The Role of Expertise in Navigating Links of Influence
Hargittai, Eszter. 2008. In The Hyperlinked Society. Edited by Joseph Turow and Lokman Tsui. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.

In this essay, I focus on how the influence of links may be mediated by the skills and expertise associated with using the Internet both from the content producer's and the content viewer's perspective. My main argument is that while lots of factors influence how links are presented on the Web and how users respond to the content that shows up on their screens, an important and understudied aspect of navigating links of influence concerns people's Internet user abilities. Both content creators and content users (readers, listeners, viewers) can benefit from a more in-depth understanding of how the Web works. Since such skills are not randomly distributed among the population, certain content providers and content users stand a better chance of benefiting from the medium than others. Relevant know-how will help producers attract attention to their materials. Savvy about the medium will assist users in sidestepping potentially misleading and malicious content.

I. Introduction
II. Why Links Matter
III. Link Types and Manipulation
IV. User Expertise with Links
V. Discussion

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Last updated: May, 2007 Version 3.0 (online since July 24, 1995)