Emergent Structure

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As weblogs refer to previous entries and to writing in other weblogs, a hypertext structure gradually emerges. Very little is known about the structure of weblog hypertext. For example, at one point MarkBernstein wrote a weblog entry about self-organizing hypertexts:

First, Meg Hourihan observes that weblogs share genre conventions, and that these conventions -- posts, archives, chronology -- free weblogs from the limitations of pages. Then, Jeff Ward argues that Meg is describing a grammar of webologing, forming a pattern of connection through time that resists the simple, rigid hierarchy of the old homepage form. Now, Jill Walker notices that this echoes her work on narratology, and points out that the chronological argument mustn't be taken too far: "the chronology", she reminds us, "doesn't drown the separateness of the posts."

I, in my turn, question whether the separateness of posts matters much: nobody remembers KayceeNicole 's separate posts, but everyone remembers her illness, her death, and then the discovery that she never lived at all. The gradual emergence of argument, connection, and narrative from the separate posts matters more than their separateness.

The most interesting aspect of the whole thing, though, is the gradual emergence of a pattern of connection that's much richer and more complex than an oral discussion. (http://www.markBernstein.org/Jun0201.html#note_15783)\

Webloggers are making tools to keep better track of discussions like these, some of which appear to be primitive realisations of BiDirectionalLinks. (--JillWalker)

Jon Schull is trying to make a visual tool to track conversations. See e.g. http://radio.weblogs.com/0104369/2002/07/01.html#a126. (--SebPaquet)

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-- Last edited October 27, 2002

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