers. E2 without links is nothing."
dem bones says (re: Link and link), "Links are extremely important and give E2 its uniqueness among the plethora of publicly written and collaboratively filtered databases out there."
Accipiter says (re: Link and link), "Picture the site as a smoothly flowing river, with thousands upon thousands of different branches in which the river flows. The river is flowing seamlessly, quickly moving the current to thousands of other areas. Now toss a boulder into one of the currents. That right there is your linkless writeup."
Saige says (re: Link and link) "If you're not going to link, you might as well not even be here."
pseudo_intellectual says (re: Link and link), "Learn how to link, motherfuckers."
wharfinger says (re: Everything Style Guide), "Whatever you're doing, hard link. These rules are mostly just common sense ... Not one of them is arbitrary ..."
E2 Quick Start, on hardlinks: "Your words mesh with the words of others, your things take on color and depth, your ideas expand to join or contend with others, your places and persons find their context in the world at large. Our internal links are a distinctive part of the charm and culture of E2."
knifegirl says, "Linking is the reason that this is something more than a literary magazine. If you want to publish here, you must include links."
NinjaPenguin says, "Links are what made e2 interesting to me at first, and are still what make it interesting to me now. I can't believe its even under contention."
E2 FAQ: Integrating your writeups, on linking: "Deliberately integrating your writeups into the database is a necessary process upon which this entire web site is based."
Myrkabah says, "Writeups aren't required to have links NOW?"
mkb says, "Require links or nuke that shit."
golFur says, "To link or not to link is this site's big crisis right now? Is anyone even trying anymore?"
GrouchyOldMan says, "Sad that we even need to have this discussion about something so patently obvious. Links are the secret sauce of E2."
allseeingeye says, "No links today, no words tomorrow. It is a slippery slope."
Roninspoon says, "Frankly, I'm stunned that this is even an issue. Hardlinking is at the core of E2. Before a node can be judged by the audience as being acceptable it has to reach a minimum level of editorial acceptability."
iamkaym says, "Many a hard link I click on seems to have been put there solely to give a writeup the proper amount of blue text to satisfy an editor. A clever pipe link is a delight. But the subject-related soft link and source references are what give a factual work its validity and depth."
Transitional Man says, "There shalt link thy writeups, for writeups without links are cursed in the eyes of the Gods."
DejaMorgana says, "OK, i'll be the voice of dissent yet again (seems to be my specialty...) Links are not what E2 is made of. Words are. Links are a frill. I'd rather read a w/u with good words and no links than the reverse. I do think links can add a lot to a piece of writing, but what most of the people in your lineup there seem to be saying is that if you took away the links there would be nothing special about Everything2. Which is bullshit in my opinion."
izubachi says, "Hardlinking is, as far as I know, the *only* hard and fast rule editors have to go by."
N-Wing says, "I don't see how a "great writeup" would not have anything relevant to link."
Simluacron3 says, "I love the linking and support the concept; it does contribute hugely to E2. I just detest hard-ass-ism."
Serjeant's Muse says, "I violently disagree with one small premise of your editor log: what if an excellent writeup, with no hardlinks, still had softlinks? That is how the "neural net" works anyhow, more people follow those than the hardlinks i believe."
olmanrvr says, "When in Rome .... or get the Hell outta town!"
Big Bad Jet-Poop says, "No, hardlinks are important to E2, but if the writing is good, I really don't give a rat's ass if it's linked or not."
ariels says, "It is my position that E2 needs more links, but radically so. We have *too few* nodes, *too long*, and with *too high* reputations. This is not what I want from hypertext. I want to have many *short* *linked* writeups. (Here "short" means "no longer than it should be", not "<2.34K"). It is also my position that current editorial standards are *opposed* to the "many interlinked nodes" concept."