Well, almost, but clicking on the page won't help.

Internet and "multimedia" are among the most popular buzzwords of our time. Numerous pundits, perhaps more interested in making headlines than actually increasing our understanding of these technologies and their uses, even tell us that the book is dead. Yet despite all the superlatives heaped upon it, and the "wave of the future" bandwagon that almost everyone wants to get on, traditional print media is still the "lingua franca" of most educational and academic endeavors. Thus, although the original format of this essay (and of course of this project in its entirety) was prepared hypertextually on magnetic media, and is, to cop a term popular on various computer screens "best viewed" at that "resolution", a print version has been prepared as well. Holding a book in your hands has an entirely different feel than holding a disk. No matter how hard you gaze into the disk you don't see the content, whereas a book can be opened and browsed (and perhaps even read) without any intervening technology (other than perhaps a pair of glasses).

The book still has numerous advantages over the disk, and I have no desire to belittle its continued importance. But, as I've already noted, I've passed the point of no return, and no longer know how to build this essay as a linear sequence of logically connected paragraphs. So what we have here isn't a book that has been converted into a hypertextual format in order to meet popular demand (sometimes projects like that work, though on the whole they seem to leave the reader wondering what was wrong with the book as a book, and what was added that was actually a worthwhile addition), but rather a hypertextual excursion that had to toe the line, cut its hair and put on a tie, and make itself presentable to the new in-laws.

How does it work? Each link (in the sections that have become the print version, of course) appears as it would appear on the screen - underlined. But in parenthesis just to the right of the underlined text is either the title and page number of the page to which the reader must physically turn, or an external URL, with a page number next to it as well. That page contains a short description of the external links referred to. The reader, of course, has to turn pages by him or herself. Since most of the time the links are relatively short asides (though when it's me writing, the word "short" is never a very accurate adjective) I suggest the reader keep his or her finger on the main page as a place marker while thumbing over to the links. It's not as much fun as clicking, but should be just as effective. Does it work? That part is yet to be seen.

Go to: Web Essays - The evolution of a (personal?) medium