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The value of asking questions: the ‘link opening new window debate’ continues

As a curious person and avid lifelong learner I always try to ask (good) questions to help find the answers to things I don’t know.  I recently included a question in a comment on Problogger about whether links should open in new windows or the same window.  This was a matter of genuine curiosity to me as I’d been taught one thing then read the opposite point of view being expressed.

Darren Rowse picked up the question and replied in a post (this is one of the things I like best about his site - he pays a great deal of attention to user comments, questions and feedback) and I was fair astonished at the number of comments and the strength of opinion that people had on either side of the debate.  In numerical terms it seemed fairly balanced but the most strongly held opinions were that new windows were a definite no-no.

On reflection I decided to change to reflect that practice and links from this and the Coaching Wizardry site now open in the same window.

Anyway, I was interested to see that Darren has returned to this question today, providing a summary of the feedback to the earlier post and a graph showing the balance of views expressed in the comments.  It actually came out the other way, with 54% in favour of the new window policy.

To be honest my opinions on this matter are not that strong.  What has interested me is the process.  I asked the question because I was unsure of the answer.  I was pleased that Darren answered it - because I wanted to hear his opinion.  But at the same time I felt a little exposed when Darren picked it up, especially as some people seemed to view the ‘new link’ policy as a serious crime against the citizens of the blogosphere…  It’s good to come back to it now and to learn that it is a) something that lots of other bloggers are wondering about and b) a contested issue, so worthwhile airing.

Anyway, enough of the techie stuff.  The question I was going to finish up was this.

What do you do with your weird and wonderful blogging queries?  Do you have ‘safe’ places to go where you know you’ll get a helpful answer?


  1. Darren Rowse says:

    thanks for the question - it ended up being quite the conversation!

  2. Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Hi Darren

    It certainly did - and I see it’s still being debated!