One problem I see with writing in hypertext is that transitions become unimportant. In a normal essay, I have to come up with transitional words, words like "therefore", "however", "in addition," sentences ("These examples clearly demonstrate that there is a connection between the military and American industry."), and concepts ("The relationship between these 2 historical events is...") to string together my written thoughts. I find it educational to search for these links and explicitly state them. When I write in hypertext, on the other hand, all I have to do is see some potential relationship between two lexias. A point and a click later, the link exists. I don't have to ponder the relationship and explain it; I just have to have a fleeting connection in mind and then leave the reader with the job of deciphering my train of thought. I worry that this type of linking makes the writer lazy, for clarity in written expression should not suffer in any medium.
I reveal six types of connections that can be made in this haphazard manner:
1. digital: link two lexias together because they both contain the same interesting word, term, or phrase. Some of the words I have used for this purpose in other projects include "death of the author", "invisible", and "clash."
2. authorial: link together two related or contrasting pieces by the same author, or two excerpts from different authors.
3. continuous: break up a citation into two parts and link them together. Make the break so the separation occurs right before the surprising part of the lexia, right before the 'zinger.'
4. contrast: link together two contrasting theoretical perspectives
5. description: offer a link after presenting an idea in one lexia. Following the link takes the reader to a more detailed, deeper examination of the material. Hint: Images are useful for this type of link, since pictures give a deeper representation of concepts.
6. conceptual: link together two lexias that have an interesting conceptual relationship This is the kind of link that is the least haphazard, and does work well in the hypertextual medium.
keep on hacking...