I remember the very first time I heard about "hyperlinking," where a writer would willingly give readers wormholes to follow out of his story and out onto the great blue Internet. Seemed like just about the dumbest idea I'd ever heard of.
As if readers didn't have enough distractions!
Now my problem may be that I link too much. Like, in the blog item below, I linked "W.H. Auden" to his Wikipedia page.
But I did worry that the English majors who read this blog would resent the implication that they needed a brush-up on the poet. (As when a nervous in-law-to-be was talking to my dad about Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and mentioned parenthetically that Edward Albee was a 20th century playwright. My normally temperate father reacted later, "I don't need some traveling salesman from St. Louis to tell me who fucking Edward Albee is!")
I can think of at least two other reasons to control your linking: 1. Too many links makes an article look like a research project. 2. And by God, you don't want to give people too many paths out of your story.
Has anybody seen a guide to moderate linking?