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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Boston.com Fails to Link to People Mentioned in a Twitter Article

It's not unusual for Boston.com to leave out links in thier articles.

In today's article about twitter, Ten tips for attracting a following on Twitter, written by my friend Scott Kirsner, links are not included in the article.

Here's an example paragraph:
Set up your profile. Before people decide whether to follow you, they want to know who you are, says Jim Storer, a Lynnfield social media consultant. Click “Settings’’ and then “Profile’’ on the Twitter site, and enter your real name, a link to your website, and, in the “bio’’ field, a few words of description about you, your company, or what you plan to tweet about. Upload a photo or your company logo, too. “Having your own avatar on the service means a lot to people,’’ Storer says.


Jim's twitter handle should be linked. (The handle for Jim Storer is @jimstorer.)

In the next paragraph we see this:
Put your Twitter “handle’’ everywhere. Though they start with an “@’’ sign, Twitter handles are different from e-mail addresses or website addresses. (The handle for Globe business news, for instance, is @GlobeBiz.)
Interesting.

Boston.com onine editors took the time to link to their own twitter username, but fail to link out to Jim's.

That's not right.

Beyond that, I added a comment on the Globe site that addresses the twitter @username convention:
Hi Scott,
Nice article.

Jim Storer's tips are perfect for people starting to use twitter.

Glad to see you included everyone's twitter name, those mentioned, in this tweet:

http://twitter.com/ScottKirsner/status/12401701195

Too bad boston.com can't include them in the article, and furthermore, too bad the Boston Globe can't include them in the print edition.

To clarify one thing in the article, although many people are getting familar with the @username designation for twitter usernames, putting @username at the bottom of an email might not be the best practice.

As you can see in the coments above, people who have used that convention, are not getting active links.

You really need to use hte full twitter URL to make a username clickable.

So my twitter username @stevegarfield is better added to the bottom of an email, or in a comment thread like here as:

http://twitter.com/stevegarfield

That gives people a clickable link to my twitter page.

On a business card, I use @stevegarfeld.

Hope this helps.
--Steve
http://stevegarfield.com
I'd link to my comment over on Boston.com, but comments don't have permalinks to link to.

So there you go. ;-)

Update 4/19, David Beard, Boston.com editor, writes on twitter:

"Re Twitter links. @jimstorer, @dmscott now added; @scottkirsner already had many others there. @digiphile@stevegarfield @eric_andersen"

Thanks. You're right, some links were there, but some weren't.

I suggest that when an article includes words like website, internet, or twitter, someone should check to make sure that appropriate links are added.

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