Linking Policy and Wikipedia

Link rot is an epidemic. Websites are owned by marketing people, who don’t consider whether you’ll still be able to link to their current stuff in 5 years. The Web needs an indirection layer, something that you can link to, that will always point to current information about any given topic, product, or service.

Turns out the Web already has that. It’s called Wikipedia. See how I used it there in that first link? And that last one?

So here’s my policy:

  • If what I’m linking to has a top-level domain, then I will link to it.
  • If I’m linking to someone’s words (say, a blog post or magazine article), then I will link to that.
  • Otherwise, I’m linking to Wikipedia.

I’m not the only one who links this way. It’s placed Wikipedia in quite an enviable position. I wonder how long Wikipedia will continue to exist without ads. Any bets?