Can you exist without a permalink?

permalink

Everyone searches for their name on Google and when stuff comes up it’s because a page was searchable. If your name is in a flash piece it much more likely to be missed unless the developer really knows what they’re doing. In a way you either exist or don’t via how the text was set up to me optimized. I think the same thing could be said about elements that have their own permalink. Clay Shirky who has a book coming out called Here Comes Everybody (book review coming) talked at Daylife where I worked. He briefly mentioned in passing that flickr essentially gave every photo it’s own permalink. Those photos are then collected on another page with another url.

Why that got me thinking was that at Daylife we have Topics, Articles, Photos, Quotes, Connections, Sources and a couple more elements coming out soon. Each of those elements have their own unique url but they also are also collected on the same page depending on what you’re interested in. Why this is interesting to me in the bigger scheme is that if you are an element of information and you don’t have a permalink – do you really exist outside of your content creator? If you’re valuable can someone share that information with others or do they have to send you a larger page that may have a lot of other content before the person can scroll down to you? If there was one thing missing with magazines that are trying to balance what content to put online and what not to – every piece that doesn’t have it’s own url ceases to exist soon as a person closes that article. If it’s online someone will always be able to find it, and if it’s actually good someone will want to share it.

This also in my mind has consequences to graphic design. A lot of the work finds its way on to paper. If you’re not thinking about how this can transfer to a digital version in some form, the lifespan of that design is exceedingly short. It’s a bit of a far reaching concept that I haven’t heard many designers concerned about just yet – though they should be. That’s one of the reasons why I focus a lot more towards digital then ever before.

As I mentioned above there are some new things coming out with Daylife, soon as they launch I’ll be talking a bit about that too. Stay tuned…

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