As we have in other projects, we start with reading and some notes: close reading and extensive notes. This time, we'll be starting with notes on Price, and then moving to a more difficult task of taking notes on a hypertext by Mark Bernstein.

As before, don't publish your notes, but post a link to them on FB so you can refer to them.

1. Write up notes on Price and post them

Read Price, pp 134 - 161. This is the first half of Idea #3: Cook Up Hot Links.

As before, use Price's structured pages to help you organize your notes on his observations. As before, use Price's advice as jumping off points, record the advice to comment on it rather than simply transcribing the advice. For instance, my notes might start,

Make Clear What the User Will Get from the Link, p 134-5. Price advises writers to "make the link text match the title of the target page". My take: This makes sense at a fundamental level because it assure that the user that the link worked to get her to the place she wanted to go. But what about when the page title doesn't really fit placing link text? Price writes, "craft your titles for both locations." That resolves that! Sort of.

Set your comments off in some way - italics, or a remark like My take, or the like. You all seem to be developing ways to handle these notes. I'd advice that you comment more on the advice, and more critically, as you start seeing the gaps, the qualifiers, the places where writing for meaning starts to struggle with the advice. The task of these notes is, after all, to make you think.

Deadline: Post a link to your notes page on our FB group by midnight Tuesday.


2. Develop some notes on Hypertext Gardens and post them

Next, work with Hypertext Gardens, by Mark Bernstein.

Mark Bernstein is a publisher of hypertexts, President of Eastgate Systems, and a commentator and theorist on hypertext. Hypertext Gardens is a different way of thinking about linking Price presents. Like Price, Bernstein makes some recommendations, But because it's a hypertext, the work itself enacts practice as much as it advises those practices.

Working with this hypertext means reading for both content and hypertext design. And that means reading the work three or four times through. Attentively. It also means that you'll need to read not as a member of audience but as an editor / literary critic, with your eye on how they work is structured, how it works.

So, you'll need to compose some extensive notes on this article, which isn't as tedious as you might expect. Start by creating a map of your reading by record your reading path from page to page, by way of what link. This can be your first reading path but it works better to try to create an ideal one, once you have a sense of how the text works.

Use a shorthand using

Heres an example. You can adapt this or come up with another.

Starting from the navigation at he bottom of the page, I choose (link) Gardens and Parks > (page) Gardens and Paths >
interesting things await us > rigid design >
anything more > gardens.
I returned to the bottom menu again and selected ...

That would be read

Starting from the navigation at he bottom of the page, I choose the link Gardens and Parks, that led to a page titled Gardens and paths. I selected the in-text link on that page interesting things await us, and that led to a page titled rigid design. I selected an in-text link on that page titled anything more, which led to a page titled Gardens. There were no in-text links on that page, so I selected another link from the bottom navigation bar ...

I'm distinguishing in-text links from the links in the navigation bar at the bottom of the pages. I'm using line breaks to distinguish link text from page names so I can better follow my own map.

2a Second Pass

Once you have a map, return to re-read Hypertext Gardens and add to your notes, this time to consider how the pages are related. While the map creates a kind of outline, yoour notes on content will create a reading. Again, an example. I'm adding content notes to the notes I took above.

Selected nav link of Gardens and Parks > Gardens and Paths >
Parks leads to paths - which runs against Price's advice. The image shows a forest path, and the text mentions that an unplanned text is a wilderness and uninviting. The relation between parks and paths is not addressed, but there is a change from parks to paths with both the title of the page and the image.

Selected the link Interesting things await us, which seemed to promise a way out or up the path. But the link went to Rigid design, with an image of a tall, glass building and mention of streetscape, in opposition to getting something more. No desire to linger in the streetscape.

Selected link anything more, which led to a page Gardens, with an image of bench ...

You could do this all in one pass, but you might find that you can pay more attention to the text once you have a map, and more attention to the map as you re-read the text.

You can add commentary to your reading path notes as you see fit. But the main idea in your notes is to focus on what's going on in the text - including the images.

Deadline: Post your notes on Hypertext Gardens by by midnight Wednesday.

My Notes on Doing Notes on Hypertext Gardens
The first pass to construct the map took me about an hour with the essay open in a browser while I took notes in a text editor next to the browser window.

I took a break.

The second pass took me a couple of hours, set up the same way. I resisted doing a copy and paste from the essay into my notes. I read and summarized the text instead and considered the image instead I didn't concern myself with evaluating whether it works. I focused on explaining to myself how the pages were connected and interlinked.



Follow up: Chasing Our Tails, Bernstein
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