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Online media matters

Main Page Rants

The fun with titles

Took time tonight to actually follow some of those links found in the margins of my favourite weblogs. One of the links led me to Mark Bernstein interesting Flash slideshow about hyperlinking.

Note: He expanded on this idea a day after I wrote this piece in A List Apart.)

I've been debating about changing how I title links for a while now. Since I started work on my latest overhaul I've realized how redundant the current convention is at .

Bernstein's piece was the push I need.

For a while—shortly after a certain pundit first wrote about it —I've been titling my links in this manner:

"Offsite link to [insert site name here] opens in a new window"

The idea, which sounded good when I first implemented it, quickly became habit.

Not only do I try to practice clear linking (no "click here" links), I've also been colouring my offsite links in a different shade of blue since December 1997. Common practice has been to open these offsite locations in a new window.

Kinda defeats the purpose of my title text.

Up until this evening I'd been toying with using the CSS-2 pseudo-elements :after to append a little image to indicate what happens and scrap the title declaration.

Unfortunately, only Netscape 6/Mozilla support that. So, I'm going update the explanation of the site's conventions, and indicate that all offsite links open a new window.

Maybe now I'll get back some freedom when writing those title tags.

By the way, if you're using the latest browsers you should now be able to experience the first phase of the new site. Look for a complete rethink of how the homepage is implemented in the next little while.

As always, your thoughts are appreciated,