Explaining my linking policy

Perhaps some of you have noticed that when I link to stories on the big media sites like Ziff-Davis, the BBC or the New York Times I tend to link to the printer-friendly, single-page low-bandwidth versions. I do this for several reasons:

  • It reduces the number of ads that have to be viewed. Sometimes it eliminates the ads entirely–hurrah!
  • It often gathers the story onto a single page. I disagree with the experts who say vertical scrolling is bad. I think most people don’t mind scrolling several screens of text, especially if it gives them a sense of continuity in the subject they are reading. I think what people really object to is loading time. If you use three-zillion layout tables and then attempt to jam 7 seven screens of text into it, the page will take a long time to load. If you just had the text, the loading goes much faster. Yet another reason why layout tables are evil and CSS is good.
  • The format is more accessible to screen-readers and non-visual browsers.
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