[Humanist] 30.550 excessively long links and readability

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed Dec 7 11:58:53 CET 2016


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 30, No. 550.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    "Charles M. Ess" <c.m.ess at media.uio.no>                   (95)
        Subject: Re:  30.545 excessively long links and readability

  [2]   From:    Stephen Doig <steve.doig at asu.edu>                         (99)
        Subject: Re:  30.545 excessively long links and readability


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 6 Dec 2016 10:28:49 +0100
        From: "Charles M. Ess" <c.m.ess at media.uio.no>
        Subject: Re:  30.545 excessively long links and readability
        In-Reply-To: <20161206074631.A63898325 at digitalhumanities.org>

Hi Willard,

what's wrong with tinyurl?
e.g.,  http://tinyurl.com/ 

should be a simple fix.

best,
- charles

On 06/12/16 08:46, Humanist Discussion Group wrote:
>
>                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 30, No. 545.
>             Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                        www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                 Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>
>
>
>         Date: Tue, 6 Dec 2016 07:30:40 +0000
>         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
>         Subject: excessively long links and readability
>
>
> Dear colleagues,
>
> For technical reasons I don't understand, postings have been arriving at
> Humanist for the last several months that are rendered effectively
> unreadable by excessively long links, such as in the following two
> examples:
>
> (1)
>> Humanities Commons is a project of the office of scholarly
>> communication at the Modern Language Association. Its development was
>> generously funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
>> <https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fmellon.org%2Fgrants%2Fgrants-database%2Fgrants%2Fmodern-language-association-of-america%2F21500710%2F&data=01%7C01%7CWillard.McCarty%40kcl.ac.uk%7C3abd54b4f17a419466cf08d41d5d4c57%7C8370cf1416f34c16b83c724071654356%7C0&sdata=7QXoUyt3JkNqcLlVFgumjmnfa3nBezGyUsfF8ms7PWw%3D&reserved=0>.
[...]
>
> Apologies to those concerned for using their messages as example of communication
> thwarted by unintended consequences.
>
> There are, I'd guess, two basic problems here. The technical problem may
> be solvable by interposing software, which would require funding
> Humanist does not have. The second goes back to the old enthusiasm for
> hypertext. Bibliographic referencing has in the past, in the various
> ways it has been done, led some writers in genres intended primarily for
> reading to attempt ways of making it less intrusive, less exhibitionist
> ("Look at how learned I am!" etc.). It seems the problem is still with
> us: how to be genuinely helpful and informative without rendering the
> text unreadable. Up to now I have simply corrected the problem by
> removing unnecessary <mailto:...>s and the like or by finding reader-friendly
> links and substituting them for the reader-hostile ones. But sometimes the
> task is simply too great. Like everyone else I have other things I'd
> rather be doing.
>
> Hence my plea, likely bootless in the long run: please run your messages
> through a plain-text filter and use short links. More mindful communication,
> perhaps?
>
> Many thanks.
>
> Yours,
> WM
>

-- 
Professor in Media Studies
Department of Media and Communication
University of Oslo
 http://www.hf.uio.no/imk/english/people/aca/charlees/index.html 

Editor, The Journal of Media Innovations
<https://www.journals.uio.no/index.php/TJMI/>

Postboks 1093
Blindern 0317
Oslo, Norway
c.m.ess at media.uio.no



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 6 Dec 2016 09:58:47 +0000
        From: Stephen Doig <steve.doig at asu.edu>
        Subject: Re:  30.545 excessively long links and readability
        In-Reply-To: <20161206074631.A63898325 at digitalhumanities.org>


My guess is that your university, like mine, is using Proofpoint filtering software designed to check links in email and render them safe from phishing attempts and other malware before the message arrives in your mailbox. You are right that the result is difficult to read.

Steve Doig

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