So, if you’re going to quote your links with APA or MLA or whatever source in your blog, more power to you. Personally, I don’t see that happening here. I think I’ll go with the concept of my blog being an opinion piece with value added from links that are current the day that I create the post. It’s a bailout on scholarly but I’m OK with that.
Regardless, Jenny Luca’s comments about dead rot still resonate with me. I do get a few people reading this blog daily so I think that it’s only right that I do some sort of diligence to make sure that the content is still live. When I have resource pages, I do check them in a couple of ways. First, when bored, I’ll check the links manually. I’ll also invite visitors to my website http://www.dougpeterson.ca to report dead links or to suggest others.
It’s functional but probably not optimal. I do have a couple of other techniques though.
I really try to curate quality links at my Delicious site. (http://delicious.com/dougpete) and the daily finds are posted to this blog. I use a utility called Dead.licious periodically to take a walk through them and let me know the ones that are no longer valid. That’s really handy as I’ve made Delicious the default search engine in my web browser. My logic is that if I’ve already viewed a link and thought it good enough to bookmark, it’s of more valuable than going on the wild and woolly internet to start searching anew.
But, it wasn’t until this conversation with Jenny that I wondered — would it walk its way through my blog and report broken links? I put that to the test yesterday, and sure enough, it does a nice job there.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the thoroughness of the utility. It checks everything. I actually stopped it at 33% of the way through a check and found a great deal of green. In fact, there was only one site that had turned red and not because the link was broken but because the website didn’t allow itself to be probed. That’s fair enough.
This, at least, enables me to address part of Jenny’s original concerns. If we are using the web to work and research, it should be a safe and reliable place to do that work. Perhaps it’s even a value add that blog hosts should offer to increase the value of any service that they’re hosting.
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