[theforum] nofollow in articles (was Re: New article)

Drs Marcel Feenstra, MALD, MBA marcel at wintasy.com
Tue Oct 16 14:23:35 CDT 2007

Imagine a scientific journal that publishes a variety of articles, but tells
its authors: "By the way, we're using a special technique to ensure that,
for citation index purposes, your contributions don't count at all." Would
you say that the journal acts "fairly"? Does it give "proper credit"? In my
opinion, it doesn't. (If I'm not terribly mistaken, the original Google
algorithm was patterned after the scientific citation index; therefore the
analogy looks rather appropriate to me.)

Dean Mah wrote:

> I believe that authors are given proper credit.  Off-topic links are
> still in articles.  Ultimately, I would choose to remove links and
> text that did not further the point of the article.

I respectfully disagree --I'd say that they are given *some* (or *partial*)
credit, but not *proper* credit.

Modifying texts so that they better express what *I* think they should say
--the way *I* feel they should say it-- is not something *I* would choose to
do --instead, I would write another, better article myself. If I felt that
an article was "bad" (or simply "blatant self-promotion"), I (as the editor
of a site or journal) would choose not to publish it; but I certainly
wouldn't alter it without the author's consent! --Good thing, too, for in
The Netherlands that would actually be a criminal offense... ;-)

Dean Mah wrote:

> Original intent does not matter to me here.  Things evolve.  The Web
> evolves.  evolt.org's policy evolves.  Tables weren't intended to
> impose structure, stuff happens.

I only brought up the "original intent" behind "nofollow" to compare and
contrast it with something it *wasn't* designed for. In addition to their
*intended* use, tables were a convenient way to "impose structure".
Apparently, "nofollow" is also a convenient way to... do what exactly? Deny
proper credit, perhaps?

(As for the "nofollowed" links in my article, *I* do *not* feel that they
are off-topic --they are the actual sites for which I designed and created a
content management system. But I'd rather discuss the underlying *principle*
than something that is, in the end, a matter of personal opinion.)

Dean, I do hope that my arguments have been somewhat "convincing". I look
forward to your reply, and I hope that other people will chime in with their
opinions, as well.

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