An excerpt from the third and final part of Scott Rosenberg’s link reality check; see the link below for more details (and/or this page for a GigaOm summary of the series)
Links, you see, do so much more than just whisk us from one Web page to another. They are not just textual tunnel-hops or narrative chutes-and-ladders. Links, properly used, don’t just pile one “And now this!” upon another. They tell us, “This relates to this, which relates to that.”
Links announce our presence. They show a writer’s work. They are badges of honesty, inviting readers to check that work. They demonstrate fairness. They can be simple gestures of communication; they can be complex signifiers of meaning. They make connections between things. They add coherence. They build context.
If I can get all that in return, why would I begrudge the link-wielding writer a few more seconds of my time, a little more of my mental effort?