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I think it is the future, and a good idea.

I'm not sure of the best way to integrate them, how many to use, or how they might be misused.

But I like the idea of crisp short statements in the report describing conditions, with the reference available for folks that want to dig a lot deeper.

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I think it is a good idea, but it creates some practical problems that you need to either agree to live with, or figure out a way to work around.

The first one is that information on web sites is frequently moved around and the links often change, so you need to keep verifying that all of them are still active and pointing to the place that you want them to point. Even then, there's no guarantee that the site host doesn't move the info on you tomorrow.

The second, is that you have no control over the content at the link, and the content can be changed at any time by the site host. While the information at the link might have been relevant and in the correct context when you first placed it in your report, later on, someone can wind up reading your report, clicking on the link, and then start wondering "what was this guy thinking?"

Both circumstances are outside your ability to control, and if they go wrong (dead link or improper content) they wind up reflecting poorly upon you (in the mind of the person reading your report).

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What I do is include just the basic website link (http://www.csia.org) and say something like, "For additional information on chimney maintenance, please visit the CSIA website at http://www.csia.org".

I typically don't put a fuller website address in case it changes down the road plus it can get rather lengthy. As Brandon says, we have no control over the website content and URL changes, but at least pointing the client in the proper direction is smart and appreciated by the client.

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Originally posted by inspecthistoric

Take a few minutes and add the important bits about fireplaces and chimneys to your own web site. Then, create links in your report to the applicable pages.

It's what I do. It keeps my reports brief and focused, but readers have the choice to follow the links for more details.

I try to host everything I can on my site. That way, unless I move it, it should always be there. Good point.

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