Deep Linking Into Content

From Issue #24

We had a rollicking discussion at Blend the other day about automated, paragraph-level bookmarks into text content – so, every paragraph in a page of text automatically gets a permalink.

For an example, look at this post from Dave Winer (it’s not about the subject, but it’s long enough to have them). See the # at the end of every paragraph? That’s an automatic bookmark to allow deep-linking.

The NY Times has done this too, and they wrote about it some years ago.

There are two challenges: (1) making sure your automated bookmark is unique, and (2) correctly correlating the bookmarks between versions when large-scale edits happen (what happened to Paragraph #4 after someone rearranged everything?)

The former is a much easier fix than the latter. I’d be very interested in research around this problem, if you know of any.

(If you’re interested in our “rollicking discussion” – which was more of a monologue, really – I’ve reprinted it in a txti.)

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