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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - November 2011

The Complete Guide to Linking, Embedding, Crediting and Aggregating

When it comes to linking, crediting, aggregating and embedding, the key is always to enable and connect the reader with the creator...and not with the copycats.

How do you link? It seems like such a simple question. Technically, of course, it is easy. We all know how to do that. But what about the people part? What is the purpose of the link? Why should you link? What should it link to? Where should you link?

Most of the media industry seems to be focusing on just one part, the "giving credit" part, which isn't even the most important reason for linking. And even at that, many newspapers and magazines are doing some really strange things.

The real purpose of a link is NOT to give credit. Its purpose is to enable and connect the reader with the creator.

Here are three examples of linking done wrong:

"Source: YouTube"

How many times have you seen this? A newspaper (or blog) writes about a video they have found on YouTube and decides to credit it "Source: YouTube".

This is a strange form of crediting. You are giving credit to the computer the video is hosted from, instead of the person or company who made it. YouTube didn't create the video. It's like crediting AT&T for something you hear on the phone. Or attributing DHL for the iPad just because they were the ones who took care of shipping.

"The New York Times wrote"

Another thing we see quite often is when one newspaper credits another newspaper. Imagine the New York Times writing this article (which is good and linked correctly), another newspaper might then come a long and write a similar story crediting the New York Times by saying "The New York Times wrote, 'One in three collage students has taken an online class'".

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What is Baekdal?

Baekdal is a magazine for media professionals, focusing on media analysis, trends, patterns, strategy, journalistic focus, and newsroom optimization. Since 2010, it has helped publishers in more than 40 countries, including big and small publishers like Condé Nast, Bonnier, Schibsted, NRC, and others, as well as companies like Google and Microsoft.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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