The link diseconomy

Diseconomy: a factor responsible for an increase in cost. Merriam-Webster.

This past week a German journalism pundit I follow on Twitter tweeted a link to a post on his website that quoted a chunk of a blog post, with a link to the blog post at the end. A day or so earlier another person had tweeted a link to a post on Huffington Post that was basically nothing but a post with a link to another web site.

Welcome to link diseconomy. The far more famous “link economy” is “the new media economy” where “links are the currency” (all quotes by Jeff Jarvis). The most commercially viable instance of link economy is scraping and wholly or partially re-publish other people’s work (although the more polite terms are “aggregate” and “curate.”) I submit that link diseconomy is a result of this form of link economy. The increased cost is the extra time it takes to actually get to the content in question, and that cost is borne by users who have to traverse these layers of links.

As a non-commercial actor you can reduce link diseconomy by linking straight to original source while acknowledging whatever party brought you the link.

Yes, I am old and I have a hard time staying jiggy with it.