The Minneapolis StarTribune is my favorite Minnesota newspaper and also my favorite newspaper to hate to love. Why? Because they keep screwing The Deets’s readers by breaking links.
I recently installed a plugin on The Deets that reports links within posts that no longer work.
What did it find?
The StarTribune has created more broken links to The Deets than any other site.
What am I talking about?
Let’s say I find an interesting news story at StarTribune.com. I decide to write about it and link to the story I’m citing. A month or more goes by. Suddenly, the link to the original story stops working, so visitors to The Deets can’t click through to read the original story.
The site, in many cases, doesn’t even tell you whether the story can be purchased. It just throws up the error message shown above.
From my perspective, the StarTribune’s behavior is hurting my reader’s experiences. Why should I link to a site that isn’t interested in serving my readers? I shouldn’t.
So, until the StarTribune changes their link destroying policy I’m going to try to go out of my way to find alternative sites to link to after reading stories I originally found in the StarTribune. While the StarTribune may be my original source for a story, I simply can’t continue to knowingly link to a site that destroys links over time. While that may be acceptible behavior at the StarTribune, that’s no way for me to treat my readers.