It seems Crain Communications has decided that its Web sites are, in fact, part of the Web. The company has begun using external links in its articles.
I'm thrilled. And heck, I'll even take credit for the change, since I've been complaining about Crain's lack of interactivity for a long time and recently pointed out the disconnect between the public statements of the company's president and the practices of the company's editorial staff.
I first noticed a link in BtoB online in a story that ran yesterday. Now granted, the link is sort of an obvious choice. The story is about a new Web site, and the link takes readers to that site. But it's exactly that sort of no-brainer link that Crain has resisted in the past.
I dropped an email to Ellis Booker, editor of BtoB, and asked what prompted the change.
"We're re-tooling the site & some of our approaches," he said in reply.
And it looks like this re-tooling is also happening at another Crain site. This morning I noticed hypertext links in this story from Investment News. That too is a first. Unfortunately, at the time I publish this post it seems that no one at Investment News has yet noticed that the entire last 10 paragraphs of the story contain a single link, turning half the text on the page the color red. But I'll write that off to inexperience. More disappointing is that the link is internal. But at least it's a start. Besides, Investment News has bigger problems.
tags: journalism, b2b, media, trade press, magazines, newsletters, business media