just emailed me to point out the discussion on hypertext that's been going on round Maggi Dawn's blog
. Actually the discussion all started from the question of whether writing for a blog was a different form of writing...
The early conversation centred round the question of style, is a blog like or unlike e.g. a letter... Personally it seems to me that it is quite like a letter - except that one does not know the recipient; quite like a diary - except one knows that it might be public!
EXCEPT that the addition of features of electronic hypertext make it totally different:
- links make text plurisequential with a quasi-sequential text like print the author can assume the reader will follow a particular sequence; with a plurisequential hypertext authors cannot know the sequence the reader will follow but can imagine and create possible sequences for her
- user input makes text conversation even in the slow form of email comments about the Amos commentary users have impacted the text, but through the comments feature of a blog users not only join conversation with the author, but can hijack that conversation and direct it!
Whatever a blog is
, it is not
writing as we knew it a generation ago! Nor is any other hypertext.
PS, if anyone is really interested in these topics (enough to read page upon page of turgid academic prose) I've a couple of papers one online (though sadly for sale) an article "Form, Medium and Function: The Rhetorics and Poetics of Text and Hypertext in Humanities Publishing" in International Journal of the Book, Volume 1, 2003
the other only in print "Commentary beyond the Codex: Hypertext and the art of biblical commentary" in Cook, Johann (ed) Bible and Computer: The Stellenbosch AIBI-6 Conference. Proceedings of the Association Internationale Bible et Informatique
, Leiden: Brill, 2002.