Hypertext is an information technology consisting of individual blocks of texts and electronic links that join them together. Hypertext applications allow users to navigate through large sets of information in many different ways. Hypertext also offers a variety of tools for very rapid searches for specific information throughout the text.
There are several possibilities that hypertext can offer to a writer and reader. Hypertext enables the writer to approach the writing with modified changes. The writer has more tools to work with in creating a text. The ability to include links in the document enables the writer to give the reader the option of getting information that need not be included in the main body of the text. In traditional print publications a section suggesting further reading might be added at the end of the main text. In hypertext documents, further reading may be accessed instantly through the use of links. Background information and definitions of technical terms need not be included in the main body of the document. Instead, links can rapidly connect the reader to any other information needed to understand the text. In a hypertext document the information provided on the page may be changed to better suit the needs of the user. Short explanations may be added, comparisons to subjects described on other pages the user has seen before, additional details all aid in helping the reader understand the material more in depth. Also, users can be guided information that is relevant for them at the time, and for which they are ready for.
Hypertext offers many possibilities to readers in giving them more choices and steps they can take. But hypertext does have some drawbacks and limitations in using it. In traditional print whether it be a article or a book a single desired reading order is already set. Readers always know where they are. This is often very different in hypertext, since they have so many links in the text. There are also so many ways to navigate through a hypertext document that it might lead to a wrong or different interpretation of the text that the author did not intend. When hypertext is being used while the user is browsing and reading the text, some confusion might arise: when a user returns to a page they saw before the page may look different. Both the context and the links to other pages my have been changed. This leaves the reader disoriented and could lead the reader to not fully understand the text.
In using hypertext while navigating Weepers I found hypertext to be very useful, but at the same time did lead to some confusion. While browsing weepers, the hypertext let me feel more free as a reader to explore the text and experiment with different ideas throughout the text. The hypertext also kept my attention level higher then it would be reading traditional print because the sounds and images captured my attention. The downside of hypertext in weepers is because of the abundance of hyper links I did get side tracked and confused in trying to follow text and at the same time trying to take in all the images and sounds. Some hyper links sent me back to where I began which proved to be very frustrating throughout my journey of weepers.
Hypertext has the potential to offer readers some freedom in the order they wish to read documents online while ensuring that the presented material is always relevant and can be understood. This is a new and emerging concept, it will not replace traditional print, but will enhance the experience of reading with sounds images and more detailed information.