ESZTER HARGITTAI'S RESEARCH
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
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.
II. Why Links Matter
III. Link Types and Manipulation
IV. User Expertise with Links
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