Hypertexts – the driving force of the internet?

This week contained two readings, one by George Landow the other by Jay David Bolter, but I will primarily be focusing upon one of those readings which is the one by Landow as it left a longer lasting impression on me and piqued my curiosity.

The reading was filled with quite a lot of terrific points but I’ll limit my rant to three. First of all I really appreciated how the text cemented the distinction between hypertext and an electronic read as it really backed up thoughts I already had. A hypertext is not merely an electronic representation of written text but one that integrates other knowledge and forms of media in order to construct one coherent prose. Essentially, hypertexts lateralises the way in which we consume text by not necessarily moving forward with each attached article but with all of the links contributing to promoting one main idea.

Secondly, I also found it very startling when Landow talked of writing with an awareness of the material you have linked to your work. I know this sounds like a very basic thought however I have never really thought of exactly what layers I am adding to my posts as I blatantly link any possibly relevant page. Much like how hypertext is not simply a digitalised form of reading, writing blog posts and online material is not just a copy and paste of techniques associated with journal writing, and where these practices diverge greatly is the collaborative nature of online writing, which is underpinned by the use of hyperlinks. I also quite enjoyed the concept of not only linking a page which is in accordance to your stream of thoughts but using one which is in conflict with it to further your discussion.

Lastly, the point which stood out to me most prominently pretty much pinned down my overall problem with blogging on a general stance. The idea that blogging generally involves elements of narcissism is what turns me off most about this experience. While I definitely am coming around to the idea of blogging and I of course would love to garner as much attention to my work as possible, the idea of promoting my opinions of various things as material that deserves to be read just doesn’t sit well with me, but maybe therein lies a problem with self esteem but those issues are just too hefty to bring into here. On a final side-note, while blogging may not be the thing for me (although I am coming around to the practice) I do LOVE reading others blogs and I have indeed found them incredibly helpful, so keep up the good work peers!

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on “Hypertexts – the driving force of the internet?
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  1. Pingback: Unsymposium 0.3 | A Blog About Blogging

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