Monday, February 06, 2006

Expressive Linking

In my previous gut reaction post, I noticed that we need a richer set of expressions that can be encoded along with a link.

For example, if I wish to have a blogroll, I might want to include ratings of one type or another as part of the link. Here are some examples that would be inside the A HREF= link
  • agreement="100%"
  • agreement="0%"
  • trust="10%"
  • nofollow agreement="0%"
  • flamebait="100%"
  • humor="100%"
Or something like this. Obviously those are somewhat silly suggestions. I'm trying to point out that since HTML is a consensus, and any new elements within a link can be added transparently without killing browsers or breaking anything in a bad way, we should experiment.

I've looked at VoteLinks, and they seem to be fairly limited in their scope, for example.

Let's talk about some of the flags that might get used to do more than tag a link, but also help to place its credibility, trust, likelyhood of being spam, authority (cringe), etc. The more data we can include with a link, the more useful they can be.

Of course, nothing is as good as honest markup (aka annotation)... but we'll probably never have that because of spam issues.

It wouldn't be too hard to get this stuff included in new releases of blogging and html editors if it took off. We can make it human editable fairly easy as well.

I've had this bug up my butt for years... as I said 2 years ago in a comment on Aaron's blog:

How about slashdot as model for discovering the truth? It only takes one meta-tweak to make it so. Allow voting on a number of dimensions, including Humor, Truth, Accuracy, Flame/Constructive, and anything else someone dreams up (including CowboyNealNess), on a -5 to 5 scale.

Or… get a real MARKUP language, and allow people to markup existing debates with their own layers of commentary and gloss on top of it, along with TML (Truth Markup Language), and things of that ilk. The same text could host thousands of discussions all selectively visible.

Even more radical would be the possibility of selectively filterng your worldview to exclude things you don’t believe, automatically, or actively finding things which you wish to ponder because they are near the edge of your beliefs.

Food for thought, and metathought.

What does everyone else think?


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