Links turn loose pages into a web. Links also make the Web the
type of place that it is. Since we started this chapter by
asking what type of place the Web is, we now know to look at the
way hyperlinks hold the Web together.
Hyperlinks are weird.
Take a fact so obvious that we don't even think about it: In the
real world, if your friend's house is 3 blocks from your house,
your house is 3 blocks from his. Of course!
But that's not how it works on the Web. Let's say my hobby is collecting
sea shells. I build a Web site about the sea shells I've found.
On my page I put links to other pages I think readers might be interested
in. One of those links is to the site built by the American Museum
of Natural History in New York City. I don't need the Museum's permission
to do this. All I need to know is the Museum's web address, which
happens to be www.amnh.org. So, now anyone who comes to my site
about shells is only one click away from the Museum's site. But,
if you go to the Museum's site are you only one click away from
my site? No, because the Museum site doesn't have a link to my site.
So, my site can be right "next door" to the Museum's
site but the Museum's site is not right next door to mine.
Links to Explore
American Museum of
Museum's exhibit of pearls
Museum and sea shells