Hypertext '08: Susan Gibb, The Hypertext Effect: the Transfiguration of Writing and the Writer

Steve introduced Susan Gibb as a driving force behind the writing and digital media culture in a small town in Connecticut.  (I’m really impressed by what comes from Tuxnis Community College). Susan presented us with the thinking behind the creation of a 300-node creative hypertext work in StorySpace. Susan walked the audience through the process of a single “writing space” morphing into a story.  As the writer moves in time,…

Hypertext '08: Alan Bigelow, American Ghosts: from Concept to Completion

Alan Bigelow discusses his art installations featuring the short-form Flash genre. In his introduction, he stated that he doesn’t think that he writes hypertext, and spoke with hope of a future in which new media authors know what terms to apply to their work. The opening screen of his American Ghosts refers to a “webyarn,” but he also suggests “net art,” calling himself a “mid-career artist” because he’s been working…

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Hypertext '08: Hypertext 08 Workshop on Creating out of the Machine: Hypertext, Hypermedia, and Web Artists Explore the Craft

Steve Ersinghaus started the creative hypertext workshop by playing Changing Key: A “video hyperdrama” by Charles Deemer. In the introduction, Deemer notes that the audience in a play is passive, and conjures up the idea of a family Thanksgiving in which multiple groups interact in multiple rooms, with the audience inserted into the drama like ghosts who can follow different stories. [My note: A ghost audience who can follow different…

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Past and Present of Willy Loman and Saint EMC² at Hypertextopia

At Hypertextopia. I found an interesting, but incomplete and unsigned (update — according to some mouseover text, it’s by Brian Yearling) hypertext that maps out part of the plot of Death of a Salesman.  I was interested in the subject matter, but I’m not sure about what value this particular hypertext arrangement offers. If it were possible to re-arrange the items so that we can walk chronologically through Willy’s life,…

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…

Two Hypertext Bookmarks

What exactly happened to the link-and-node hypertext novel? We don’t have to carry out that much of an investigation to see what‘sgoing on with Flash poetry, or the network novel, or interactive fiction. But what‘sup with the venerable form used by the soi-disant wunderkinder authors of The Unknown, the one in which Victory Garden took root, in which Shelley Jackson stitched together her Patchwork Girl? —Nick Montfort —Two Hypertext Bookmarks (Grand…

Hypertext and Hypermedia: A Select Bibliography

This bibliography was originally compiled by Scott Stebelman from 1996-2000. Scott, a librarian at Gelman Library at George Washington University from 1986 until 2000, retired recently. The page is currently being updated and enhanced by Dr. Seth Katz and Jim Bonnett at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. —Hypertext and Hypermedia: A Select Bibliography (Bradley University) The pages I checked focus mainly on print resources published in the mid 90s, and the…

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Blurring the Borders of Rhetoric and Hypertextuality in Weblogs

Early, link-heavy blogs were, for the most part, a method of sharing links. They usually contained entries that consisted of one or two hyperlinks, the blogger’s commentary on the link’s content, and a place for other bloggers to make comments about the entry. These early blogs often focused on what <a href=”htttp://www.rebeccaspocket.net/essays/weblog_history.html”>Blood calls “the dissemination and interpretation of the news.” By linking to news articles from “lesser-known sources” that might…

Torill @ Seton Hill University — 'Intro to Hypertext Theory'

On the same day she spoke about media panics to my journalism class, Torill Mortensen introduced my “Writing for the Internet” class to hypertext theory. (This is going to be a long post and I’ll probably be too lazy to link everything properly, so see Torill’s online lecture notes, “Hypertext, class and power.”) She began by asking the class to visualize taking a book and cutting it up, line by…

Hypertext & The Outhouse

“It’s time for a reality check. Hypertext is not, and has never been, all that. Electronic literature is a tiny field and mostly, no one cares about it, except for a handful of endlessly bickering insiders. Maybe 200 people in the world are even marginally interested in the academic arguments….From the outside, though, it looks a bit like cursing a toilet manufacturer for providing the pot you shit in. If…

Hypertext Links: Whither Thou Goest, and Why?

“The link is the basic element of hypertext, and researchers have long recognized that links provide semantic relationships for users. Yet little work has been done to understand the nature of these relationships, particularly in conjunction with the purposes of organizational/informational Web sites. This paper explores the semantic and rhetorical principles underlying link development and proposes a systematic, comprehensive classification of link types that would be of use to researchers…

I’m not a big fan of Disney’s corporate greed.

I’m not a huge fan of Disney, largely because as a grad student in the 1990s, I chose the 1920-1950 time period for my dissertation based on my expectation that the literary works I studied from that time period would fall out of copyright one by one during my career. I planned to mine my dissertation, using what I learned about the literary works in that time period to create…

Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu Logo

In April 2000, I was blogging about HTML frames, the future of reading, grammar, Kairos, and Hypercard

In April 2000, I was blogging about… HTML frames (who remembers how much they sucked?) The sorry state of web design (AskTog) The future of reading “Rules grammar change: English traditional replace to be new syntax with” (The Onion) Journalism students who don’t read or watch journalism A design critique I published in the innovative online journal Kairos How Apple’s Hypercard set the stage for literary hypertext

Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu Logo

In February 2000, I was blogging about “The Heist” (Sorrels); the “Instant Muse Poetry Generator,” a London raid on a Pinter play rehearsal, and the boom in active weblogs

In February 2000, I was blogging about The 1995 Walter Sorrels hypertext story “The Heist“ The “Instant Muse Poetry Generator“ A London Metropolitan police raid on a Kurdish community theater group rehearsing a Harold Pinter play about the persecution of Kurds The number of active weblogs increasing from 50 to 500 in the past year In that month, my entry on the EatonWeb directory of weblogs read as follows:  

Your Students Learn by Doing, Not by Listening

Today one of my students gave a final presentation in the form of a branching hypertext (akin to the “Choose Your Own Adventure” novels). On the opening screen, the voice of the professor welcomes the students to the course, announces a the major term project, and then immediately dismisses the class. During the Q&A afterwards, I noted that instructor sure didn’t waste much time on lectures, and asked whether the…

Impact of One-size-fits-all Web Design

I don’t particularly miss the splash landing pages, rotating animated logos, and “click here” web design of the 1990s. But one of the great things about it was that people experimented, sometimes doing crazy things. Rob LoCascio, who in 1995 “came up with the technology for those chat windows that pop up on websites,” notes that the language we used back then and the interfaces we worked with all assumed…

The Digital-Humanities Bust

Dinosaurs evolved into birds. Not all of them, of course. Birds are so much a part of our environment that we barely notice them. I’ve said the same about weblogs. Monetized and platformized and app-ified, the basic functions of blogging live on — a reverse-sorted stream of posts, a mechanism to engage with visitors to your stream, and a mechanism for engaging with the authors of other streams. It is…

The future is in interactive storytelling

An interesting piece. Easy-to-learn hypertext authoring tools like Twine and TextureWriter have encouraged many of my students to give this kind of storytelling a try. As longtime experimenters and scholars in interactive narrative who are now building a new academic discipline we call “computational media,” we are working to create new forms of interactive storytelling, strongly shaped by the choices of the audience. People want to explore, through play, themes…

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Unscheduled Disasters in Journalism: Learn to Deal

In school, we expect our professors to answer our questions, to return our emails, to invite us in for a consultation, to pay attention what we say and read carefully what we write. One of the important lessons of being a student journalist is learning how to deal with the unexpected. Unfair things happen in the real world, and part of being a professional is learning how to make the…