Twitter is a fantastic tool for journalists, as an exchange earlier this week proved. The New York Times quietly unveiled a new way to hyperlink to content – that, incidentally, could prove to streamline journalistic standards on the web – and it was first noted, and named, on Twitter.
The New York Times has been innovating on the web since day one, being one of the first major sites to provide RSS functionality. Their newest web experiment is being called Winer Links, which allows anyone to link to paragraph-specific permalinks, rather than an article as a whole.
This technology has many positive implications for journalists/bloggers on the web. Firstly, being able to properly reference your source, pointing to the specific paragraph in which you got your information, adds authority to any piece of writing. And secondly, singling out specific paragraphs enables users to navigate to your sources more easily and accurately.
Rather than being made public through an official announcement, this innovative journalistic web tool began spreading on Twitter.
Within a small but influential web publishing Twitter network, the word about these links began to be passed on. In a few short hours, they had been dubbed “Winer Links” as a nod to Dave Winer who popularized this type of linking.
To access paragraph-specific hyperlinks – or Winer Links as they are being called on Twitter – you simply double-tap Shift while reading an article on the New York Times website.