Thursday 7 February 2013

Speeding up hyperlinks: topics

In a conversation with Jon Husband earlier today, we discussed hyperlinks - and how they've changed this world. In my view, hyperlinks form zero-threshold access to any and all information just a single click away. Whenever I scavenge the Web for info, I open up links in new tabs until there are 20 or so of them, and then scan the results, greatly helped by search, maybe jumping back and forth or drilling down deeper and deeper.
Compare that with the old fashioned way I had to gather information, which at best resulted in a day or so in one or more libraries where some or most books would be out on loan and I'd only have the full result set after a week or two, sometimes more - leaving me with a metre of paper books I had to plow through

Scanning them was simple yet elaborate: read the index, pick the most appetising chapters, and from each of those carefully read the first and last paragraph. Mark in mind or on paper if worthwhile, and continue search - I used to write 10-page papers in a single night doing so

Now, we have hyperlinks - and I still miss something. I call it topics, and here is how I envision them to work