Difference between revisions of "Wikitravel:External links"
Revision as of 15:04, 8 December 2005
External links -- links to other Web sites besides Wikitravel -- should be incorporated into the text of articles.
External links should point to primary sources. For example:
Avoid linking to secondary sources. For example, avoid using links to:
In particular, avoid links to other travel guides. We should have travel information in Wikitravel, not linked to from Wikitravel. This is an incentive issue; if we have lots of links to other travel guides, we lose the impetus to create our own.
What's primary and what's secondary depends on the subject at hand. If you're discussing newspapers in Cleveland, then a link to the Cleveland Plain Dealer is a primary source. But on the destination guide for Puerto Rico, a link to a recent article about Puerto Rico in the Cleveland Plain Dealer is a secondary source.
Some restaurant guides let the restaurants maintain a "home page". In such cases links to a specific restaurant on a restaurant guide can be considered a primary source.
Using only primary sources makes our guide more succinct: where there is usually one or sometimes two primary source links for any subject, there can be hundreds or thousands of secondary source links. We also avoid subjectivity and conflict. It's difficult to decide collaboratively which of the thousands of English-language newspapers, magazines, and Web sites has done the very best travel article about New York, but it's quite easy for everyone to agree that http://www.nycvisit.com/ is the official city visitor's guide.
When formatting links be aware that link URLs in a printed version of Wikitravel may appear in the text enclosed in parenthesis immediately after the formatted link. In some cases, such as linked words in text this is appropriate. However, in listings, the website URL should appear in the address information, not immediately after the listing title, so listings need to be formatted differently.
There are three basic formats for "external" links:
Links in listings
When listing specific attractions, restaurants, bars, and accommodations, the link must go after the contact information, before the description - for example:
The name of the attraction must not be hyperlinked, because this looks bad if the list is printed (the URL pushes back more important info like the address) and also looks strange if not all attractions have homepages.
The nitty-gritty details of formatting location listings can be found in the following pages:
Links outside of listings
For external links in text outside of listings, such as transportation companies mentioned in "Get around", the name should be linked - for example:
Use boldface to call out important topics: don't use boldface for every link.
Remember that for print versions of Wikitravel, links will be presented in all their URLish ugliness. Readers of the print versions will have to type in by hand the URL that you add. For this reason, try to use the shortest URL possible for links, even if it means a little more work on the part of the reader when they click through a link. Where possible, try to trim out "housekeeping" stuff from the URL. You can almost always leave off "index.html", "index.htm", "index.asp" or "index.php" from a link, for example.
If http://www.example.com/ redirects automatically to a home page like http://www.example.com/home/index.asp?id=384&lang=en, use the shorter version, even though it's "really" going to the long version. Similarly, if http://www.example.net/ has a "splash screen" which eventually takes you to http://www.example.net/index2.htm or something, leave the top-level link in, even though the "real information" is located elsewhere.
Of course, if the page you're linking to isn't at the "root" of the site, it makes sense to leave the path part of the URL in. Don't change http://examples.org/scottish-country-dance/ to http://examples.org/, since that top-level page probably doesn't have the same dance information.
This version of Wikitravel is for English-language speakers (but see language versions of Wikitravel). With few exceptions, it's preferable to include only links to English-language sites or pages. Sites don't have to be exclusively in English, but they should provide some English-language information that will be valuable to the traveller.
Many sites have the information in several languages, e.g., the local language and English. They handle this in different ways:
A link is not a substitute for actual information. Our goals include creating pages useful as printed guides. So, we need to include information that's at the other end of a link, even if it may seem redundant for on-line use.
For example, in a restaurant listing, get the address, phone number, hours, and prices for the restaurant, even if it's right there on an external Web page. Someone using a printed guide won't have access to whatever's on that page.
Open Directory Project
Links to Open Directory should generally not be included in the "External links" section. We have a special format that features links to the Open Directory Project in a special part of the page.
Links to Wikipedia should generally not be included in the "External links" section. We have a special format that features links to Wikipedia in a special part of the page.