Effective Hypertext

29 09 2007

The criteria for an effective hypertext can be hard to determine since I’ve only seen a few of them. From the hypertexts that I have seen, I think the most important things include literary content, links that help create meaning, and having multiple layers of meaning throughout the whole piece.

I place literary content at the forefront of my list because if the whole point of my being on the site–to read it–is lacking, I will lose interest in the entire thing. Of the hypertexts we have looked at so far, Vniverse was my favorite in this field.

The second most important feature of an effective hypertext is the links, specifically that they help create meaning. For this, I think Hegirascope was the best. Though on the surface, it seemed as though Hegirascope’s links detracted from the meaning of the piece, I say they actually added to it. One of the themes of the work was disorder creating order. The overarching, obscured themes of the work were reinforced by the links and their seemingly random paths.

The third most important part of a hypertext is the presence of multiple layers of meaning. Since a hypertext allows for several forms of media (text, image, color, audio, etc.), I expect to be able to pick out several different themes and purposes of it. For example, in Vniverse, the poems themselves are amazing. I would be satisfied reading them on their own, they need no other media to make them fantastic. However, the fact that they are but a portion of a whole work, I expect to receive more meaning through the images and structure of the piece. By displaying the poems through constellations, I am prompted to think about how each stanza and sonnet is connected to the others. Like stars, they are all separate but can be connected and made to create a larger meaning through that connection.





One response

1 10 2007

Very good. I agree–for a literary hypertext, content is most important. And form can affect content, as in Hejirascope and Vniverse.

–dr t

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