LoggingOn So Ya Wanna Be An Editorial Boarder?  by Nick Carbone

Production Costs and Models

One of the wonderful things about opting to be an online journal is that Kairos  eliminates many of the costs associated with print--paper purchasing, printing and mailing costs, restrictions on article length due simply to those costs. However, in many ways Kairos  incurs higher production costs on the layout and design end, both for editors and writers. Since Kairos  seeks primarily to publish native hypertext, there is a greater burden on both writers and editors in paying attention to the layout and design of the work; those aspects of publishing and producing the pieces, in many instances, are as important as the actual words the writer(s) put on the page(s) because the rhetoric of hypertext draws attention to its own layout, how its nodes and lexia playout in space. Unlike print models, there are not very many internalized hypertext models for members of our field.

In preparing to write a paper for College English we are likely to read many essays, some of them from past College English issues. As we grow into composition, rhetoric, and computers and writing studies, we absorb specialized lanaguages, academic tropes, rhetorical strategies for citing sources, and a feel for what an academic essay is. By the time we near the completion of our advanced degrees, we cease to be the freshmen David Bartholomae described as "inventing the university." We instead become the university, inhabited by its forms and ways of knowing.

Writing in hypertext changes us, forces us to reconcile with what we have become. When writing a print essay we don't even have to think anymore of where to look for a model, inhabited as we are by the genres we've read, but if one wants to write a native hypertext for Kairos , where does one look?

Until we all manage to reach the proficieny of a Michael Joyce, Greg Ulmer, Carolyn Guyer, Nancy Kaplan, Stuart Moulthrop, Johndan Johnson-Eilola, Jay Bolter and a handful of others, we'll find ourselves frequently asking questions and making tentative decisions, of trying out different hypertextual shapes, of moving among models, of writing hypertext with a print paradigm until we grow enough in the form, and it grows in us, for it to feel natural, to be what we've come to call, borrowing from Moulthrop, "native hypertext." We will ask, what is a native hypertext? Something more than an essay with links? Can you describe its features? How should it be organized? Is there a limit to the length of a given page? The answers, at least for now, remain happily tentative. Asking the questions over and again is fun. The need to ask also destabilizes a bit the hierarchy that places editorial board members over authors; when all goes well, we are placed with them.

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