Is embedding better than quoting?

Anil Dash of Six Apart has an interesting post up in which he proposes that instead of simply linking to or quoting from blog posts, bloggers could actually embed a segment of the post they are citing — in much the same way that people embed YouTube videos etc. by inserting some Javascript. I’ve included an excerpt of the post here as an experiment, in part because I’m wondering whether this idea (which I found via a Twitter post from Steve Rubel) makes any sense or not.

Like Anil, part of me finds this kind of thing appealing — but is it just the geek part of me? It’s elegant in a way, but I wonder whether it’s more trouble than is really necessary (Piers Fawkes at PSFK has written about it as well, and Anil has commented on that post). After all, I can quote from Anil’s post by simply cutting and pasting text, like this:

I want you to place the text of this blog post on your own site. But I don’t want you to do it just by copying and pasting it into your own blogging tool. I think there might be a different way to do it.

What benefits does using Anil’s method have? It includes a link to the comments on the post, which is nice (although it could get unwieldy if there were too many), but I’m not sure it’s a killer feature. And it has a nice colored border, of course. I experimented with Clipmarks.com as a way of doing something similar — since it allows you to clip and save a blog or web-page excerpt and then paste it into your blog automatically — but in the end it seemed too cumbersome.

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About mathewi

I'm the chief digital writer at the Columbia Journalism Review in New York, and a former writer for Fortune magazine and the Globe and Mail newspaper.

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