Is this hypertext any good? Evaluating quality in hypermedia

What is quality in hypertext? How, in other words, do we judge a hypertext collection of documents (or web) to be successful or unsuccessful, to be good or bad as hypertext? How can we judge if a particular hypertext achieves elegance or just mediocrity? Those questions lead to another: what in particular is good about hypertext? What qualities does hypertext have in addition to those possessed by non-hypertextual forms of writing, which at their best can boast clarity, energy, rhythm, force, complexity, and nuance? What qualities, in other words, derive from a form of writing that is defined to a large extent by electronic linking. What good things, what desirable qualities, come with linking, since the link is the defining characteristic of hypertext? As I have argued elsewhere, the defining qualities of the medium include multilinearity, consequent potential multivocality, conceptual richness, and ?especially where informational hypertext is concerned? reader centeredness or control by the reader (Hypertext 2.0, pp. 33-48). Obviously, works in a hypertext environment that fulfill some or all of these potential qualities exemplify quality in hypermedia. Are there other perhaps less obvious sources of quality? —George LandowIs this hypertext any good? Evaluating quality in hypermedia (Dichtung Digital)

I’m teaching a small course in media aesthetics next term. This might be a good way to introudce them to hypertext aesthetics. I haven’t read this yet… when I do, I’ll probably have more to say about it. But right now, I need to see whether Deus Ex: Invisibile War runs on my office computer…

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