Doing sources well

As per my post yesterday, The role of sources in news and views, and as per expressions of love today for writer Tim Urban and Wait But Why, here’s a great example of what sources should be like, even in irreverent and lighthearted blog posts. 

Any time he mentions a statistic or some sort of fact or information that he didn’t research or originate himself, he gives a source. Yes, you could still argue the validity of sources, but it’s a starting point, and with links to sites like the World Health Organisation when he’s referencing health matters, and fairly respected publisher The Atlantic when talking about basket ball player height (a researched article of theirs being more likely to know than him), he leaves his readers in a more capable position to judge plausibility. 

Further more, Wait But Why uses the nicest example of reference notes and footnotes that I’ve ever seen online. Here below is from the four part epic on Elon Musk. Knowing that many readers will find this post first and be unfamiliar with the site, he prompts the exploration of clocking the references:

When you do, the prompt continues and congratulates the readers exploration:

Most importantly, all the while these notes don’t pressure the reader into having to read them, nor do they take the reader instantly away to a new window, or make them leave the existing window. In situ helpful references:   

I’m going to have to find a way to make these footnote numbers work within this currently Tumblr hosted site. Love it.