What does a permalink look like?

If you were a permalink, what would you look like?

I’ve decided to add a permalink symbol (or graphic) to each post to make it more apparent how to link directly to a single post. WordPress (the blogging software this site uses) by default makes the title of each post the permalink for that post. But before I add anything, I thought I would ask and see what everyone thinks these links should look like.

I would venture that the text “Permanent link” is the most user friendly, however, it takes up a lot of space and doesn’t really look very nice. So in trying to balance looks with usability, I want a graphic or symbol that conveys “click me, I’m permanent.”

Here are a few samples from other blogs:

Kottke: Permalink

Instapundit: Permalink

Anil Dash: ¶

37 Signals SvN: Permalink

Waxy.org: Permalink (with text “PERM LINK” next to it)

And of course, we always have the generic: #

I also asked Google what it thought a permalink looked like.

I like a couple of these, but I’m not sure they really say “I’m a permanent link.”

The next task is determining placement. Should the permalink go next to the title of the post? Next to the date? Next to the comments link? Maybe we could leave it all alone adjacent to the comments link, or somewhere else new and exciting?

My last comment is on the word ‘permalink.’ Is it descriptive enough for a new internet user to figure out the meaning? I’m not so sure, and I think I’ll be using the words ‘permanent link’ as alternate text for mine.

Maybe it’s time the blogging world got together and established a standard (suggested, of course) graphic or word for these permalinks.

4 thoughts on “What does a permalink look like?

  1. 37 signals one or some kind of combination of the 37 signals one and the instapundit one. Although it may be difficult to render at such a small size.

  2. I think I’m leaning towards a 37 signals-ish ‘document’ style icon with a small infinity symbol on it. That will hopefully catch the experienced users with the document icon look, but also be descriptive enough for the new users with the feeling of permanence with the infinity symbol.

    Any thoughts on that?

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