A Node from the Links Editor

As you may have discovered by now, part of KairosLinks Policy is that outbound links (i.e. those going to sites outside of the journal itself) are generally sent to the right frame (that is, if you are reading Kairos   in its framed format). That way, readers can view the references and examples authors provide while remaining within the Kairos piece itself. The present review of Stuart Mouthrop's Hegirascope, however, purposefully does not make use of those right frames. At the authors' request, we've allowed the review and its links to Mouthrop's hypertext all to remain within the main Kairos  frame. Feel free to read the e-mail note below in order to see the solid reasoning the authors gave for their linking style.

As we've said before, our staff recognizes the diversity inherent in hypertext and is excited to see that diversity represented in Kairos. And for those of you who saw our staff's presentation at the 12th Computers & Writing Conference, this is just another example of how we have to continually (re)create this journal as we go along.

Enjoy the review!

Greg Siering
Links Editor

Date: Wed, 05 Jun 1996 14:04:57 -0400
From: db@butterfly.net (David Balcom)
Subject: Re: Links in your Hegirascope review
To: 00gjsiering@bsuvc.bsu.edu

hi greg:

At 12:07 PM 6/5/96, 00gjsiering@bsuvc.bsu.edu wrote:

> Our standard linking practice is to send all outbound
> links to a right frame. In your case, the actual examples
> from Moulthrop will come up in that right frame so readers
> can see it and the review simultaneously.

i'm a *little* hesitant to give a definitive answer here, because john's honeymooning abroad, and won't be back before the site goes live.

however, i think i can speak for both of us that we don't, if possible, want our outbound links getting right-framed. Since we have a tension going between margin text and body text *anyway*, i feel that adding a frame to the visual space would really be tasking to a user, and would take away from the oscillation dialectic we've got going between stuart's work and our own. we *want* users to get immersed in _hegirascope_, and we're deliberately throwing them into it. his work is what we want foregrounded when users activate links to it; ideally the user would move to and from our work and his work -- the movement dynamic is important in this piece, in that we've built some frustration into it, just as stuart did with _hegirasacope_ (frustration in terms of a user oscillating between texts and getting caught in stuart's server pushes). to frame it for us is to remove that dialectic between our work and stuart's. and again, since there's *already* a dialectic going on between john and i, visually, adding a third would 1) overwrite the effect of the oscillating texts by placing them on the same screen and 2) be a big hassle for users in terms of screen real estate -- they may even have to scroll sideways to see hegira, because we *already* take up a lot of space with our tables

> My idea is this: In the file REVIEW7.HTML, you have that section
> about "we watch, we watch ourselves click..." that is filled with
> links, some to outbound sources, some to other nodes within
> your review. Since that section is so rapid-fire and might get
> readers dizzy from zipping back and forth, how about having me
> place all the links in that section to the right frame? That will allow
> the reader to both call up those the images/links and keep moving
> along the progression of that sentence. Too many changes of screen
> within such a short segment would reduce the effectiveness of your
> sentence, I think.

hmm ... i think if they *read* it, the effectiveness won't be dulled. the idea of so many links in that sentence is to get hold of the reader's impulse to click everything that's hot and reveal the reader to themselves. if they *read* it, then it's a good sentence; however, if they click, then the sentence goes away, and becomes something else altogether. then they keep coming back for more, clicking and watching, they're all the same. if that interaction gets right-framed, the tension fades

i understand your considerations in terms of presenting the work to the reader, and your strategy of using right-frames to keep them in kairos and observe outbound links as framed. if these are hard and fast rules, please let me know, and perhaps we could reach some kind of aesthetic compromise. this work, i feel, would be hurt by the addition of frames, for the reasons i've outlined above. john and i have discussed this very issue while planning the work, and we're both in agreement that we'd be very uncomfortable seeing outbound links right-framed

i say this out of sincere respect for your goals of presenting the work to the reader, and i'd like to hear more ideas you've got on this problem.

please let me know what's up


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