For a system to have EmergentStructure or to be self-organising you need feedback between its components (at least, Steven Johnson argues this in Emergence, page?). For clusters of blogs to emerge, a weblogger needs not only to link to other blogs that interest her, but also to receive feedback, or to see who links to her. (NotableWeblogClusters, NotableWeblogs)
Webloggers have always pored over their referrer logs and scoured search engines to see who links to them. Co-citation may also build audience directly; webloggers may prefer to read weblogs that cite them occasionally. Recently, this has become more openly discussed, and new tools make referrers visible to readers or allow live link-back. BiDirectionalLinks also makes it easier for readers to follow discussions taking place between several weblogs, forming a hypertext CounterpointPattern.
Interest in explicit BiDirectionalLinks revives an early controversy in HypertextTheory which pitted the proponents of two-way links against advocates of simpler, one-way links. By 1990, the one-way link had won the day, although TedNelson continues to deplore the ubiquity of one-way linking in the World Wide Web. In bounded hypertexts (e.g. published hypertext novels), the difference between one-way and two-way links is unimportant, as search can always locate the other end of a one-way link. In open hypertexts like the Web, however, the other end may be difficult or impossible to find (e.g. because it has been taken offline). (-- JillWalker)
Discussions of Bidirectional Links and Weblogs
''(Can you think of a better title?)
General discussions of Bidirectional links
Hmmm....I guess I don't see what the fuss is about bi-directional links. If webloggers are poring over referral logs (I'll take Mark's word for this) how is this any different than the 12 yr. old with a new webpage wanting to know who has come to his page to read it?
Ans: because the webloggers are selectively using these citation cues to create patterns of linkage among notionally separate weblogs. -- MB
I use this as a serious example; in my experience of the early web this is exactly what happened and was, in my judgment, one of the reasons of the ubiquitous guest book.
I can, of course, see all sorts of reasons why an author of a webpage would want to construct bi-directional links. This doesn't seem vastly different from the author of what Mark calls "bounded" hypertext.
I probably am vastly different from other folks here but for whatever pages I have posted I am not really concerned about who is linking to them or where they most recently came from. I am concerned that they are being read and understood.
I may be missing the point.
-- Last edited October 27, 2002
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