Thursday, September 15, 2005

Ted Nelson--Hypertext

Ted Nelson's piece is all about hypertext, hypermedia, non-sequential storytelling and the like. Anyone who has seen Pulp Fiction (one of my all-time favorite movies) can attest to the success of non-sequential storytelling. However, there are certain mediums which are better suited to this technique than others. For example, Nelson describes several books which were written in the non-sequential model. The reader decides where he wants to go by choosing from several different page numbers offered. It's an interesting concept, but not the most efficient way to read a book. The reader would constantly be flipping between different pages and sections of the book--I imagine the reader would eventually get lost. Computer technology changed all that. The internet is an incredible network of media (pictures, text, etc.) all tied together by hyperlinks. All one has to do is click on a link to end up somewhere completely different. This system is much more conducive to non-sequential storytelling than a printed book, for example.


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