Memex and Beyond Web Site  3/15/05 - Website by Rosemary Simpson

The Memex and Beyond Web Site seems to be closed but valuable. It's a snapshot, circa 1996, of the key people, institutions, papers, and conferences in the field of (academic?) hypertext at that point. It's very much what this site would aspire to be-- a thorough index of the field. Based on what's there and the stated goals, it would be lovely to see it finished, but its structure is well-done even by current standards, an internet geologic age after it went quiet.

It's interesting because it shows very vividly what I call projections of a hypertext. Every page of the site is a multidimensional structure flattened into linear form, and each item on the page is a vertex, a link which allows you to see that same item in another projection. Each link serves to highlight the multidimensional structure of the text by serving as the corner between facets, the juncture of flattened images. The way you navigate the site keeps the structure in mind.

I have to post about it now as I keep finding myself coming back to it, sometimes for material and sometimes to consider its form. As I dig through the site I find myself frustrated by the web, wishing that the links would yield two or three destinations each: that item in each of the other planes of the site and as an item by itself.