The Society of Text: Hypertext, Hypermedia, and the Social Construction of Information

Overview

This collection of essays continues Barrett's investigations into implementing networked online systems described in his first book Text, ConText, and HyperText, with a more focused emphasis on specific hypermedia systems. In four parts the 22 essays take up designing hypertext and hypermedia systems for the online user; textual intervention and collaboration; new roles for writers; and sensemaking and learning in the online environment.In his introduction,Barrett analyzes the design of networked online systems ...

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Overview

This collection of essays continues Barrett's investigations into implementing networked online systems described in his first book Text, ConText, and HyperText, with a more focused emphasis on specific hypermedia systems. In four parts the 22 essays take up designing hypertext and hypermedia systems for the online user; textual intervention and collaboration; new roles for writers; and sensemaking and learning in the online environment.In his introduction,Barrett analyzes the design of networked online systems as part of a collaborative process,asserting that the online environment fosters collaboration by using computer technology to support interaction among those who design, use, and write software.The first five essays present a genealogy of hypertext development, assess various hypertext designs, discuss users' wants and needs, and analyze the "rhetoric" of hypertext applications in light of new models for computer human interaction. Seven essays then take up new, important online systems for information retrieval, document production, and training in the online environment. Included are a first time full scale analysis of the Athena Muse hypermedia system developed at MIT, the hypertext environmentIntermedia, developed at Brown, the University of Maryland's Hyperties, and the Educational OnlineSystem for document production and training technical writers, now in its second year of use atMIT.New roles for writers and productivity gains provided by online environments are the subject of the next six essays. The final four essays discuss instructional efficiency and the failures of instructional materials. Novel proposals are described for addressing the needs and strategies of learners, for supporting cooperative work in creating, revising, and testing a software program, for evaluating online help systems, and for eliminating ambiguity in online text.Edward Barrett isLecturer in the Writing Program at MIT. The Society of Text is included in the Information Systems series, edited by Michael Lesk.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Any reader with an interest in system documentation, online help facilities or creating electronic reference text is almost certain to find much that is interesting and helpful."John Richardson Computer Weekly
Booknews
Versions of some chapters of this book were first presented at the 5th Annual Conference on Writing for the Computer Industry, MIT. The present volume continues the examination of online information and networked systems begun in Barrett's Text, context, and hypertext (1988) and asserts a synthesis of three related areas of activity: writing, management, and engineering. It also presents an alternative model for the design and use of hypertext and hypermedia and their role in the creation of text. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262521611
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 10/8/1991
  • Series: Digital Communication
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward Barrett is Senior Lecturer in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies atMIT.

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