Hypertext and Beginning, Middle and End

Throughout my life on the internet, hypertext has been pretty present. However the thought never appeared to me that hypertext actually enabled a change in the way I experienced reading.

I wasn’t sold on Adrian’s idea that the internet isn’t a story and it has no beginning or end – I thought whilst that might be true for the overall big picture of the internet, the individual components that make it up are still designed to themselves have a beginning and an end. If you look at Wikipedia, one of the best examples of hypertext infiltration, the individual pages are still set up with a story in mind. Wikipedia pages dedicated to people, for instance, have brief overview at the beginning, followed by a chronological description of their life starting with childhood or early career, and ending with death and legacy.

However, I didn’t realise just how often that my reading of a article would change because of hypertext – I have the ability to click on hypertext and read the content from the linked page immediately after coming across it in the article, or clicking on it and saving it for after I’ve finished the first page, or not clicking on it at all. Each way is a different way to consume the content and I am the master of it. And so there it is, the internet with no beginning or end. 

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