Turning inner space into outer space

September 26, 2012

Link early, link often, and avoid plagiarism accusations

Plagiarism is a lot easier to catch these days. Just plunk a suspect passage in Google and see if you get a match. It’s been the downfall of three writers recently: Margaret Wente, Jonah Lehrer and Fareed Zakaria.

The blockquote alone makes it easier to identify material from other sources. But more essential than that are links. The whole point of the World Wide Web from its conception was its amazing ability to use hypertext.

What do we use for coding? Hypertext markup language, a.k.a HTML. What are those letters at the beginning of every web address? http — hypertext transfer protocol. That’s what the Web is all about — the magical ability to be transported through hyperspace from one place to another with a simple click.

So use those links generously. Not only will you be avoiding accusations of plagiarism, but you’ll also be using the Web just as Tim Berners-Lee intended.