Linking Is Beautiful

Mason Pelt
2 min readFeb 11, 2023

This article is an adapted excerpt of a longer essay about the failure of editorial websites run primarily with content from unpaid contributors. Read the full article on

Links are the internet’s native inline citations. Links offer attribution and context. Not every link is a necessary inline citation. Yet, the ability to link changes the way we write.

Offline referencing all but the most generally well-known necessitates a brief summary. Online, you can simply link. In a 2018 article for VentureBeat on expanding Twitter verification, I wrote, “Twitter paused verification after verifying the known piece of crap Jason Kessler.”

The editor added a link to an article about Kessler on the Southern Poverty Law Center. For print, I would have likely gotten a note to explain in a sentence why Kessler is a piece of crap. Many such edits can bloat an article quickly, distracting from a central point.

Linking provides necessary citation and contextualization. Removing or changing links can meaningfully change the content. I’m uncomfortable with unpaid work being meaningfully changed by editors with whom I’ve never exchanged so much as an email.

That’s why I stopped writing original content for contributor fueled editorial websites of opting to syndicate full articles. The default state of articles for publications shouldn’t be free with exposure.

Article by Mason Pelt of Push ROI. This article is an adapted excerpt of a longer essay first published in on February 9, 2023. Photo by Edge2Edge Media on Unsplash



Mason Pelt

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