CMC Magazine uses hypertext to layer and break up articles so that we can take advantage of hypertext links among the articles and their sections. Authors should prepare their manuscripts with this in mind--preparing the article at his/her own web site in hypertext, then sending us the URL of it.
Prospective authors should also be familiar with the magazine's general style guidelines .
Authors can look at some of the articles in the current issue to see how we are exploring the use of links in:
- The "front page" of the article serves as a kind of summary or abstract, which presents the overall gist or sense of the article, then links off this page lead the reader to the rest of the content; note that this "front page" needs to engage the reader in a compelling way so that they will read the rest of the article if it meets their interest.
- Some links on the article's pages "expand a phrase." For example, a phrase in a paragraph can be explained in detail in a separate file--this "layers" the content of an article so that the reader can choose the level of detail that is right for their interest.
- Some links "continue the story." Links at the end of a file direct the reader ("via a blue arrow") to a continuation of the author's thoughts. This kind of breakup usually works well in an article structured around sections and sub-sections; the idea is that the smaller files both help in the physical delivery of the article (it doesn't place a file that isn't too large into the user's field of attention or browser).
An article broken up into these individual files then gives:
- The readers a chance to encounter an article according to different "views." One particular file of an article may present their own preference for the article's "front."
- The editors gain a a chance to look for correspondences among the articles in an issue of the magazine--particularly if the article appears in a special focus or themed issue. These correspondences, indicated by the green arrows, draw the reader into making correspondences between article segments.
The repetition of the masthead and title of the article on every page has to do with the porous nature of hypertext--this organization wouldn't make much sense on paper; but in a web of hypertext, there can be multiple entry points (readers might enter the magazine at any given page). This requires more contextual information on each page.
We are aiming to explore the new kind of relationships possible among articles written in hypertext, and we encourage authors to develop creative ways to use hypertext in new ways, not "just because it can be done" but because hypertext gives us the opportunity to explore new correspondences and new relationships among ideas, and thus explore and create new meanings.
If we don't explore this language of hypertext--and discover and invent rhetorical techniques with it--why should we publish in hypertext at all?
Last revision: 19 Feb 1996 firstname.lastname@example.org