The Beginning of a New Book

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I finished my first reading of the Kilian book, which I am finding to be quite interesting.  This is the first time I have been able to see this class helping me outside of the university.  Who can't learn to write a little less, especially coming from the man who wrote a 703 word essay last night.  I could also see myself when Kilian says about users will hit the back button immediately if they do not see something that they like.  I have done that many times, usually if the website is all text.  For me, the internet needs to have some pictures (I'm still not accustomed to watching videos, since I never had high speed internet until a month ago.

I also found the idea that reference books like encyclopedias are hypertext.  I always thought, since the word was exposed to me at the beginning of the year, that it referred to something that was solely electronic.  It makes sense that you see a dictionary definition that says "See #%$..." (not profanity) and go to the word.  You don't have to read all the words, or any of the pages in between, which is what you are doing in a link on the internet.

I also think that it is interesting that the internet was founded to spread information.  I guess because I have never seen the internet's drab cousins like Usenet, I see the internet as something that is more flashy and vibrant than academic discussions carried out across the globe.

Finally, I agree that it is harder to read text on the computer than it is on paper.  Even with the fact that it ruins the hypertext aspect of the internet, I would still rather print an article out and read it later, than read it and find all of the hyperlinks.

What do you think? I would like to hear your ideas, instead of having to go looking for them.

Looking for persuasive, interactive content? (I did not just read that off the cover of the book.)

11 Comments

Jackie Johns said:

I agree with a lot of your comments, Jed. Though I didn't mention it in my own blog entry, I too found the concept of traditional encyclopedias and reference books interesting. To me, hypertext was a "new" word that only defined the electronic versions of linked text, but really it is a term that can apply to a whole host of information, electronic or printed. I guess its more of a concept, or a way of sorting through information.

Andy Lonigro said:

It is kind of funny to think about the internet as being created to spread information. I remember being a young elementary school child and having my first experience with the internet. I heard my classmates using things like, ICQ and America Online, I thought the internet was to talk to people outside of school. The older I got, the more purposes I realized it was used for. Now-a-days many people think of the internet as satanic or evil. People think it's only to spread pornography or to prey on young teens through things like Myspace or Facebook. I bet if you stopped and asked people what the internet was invented for, very few would say to spread useful information.

What do you think?

Maddie Gillespie said:

Hello there, as for you wanting to know my ideas in response to your blog: I agree with both the usual surfing habits of people on the net and that if an online article has numerous links within the text, I usually have a scowl on my face. Jackie mentioned something similar on her blog about average user habits and i completely agree with you both on the fact that the internet was originally designed to spread and/or store vast amounts of information where it was easily accessible.

Andy brought up a great point about how people today perceive the internet. I think it all comes down to how often you use it, what you use it for, and how much experience you may have with it. It's kinda like everything else that humans have the tendency to fear; they don't fully understand it and so they fear it. Then again, I suppose if one knew everything about the atom bomb one would have ample reason to fear it!

Alex Hull said:

Threatening horrifying pictures of small animals forced me to comment on your blog. Good technique =]

Someone else that enjoys Kilian! I thoroughly do. Check my blog for more details.

I agree completely that it is harder to read computer screen text that printouts. My dad has become very fond finding articles on the internet, and he often has me print them out for him. It is then that I can read them, in the paper form.

Also the internet has become much more helpful in hypertext. An encyclopedia is hypertext, just a much more involved form of it.

Daniella Choynowski said:

We're all english majors in one form or another: the tendency to write a novel-length assignment is an urge we have to fight. Not everyone is an english professor and is interested in your pages of finely crafted prose. I admit, I have clicked back on pages that are nothing more than large blocks of texts. My eyes and brain can't take it sometimes.

The book index is a form of hypertext, but what I like about electronic texts is that you can search for different words, words that may not be listed in a printed text's index. Like I said in my blog, I spen forever looking for "no theater" when the author had called it "nogaku," a term I had never heard.

Daniella Choynowski said:

We're all english majors in one form or another: the tendency to write a novel-length assignment is an urge we have to fight. Not everyone is an english professor and is interested in your pages of finely crafted prose. I admit, I have clicked back on pages that are nothing more than large blocks of texts. My eyes and brain can't take it sometimes.

The book index is a form of hypertext, but what I like about electronic texts is that you can search for different words, words that may not be listed in a printed text's index. Like I said in my blog, I spen forever looking for "no theater" when the author had called it "nogaku,"
a term I had never heard.

Jed,I think I have you beet in the paper in one night department. 15 pages in 12 hours, 6 pm-6am. And I still had homework for other classes after that was over. yay EL336!

Jed Fetterman said:

I can see the threat to puppies worked quite well. Your little four-legged friends are safe for another week.
A couple of things. I debated whether to put in my thoughts about what the internet is used for, but for whatever reason, neglected to mention it. I had the same feeling as Andy on the issue.
I also think that hypertext is the only reason for keeping the internet around. It is harder to read than print while being much more eclectic than television. But the links make moving about so much easier, and, if there is no link, you can still use the find tool to seek out interesting bits of text.
Thank you everyone for commenting, and keep chatting.

Jessie Krehlik said:

You know, I never realized how similar web text is to journalistic writing. Back in high school, I never followed that gawd-aweful system of "three body paragraphs, an introduction and a conclusion." Please. Who wants to stare at a paragraph that's the size of the entire page! It just *looks* intimidating and boring. I think we could all learn a thing or two about writing in general from this--not just about writng for the internet.

Jed Fetterman said:

That was my initial thought when reading this. Who can't stand to gain something by taking out a bunch of that embellishing crap? That's not to say that I will say the same thing on my website as I do in a short story, but I do have a tendency to become verbose a lot.

J- said:

HEY I NEED INFO. IM NOT A COLLEGE STUDENT SO I DONT KNOW ALOT ABOUT WRITING STRUCTURE. IM BARLY H.S. GRAD. I STARTED WRITTING A BOOK IM BOUT 4,000 WORDS INTO IT, AND I WAS LOOKING FOR INFO ON HOW TO STRUCTURE A BOOK WHEN YOUR WRITING IT. AS YOU CAN TELL I WOULD BE HOPELESS WITHOUT SPELL CHECK.
THANX

J- said:

HEY I NEED INFO. IM NOT A COLLEGE STUDENT SO I DONT KNOW ALOT ABOUT WRITING STRUCTURE. IM BARLY H.S. GRAD. I STARTED WRITTING A BOOK IM BOUT 4,000 WORDS INTO IT, AND I WAS LOOKING FOR INFO ON HOW TO STRUCTURE A BOOK WHEN YOUR WRITING IT. AS YOU CAN TELL I WOULD BE HOPELESS WITHOUT SPELL CHECK.
THANX

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