The Hyperlink

Whenever I say that the Hyperlink changed the world, people look at me like “huh?” The lowly hyperlink is often overlooked as just a ‘feature’ of the Internet or the Web in particular. But I’ve always thought that was a bit backwards. The hyperlink is what made the web possible — it is for the Web what carbon is for carbon-based life-forms.

So I was tickled to find that Alex Wright’s excellent article on The Mundaneum Museum has this gem of a quotation from Kevin Kelly:

“The hyperlink is one of the most underappreciated inventions of the last century,” Mr. Kelly said. “It will go down with radio in the pantheon of great inventions.”

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  • http://www.stevengharms.com Steven G. Harms

    I saw Alex speak at SXSW2008 when he presented “The Web that Wasn’t”. He presented the timeline that included the mundaneum.

    Included in this presentation was the note that the hyperlink as implemented by TB-L deviates from the original Hypertext as envisioned by Ted Stephens in that the text is not live-updated.

    Stephens views this as a crucial flaw in the web as is. The world seems largely unconcerned, at present, however.

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