Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Dave. Thanks for giving me credit for the Edwards as VP rumor link. You could have linked directly, credited only Metafilter or anything really. Actually, this is something that I struggle with every morning when I open Net News Wire and go through my news feeds. Some people take the position that it's not important where you get the link. I don't think this is true. The dilemma happens when you find links to the same interesting article on several blogs. Do you credit the first link you see? Do you credit the first person who posted it? Do you credit the most authoritative? I notice most people don't usually credit Blogdex or Daypop. You can always go to Technorati and see who first linked to it and who is the most authoritative link.

I don't think we need any global standard for link credits, but it's nice when someone gives it to you and it's something I try to do when I can. So thanks Dave.


My personal policy is that if I make a big post about a link I should take the time to give proper "via" credit. However if it goes in the sidebar, in a link dump type post,, or something similar its not necessary. You don't want people not posting interesting links just because its a pain to document the provenance.

I try to credit every link on my site, and I've been told repeatedly by the people I source that it's valuable. It creates a breadcrumb trail, ideally leading back to the source of a single link.

If I find links to the same interesting article on several blogs I always give credit to all. If I would have to choose one, I would certainly choose the first who linked, and not the most authoritative. That way I might make somebody else a little bit more authoritative.

I think assigning credit is important. In fact, my blog posting about Edwards is explicitly about credit assignment.

What do you guys do when you publish something you saw on a blog that is already giving credit to a source? Do you just credit your direct source or include the source's source as well?


You seem to be missing the point that the Edwards for VP story is a bit of a snore. The story is that the media AND the Democratic Party is playing games with the American public. Well OK, you can say that the link delivers this message...without the OUTRAGE that it deserves.

Going back to was not terribly helpful as I couldn't locate the story on that site. Well I didn't look too hard because my opinion of Kerry and the Democratic Party and the news media cannot really sink any lower than it already is.

Personally, I don't think crediting links is important. Bloggers are prepared to believe virtually anything that they read on a blog so long as it fits their particular mindset. The "real world" does not rely on blogs for fast-breaking conspiracy theories and underground "news".

Let's face it, the same weirdie-ass stuff will appear all over the net on a zillion blogs. And how "hot" is this story about Edwards. Knowing that Edwards is going to be VP is mind-numbingly dull because Edwards doesn't bring any new views or voters, and is just another face that you could see at a Rotary Club dinner anywhere in America. So woo-woo, the Dems play it ultra-safe and choose choose a wooden man as VP. Oh joy! My heart bounds!

Intellectual property rights is a bit on mind-candy in this case. What I see happening here is just another exercise in being PC.

Michael S. Copley

I just credit the place I found it -- that's the interesting bit of provenance, right? This blogger found this here -- he could have found it elsewhere, but this is where he found it...

I think an important sign of a citation is not so much that it indicates a quotation's source, but that it indicates that you are not suggesting that you yourself are the source.

To the degree that blog posts typically cite others, as Andy Baio suggested, a single cite plugs into a useful breadcrumb trail.

I think this is similar to how citations work in print publications. The standard there is generally to cite only a single (re-)source for a quotation.

When there isn't an obvious single source, I try to cite the re-source(s) that I think my site's visitors will find useful or interesting--one criteria being that the site I link to itself cites its re-sources. One re-source cited is usually plenty good.

This blog almost scooped the story. That's pretty cool.

Okay, so you don't think the story itself was noteworthy. Whatever. Verbose comments with a bottom-heavy signal to noise ratio are still easily exposed as attempts to rain on somebody else's parade.

It is too bad that the people at Six Apart didn't include a field for that.

If only we knew someone who could exert pressure on them (like maybe an investor or somebody)...

My policy is first come, first served.

Seems to me that if everyone cited the original link, they would all just go back to a handful of news sites...

Of course, it makes the blogger sound more cultured if they site a more obscure blog rather than MetaFilter which everyone and their sister reads. It sounds much cooler to say "I don't follow the blogging herd, sure, this may be posted on blogdex, but I didn't know that because I'm a unique individual. I spend my time getting out of the blog-box and reading obscure sites"

Hello Mike B.

Oh did your parade get wet? Are you talking about someone else's parade that might have gotten wet? Or are we back to being S-O-O-O-O-O-O POLITICALLY CORRECT and nobody's parade is supposed to get wet?

Blogging is a huge failure as a means of communication or an alternative to the media. In this case delight is taken in information that is mind-numbingly irrelevant...who plays Igor to Kerry's Frankenstein's monster. It is not important whether this appeared 5 minutes, 3 hours, 1 day in advance of it's release in the media. What is important is that a running mate could have or even should have been chosen 4 to 6 months ago. That Kerry or the Democratic National Party which pulls his strings has CHOSEN to be extremely manipulative. That the media is complicit with this duplicity. What is important is that the Dems chose such a neutral running mate. What is important is that the way the Dems "groom" a running mate is to keep him buried out of sight and out of the news so that he can't make any mistakes.

Information is meaningless without context. Look, a man reaches into his jacket and pulls out a gun and points it at you. This isn't important, or even all that interesting. What IS important is whether he intends to kill you...whether it is in fact loaded and how good a shot he is.

As soon as someone posts something equivalent to yes it is loaded and yes he wants to kill you...a little Happy Kitty figure like you leaps out to silence him! "Oh!" he sez! "you are verbose! Don't you see that all of our posts are rarely more than 2 or three sentences long?" Well, YEAH! And NOTHING is expressed in those 2 or 3 sentences. Before you decided to use the old (yawn)signal to noise gag, a phrase "easily detected as intended to rain on my parade." Your comment was oh wow, man, it was COOL!

Why the HELL do you think it was cool? What was cool about that? There is NO signal to noise ratio in a statement like that...just STATIC! And that is what I am seeing all over this blog and the ones I've linked to from here.

Stop running around with a muzzle...there's a man reaching into his coat over's HIGHLY suspicious that if you go to that you can't find this information. Did they get a call from the ol' Men in Black, were they told to pull the information..did they jump or were they pushed?

Michael S. Copley

Michael, what information are you talking about specifically? The USaviation site still has the quoted item in my last post...


Didn't mean to start a street fight on this otherwise upstanding blog. Lemme know if you want to continue the conversation via email, or something. There's so much poison in your kool-aid, why should everybody have to take a sip?

Hello Michael B,

Because there is too much blo in your blog!

Behind your kool-aid gag is a literal "gag"! So, now you are a self-appointed censor. COMMUNICATION is not taking place on this blog except in RARE instances. There are plenty of pre-digested sound-bytes but they are not "real" opinions...or they are fantastically shallow.

It's no good talking about anything without specifics...(which is another huge problem with this and other web communications), OK, there is a photo recently placed on this blog of a billboard of a smiling black youth with giant letters, "I want to be an engineer! Sex can wait!" The person who posted this did so without offering any real opinion other than it appears to be a real billboard. There are the usual engineer jokes, the expected refutation that at least ONE engineer is having sex and some cat-calls that if the left has 1st amendment rights the right has them too. But not one bit of analysis of what is wrong with this picture. Not one REAL honest to god home-made opinion.

It's not important whether you agree with me, disagree with me, like me, hate me, want me to shut up, want me to drop dead. You can misinterpret what I say. You can get it right. But you choose to do this totally weirdie want to continue this on e-mail so that THE OTHERS are spared!??!?!?!?!

Personally I don't believe that that is really what you is just the punchline of the kool-aid joke which was too good to pass up.

Two things, 1) I don't want to talk about this on e-mail. 2) I don't intend to hang around on this blog telling people what I think, or opine, or putting poison in their curry, or Sarin in their subways. I do want to say that an unsupervised blog is by nature a bit anarchic. It is a GOOD THING. First Amendment is just words on paper among some other rather questionable ideas in OUR constitution. Japan perhaps sensibly doesn't maintain these or other rights as absolute values.

Now, I can even understand why you want to do the "play nice with others" routine...I think it's really SICK but I can understand it. But first of all, let me point out that you CHOSE to attack me first! Or is it just that you couldn't resist the signal to noise joke?

Look, this mess between you and me is unimportant. What IS important is that the internet as a means of communication between peoples FAILED! IS FAILING, WILL FAIL! It isn't really a question of tolerance or net etiquette. This is only one tiny way that blogging and the net is failing as a communications medium.

ANyway, there is no reason to reply because I am outta here, I am erasing my bookmark...unless of course you feel you must do it for "les autres!"

Everybody play nice, Michael B is watching YOU!

Michael S. Copley

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In today's journeys, Joi Ito tells of Blogdex (very similar to PopDex), DayPop, and Technorati. All of these help track blog postings and rank various blog conversations, most popular at the top. I also recently found Straw for Linux, which... Read More

Joi Ito, hace una interesante reflexi Read More

In today's journeys, Joi Ito tells of Blogdex (very similar to PopDex), DayPop, and Technorati. All of these help track blog postings and rank various blog conversations, most popular at the top. I also recently found Straw for Linux, which... Read More