Accidental Linking

A property of wiki where authors citing non-existent pages discover that they do exist.

It can be extremely pleasant for the author; finding out that someone else has dealt with the same idea, issue or problem makes us feel a little less lonely. Often that someone else has come at the issue from a different, eye-opening perspective. There's also the relief of not having to write a new page from scratch. ;-)

See HappyCollision.

It is often alleged that a CamelCase LinkPattern makes this magically happen, whereas FreeLinks do not allow it, but this claim is HotlyDisputed?. More discussion on MeatBall (see below).

Can people who get in the habit of editing things into CamelCase just as easily get into the habit of adding free link markup?

On EverythingTwo, FreeLinks (known there as "hardlinks") are used exclusively for links entered into nodes by their authors. E2 doesn't have the same sort of openness that wikis (including Wiki) tend to have, but the principle of "Link and Link" as well as the mechanism of "softlinks" tend to prevent node clusters from forming WalledGardens.

Having written on here and WikiPedia, I've found that FreeLinks take much more discipline to do consistently, and I often don't. But then ImLazy?. -- AnonymousDonor

I have often written a FreeLink on WikiPedia with the idea that it would be cool for someone to write that article, only to discover that the article already exists, with that exact title. --BenKovitz

AccidentalLinking is the theme of RoCoCoCamp 2007. --EvanProdromou

One point to watch: on a large wiki like WikiPedia an arbitrary term will often blue link, but will point to a disambiguation page or an unexpected topic with a similar name. If you get a blue link by luck, click it to be sure it goes where you want it to go.

or just leave it for a bot to sort out

See Also: AutomaticLinkGeneration


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