Thoughts on Hyper Linking

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.   Small Pieces Loosely Joined copyright © 2002 David Weinberger

Down the rabbit hole


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.  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. 

Photo Credit: Hey Paul Studios via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Hey Paul Studios via Compfight cc

4 thoughts on “Thoughts on Hyper Linking

  1. Matt, Love the name “Tabber”. My husband is a tabber. Currently he has over 30 tabs in 3 windows EACH to read for later and they are the most randomest stuff. I was a tabber until I discovered Pocket. With pocket you can tab for later. I am sure you know of it. And don’t feel so bad, tabbing isn’t the worst thing!


  2. So I looked and I have 23 tabs currently open and it’s a good day. Even to the extent that students (I know, remarkable!) students comment on how many tabs I have open at a given moment! I think of tabs open like my mind though – many things going on a one time, all there for me to scroll back to in a click. I have a fear of forgetting everything (FOFE much like FOMO) and this helps me to keep tabs (no pun intended) on all my current thoughts, ideas and interests. Much as I have love Diigo, Netvibes and using Chrome bookmarking, Evernote and such like I just like seeing my current day to day thinking in front of me! Perhaps there is a support group out there for other such extreme Tabbers. I hope parenthood is shaping up well and that you are NOT reading this. Anne – I also need to know what Pocket is?!


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