The move from ‘text’ to ‘hypertext’

Hugh McGuire posted an important thought recently. Hugh made the claim that:

The distinction between “the internet” & “books” is totally totally arbitrary, and will disappear in 5 years. Start adjusting now.

This is an interesting concept, and it brings me to think:
Since links are considered gold in the online space, will we eventually get to the stage where we can do away with (Author, Date) academic style referencing and simply hyperlink to sources?

The space between text and hypertext is narrowing, especially with words like Kindle, iPad, iBooks and ePub entering our vocabularies. As Hugh says, “Start adjusting now”.


To paraphrase the About section of Hugh’s blog: Hugh McGuire builds webby things; and writes & speaks about media, publishing, the web, technology, etc.

2 Replies to “The move from ‘text’ to ‘hypertext’”

  1. We actually had a discussion about this at uni. And the majority of students don't use the online textbooks that are provided.

    They prefer to be able to transport, flick through, highlight, and study from a real textbook.

    We have also been given an article in one class for our exam talking about these devices. Half of the new products being released won't be around in a years time. They are predicting that only 2 major competitors will stick it out to become major sellers in the market. Which makes sense because the rest will most likely become modified versions of the original and fit into niche markets and cater to specific clients.

    I still like using my textbooks. And I don't see refrencing changing as the (Author, date) format will still hold regardless of the format of the text.

  2. @Christa

    What I'm contending is that e/iBooks are the way of the future. They may not be yet, but they will eventually. An analogy I'd use would be how mp3s and online music has taken market share from the tangible CD.

    The print and publishing industry has some massive issues to face over coming years, and going electronic is not an option to ignore.

    Re: referencing vs. hyperlinking, this distinction will also become unclear as we move forward.

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