on the Internet:
Smith (New Century College) discussed the function and interpretation
of links. Sharing Stephen Johnson's comment in Interface Culture,
she noted that links are "the first significant new form of punctuation
to emerge in centuries" and that reading and writing hypertext requires
a new grammar and syntax of linking. As such, then, a link is considered
not a static event but a "system of meaning." Drawing on her
background in film, Smith compared linking to cutting film: what began
as a navigational shortcut--that is, cutting out boring bits of film to
link narrative highlights--was quickly recognized as a way of adding ýcomplex
meaning to the film, allowing the film maker to ýmanipulate time and emotion.
So, too, the link, initially a navigational tool, has become a place in
which meanings ýadhere and inhere. These links, Smith observed, have become,
like the cut, so transparent, so much ýpart of the status quo of the medium,ţ
that viewers do not consider that their placement is not natural but constructed.