25 June 2007

Action hypertext and the beehive paradigm

while compiling my neologisms list
i occasionally came across ideas
that had completely faded from my thinking

one of which
'action hypertext'
i'm happy to resuscitate

the w3c paradigm for the semantic web
is approximately beehive-like
every webpage a hierarchy of containers
to be filled in by worker-drones
presumed to know in advance
exactly what they want to say
and how it fits into the rest of the web/site

but action hypertext is the opposite of this
each author an indeterminate jackson-pollock splatterer

each new webpage starting from scratch
with no clear idea where it's coming from
or where it's going
freeform blocks of text
with freeform styles of separation between them

textblocks accumulating
more or less intentionally
in the course of never-finished web exploration

visits to un/familiar sites
search patterns un/successful
articles read skimmed skipped bookmarked
links saved shared discussed updated

so each of these web-actions
can be seen as an item in an ongoing stream
that should be archived
and re-traceable

and all the usual choices
for dealing with the results of these web-actions:

forget it, shred it
save it, share it, debate it
add it to your to-read list
subscribe to its feed
set a tickler-alarm for it
announce it to the world
link it from related pages of your own
etc etc etc

all these usual choices
should be offered in a standard
that action-authors habitually consider
when dismissing any action-result