In my post, “Why a Blog?” I described the delight of my Vancouver cousins who follow the “rabbit hole” of “links” in blogs they read. According to the statistics WordPress provides me on the use of my blog (more on that momentarily), very few of the many readers who have looked at my blog so far have clicked on any of the hyperlinks that have appeared in my posts. Why the anomaly?
I wondered if the hyperlinks in my posts weren’t showing up on the computers or devices used by my readers. Or, if they were, perhaps my readers do not know what they are, or how to use them. Hyperlinks are one of the greatest features of modern internet use, the super-powerful tool which, in one click, jumps to the webpage of the link, opens it for you to access, and then allows you to return to the original page seamlessly. I first learned about them as a judge, when a colleague who was the author of a regular review of Court of Appeal decisions (essentially a form of blog) used to put all the case names of his citations in hyperlinks, so we could access the original decision immediately. This was an invaluable timesaver which we much appreciated.
These hyperlinks appear as blue text in my posts. When you click on one and open it to a new page, you’ll be led to the web source I am referring to in my post, so you can see further details. You can check out the link there and then, or you can open the link and bookmark it on your own computer for future reference. When you close that linked web page, you’ll automatically see the post in my blog which you’d been reading.
When I started this blog, I had assumed that all links would be placed in the Links section. That’s not how it is working out. The hyperlink ability within the posts is much more immediate and useful, when discussing individual subjects. The hyperlinks act as extended footnotes, allowing you, as reader, access to the sources I have used, or to more information, as you go along. That being the case, I plan to use the Links section only for links of general interest, or for links unrelated to the subject of individual posts as they arise.
As for the statistics made available to me by WordPress, you would be as amazed as I am. On a daily basis, I get the numbers on how many people have looked at my blog and how many views are made. I am told what countries my viewers are from, what topics they found most interesting, how many times the hyperlinks were clicked, how many referrals were made elsewhere, and how many came as a result of referrals from other sources. It is a wonderfully interactive tool which helps shape what I do. Hence this post. But don’t let the “rabbit holes” distract you from lunch. Have fun.