In 1965, author Ted Nelson suggested that computers, in the future, will allow for users to write and publish information in a new non-linear format (Berner-Lee in Leong, 2010). Nelson referred to this as a “hypertext” (Berner-Lee in Leong, 2010). We can safely say that forty-five years later, that Nelson was onto something. Though it may seem almost invisible, hyper-texting has allowed for a seamless flow of information, where users are able to keep surfing the net to their heart’s content.
The way in which our minds operate has definitely contributed to the success of the hyperlink; by association. “With one item [or story] in its grasp, it snaps instantly to the next [item] that is suggested by the association of thoughts” (Bush in Leong, 2010). This idea can work on two levels, firstly that the hypertext allows for an easier transition of thoughts, and suggests to the mind that it needs to continue to the next association of thoughts through a provided (or associated) link. Secondly, when the mind is suggested to follow the next association of thoughts, searches for those ideas are assisted through hyperlinks.
Search engines and hyperlinks allow for users to gain information and knowledge virtually anywhere and anytime. The internet does not discriminate, anyone from anywhere in the world is able to search for information, allowing for a flow of power rather than a power flow (Castell, 1999).
Just to re-iterate how powerful searching for information and search engines have become, one only needs to look to the Oxford English Dictionary, and look up the letter ‘G’. Google has now officially become a verb (Lombardi, 2006).
Castell, M. (1999). 'An Introduction to the Information Age' in The Media Reader: Continuity & Transformation. Hugh Mackay & Tim O'Sullivan (eds), London: Sage: 398-410. Retrieved April 17, 2010, from http://blackboard.qut.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/content/contentWrapper.jsp?content_id=_3070115_1&displayName=Week+6%3A+%22Tell+me+more%2C+tell+me+more%22%3A+Information%2C+Education+%26+Work&course_id=_60765_1&navItem=content&href=https%3A%2F%2Fqutvirtual.qut.edu.au%2Fportal%2Fpls%2Fportal%2Fcmd_request_main_p.main_menu
Leong, S. (2010). KCB201 New Media 1: Information and Knowledge [Lecture Notes]. Retrieved April 17, 2010, from http://blackboard.qut.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/content/contentWrapper.jsp?attachment=true&navItem=content&content_id=_3122571_1&displayName=Week+6+Lecture+Notes&course_id=_60765_1&href=/%40%40/A22D69AECED4E0CE4097BDFF870438E4/courses/1/KCB201_10se1/content/_3122571_1/Week6LectureBB.ppt
Lombardi, C. (2006). Google Joins Xerox as a verb. Retrived April 17, 2010, from http://news.cnet.com/Google-joins-Xerox-as-a-verb/2100-1025_3-6091289.html