Interactive Hypertext for Interactive Readers

opinion Essay
1347 words
1347 words

Interactive Hypertext for Interactive Readers

With every new advancement in technology the roles of the writer and the roles of the reader are changed; sometimes it is a small change and other times it can be a drastic transformation. In this modern age it seems the role that the reader or the audience plays is shifting significantly. I don’t think there has ever been a point in history where there was as much interactivity as there is currently. The main reason for this change in the reader’s role is the rapidly growing amount of hypertext being used.

In the 1960’s, Ted Nelson was the first person to coin this popular term “hypertext” but I prefer to reference Bolter’s description. Hypertext, as described by Jay Bolter in Writing Space, is layered writing and reading, where you can click on links within a narrative or article. These links work as reference points and can work as footnotes or as references to what you were reading. They can also take you to an entirely different type of webpage all together. Bolter also points out that it is important to realize that the second webpage you are linked to is not always subordinate to the first. On page 33, Bolter describes hypertext as being similar to “prewriting” which kids learn to do in school. I think prewriting is what I’ve always called a mind map, which is just a map drawn out like a spider web to show how each idea is interconnected to all the other ideas. Hypertext can be related to, but is not the same as, intertextuality(178). Intertextuality is the interrelation of all text on the same topic, language or culture, while hypertext is references within a text and allusions between texts. I think it is important to see the changes in the role of reader in hypertext fiction and reference web pages that incorporate hypertext.

The reference web pages that use hypertext give the reader more interaction and power, and which in turn, gives the author much less supremacy. Hypertext in reference websites can be very helpful, it enables someone to click on one website and have numerous links to an unlimited amount of information and knowledge. This makes me wonder if the people who have ready access to the internet will become smarter, over time, due to the accessibility of hypertext.

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that with every new advancement in technology, the roles of the writer and the readers are changed; sometimes it is a small change or drastic transformation. hypertext is changing the reader's role.
  • Explains that hypertext, as described by jay bolter in writing space, is layered writing and reading, where you can click on links within a narrative.
  • Opines that hypertext references give the reader more interaction and power, which in turn, gives much less supremacy.
  • Explains that hypertext fiction is a separate form of electronic writing. the links that can take you back and forth between chapters are what make it unique.
  • Explains how the interactive fiction allowed readers to click on the graphics or words that seemed to grab their attention first.
  • Opines that readers feel the same sense of accomplishment after finishing an interactive narrative as they do after completing a printed novel.
  • Opines that bolter made quite a few observations and predictions about hypertext; during their own experimentation, they found most of these traits to be true.
  • Explains bolter, jay d. writing space: computers, hypertext and the remediation of print.
  • Analyzes fisher, caitlin's "these waves of girls". kairos 7:3. ed. scott rettberg.
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