So I have to admit – I found this week’s ideas incredible. I love discovery – and the thought of discovering the first hyperlink is a pretty amazing concept. Imagine coming across blue underlined text and realizing it will take you somewhere else. What an incredible moment! The hyperlink allowed for instantaneous time and space travel through a system. We now take this concept for granted as we traverse paths laid for us through hyperlinked information.
The Web gives us an opportunity to re-think many of our presuppositions about our nature and our world’s nature. ᔥ Small Pieces Loosely Joined copyright © 2002 David Weinberger
I don’t know about about you – but I am a tabber – I will at any given moment have upwards of 5 – 10 tabs open at a time (my desktop at moment of composing this post). Most often than not this is due to following the rabbit hole of hyperlinks and stumbling upon content that looks ever so enticing through the link provided. As much I know I don’t need to jump in and read the article about cardboard wine bottles on mashable – I always do. I might even argue – you know you do to…I know for certain my students do!
The trick, of course, is that we do not follow all links. Rather, we
use clues. Indeed, if we are looking for information on Picasso and are
faced with three choices on a given Webpage, we are more apt to follow
the modern art link than either the link for a famous wrestler or a frog’s
love life. By interpreting the links, we avoid having to check all the
pages within nineteen degrees and can zero in on the desired page
within a few clicks. While this method seems to be the most efﬁcient, it
almost always fails to ﬁnd the shortest path. Indeed, it is always possible
that the wrestler whose Webpage we bypassed balances his tough guy
image with a link to the best Picasso site. ᔥ The Third Link: Six Degrees of Separation.
Educating our students about how to evaluate and negotiate linked content seems to be a worthy task – using your own connectivity with hyperlinks seems an apt way of approaching the subject.
So hyperlinks allow us to connect to content – but they of course also allow us to be publishers of content and have that content connected to others. Recently my school has revamped their website and part of this was to showcase student work in a digital way. I jumped at their idea and wanted my student’s artwork to be posted online so it could be seen by as many people as possible – unfortunately it is still hidden behind layers of clicks and sometimes obtuse navigation. But I’ve got some of their photography blogs online and connected – a start.