Are we supposed to do anything with dead/broken links?
My post from last fall on Medieval Movies has been receiving a lot of traffic lately so I went back and took a look at it. One of the links is to a site maintained by Tim O’Neil, History versus the DaVinci Code where Tim takes a look at the historical basis for many of the claims in the book. For some reason I decided to click on it and apparently the link had changed to a site (not a very good one – mostly blank) which promotes Dan Brown’s books.
Evidently the link had changed. I was able to go to Tim’s blog, Armarium Magnum and find the correct link and fix the post.
Is there a blog protocol for dealing with links? This isn’t the first dead/changed link I’ve come across though it’s one of the more important ones. I’ve sort of decided that people reading the blog would probably know enough about the internet to realize that links may die and/or change and have just lived with it. When I reference a link in a publication I include, “(last accessed on _____)” in the bibliography.
Are we supposed to do something similar with links in a blog post? Is there an assumption that the link is good as of the date the post was put up? Should I put a disclaimer, All links included in posts were righteous links at the time this was posted and the fact that they may lead the reader into evil is not the fault of Medieval History Geek and all of his friends, relatives, heirs and assigns?
This is not a big deal and I suppose I could Google this question but I’m curious what people think. I’m much less concerned about dead links than about links which may have changed and now take the reader somewhere I had no intention of sending him or her.