Link Propagation and 'Discovery Credit'

A few questions spring out from this. It is generally accepted that giving credit for creation is important; is it the same for ?link discovery credit?? Will (should) the practice of linking to sources of links come to be taken very seriously by bloggers, out of a shared concern to keep things fair and transparent, in a similar manner to standards of citation in academia? Should one link to the immediate source or make an effort to trace links back to the original source? (Is it always clear which is ?the? original source?) —Sebastian PaquetLink Propagation and ‘Discovery Credit’ (Many-To-Many)

I don’t credit metasites like Google News or Blogdex when I find stories there.

If journalist A publishes a quote from a source, journalist B can try to contact the source directly and get him or her to repeat the statement; if the source cooperates, journalist B doesn’t have to cite journalist A as the source.

Obsessing too much about link discovery is something like wanting to give credit to the taxi driver who took you to the library where you found the source you were looking for.

Still, as Jill Walker notes, “The economy of links is not product oriented. It is service oriented, and the service is the link.” (Seb’s article links to Jill’s “Links and Power,” a wonderful theoretical piece that was well worth a revisit.)

There are times when I first see link A on site X, but I’m not motivated to blog anything about A until I see commentary on site Y. In that case, site Y is being more than a taxi driver — blogger Y deserves the credit on my blog, even if blogger X had the link first. Or link A might point to a website where articles soon disappear behind a paid subscription wall; in those cases, I’ll often Google up a different link on the same subject.

I will say that a link to the original article/document being discussed is vital… it’s not sufficient simply to link to the blog that quotes some off-site document. That blog may go offline one day, or the quote may turn out to be inaccurate or taken out of context.

(Suggested in a comment posted by Susan, who credits J-walk.)