I'm with Mark Bernstein - links are neither currency nor attention destroyers, and asserting, as Seth Goldstein does, that "strong web bloggers no longer link" is just nonsense. There have been people who've raged against punctuation too, and they were every bit as silly. When I read a long missive that references someone else, a link to the source is proper web punctuation. Omitting it means that I have to waste time with Google instead, which is just stupid - and impolite.
Meanwhile, Gillmor is proving every day that listening too him actively destroys brain cells:
As for links being dead, Nick [ed: Carr] demurs with an "I don't really get what you're trying to say Steve." Amanda Congdon does. Dave Winer does. What's not to get? Links produce economic ripples that keep incumbents in charge; removing links puts users in charge. Clicking on a link does not pay the author; it pays the signaller (in this case the aggregator, publisher, or arbitrager of the link's "value.") The author of the content is paid in link credits, which tether him or her to the tyranny of the mediocrity of broadcast economics.
I can't get straight to Carr's comments, because Gillmor has some asinine notion that not linking to him empowers me (the reader). Here's a tip, Steve - if that's empowerment, I want a whole lot less of it. He's pushing the idea of what he calls a gesture bank, where we all share meta data in some kind of vast xml ocean. Sure, sure. While you go about building that, the rest of us will just follow the links. Those don't take any effort to create, while the whol gestire sea thing will require lots of buy in, as well as a new tool infrastructure. Given human nature, I won't hold my breath.
Gillmor continues with this:
That's the problem with links: We're all waitresses on this gig. We're waiting on the Big Day when we hit the Big Show, when Mike Arrington or Doc Searls or Dave Winer bestows the Big Link on us that gets us another 10,000 in ValleyWag bucks. Some of my best friends are linkers. Don't forget to tip your linkers. Don't want to link? What, and give up show business?
Umm, no. Links are mostly akin to footnotes in a book, except that they are a hell of lot easier to follow. Steve just doesn't get it. He's out there thinking that we all consider links a desperate bid for attention from the so called A-Listers. No Steve - we mostly think they're a way to get more information about a particular subject. Attention? Heck, I wish Gillmor would start paying attention...