Taking advantage of the web with “Hypotext”

Those of you interested in writing for the web will be fascinated an article on the Dejan Marketing blog called “Here’s Why Nobody Reads Your Content“. The author says: “how we write isn’t compatible with how we read on the web and we haven’t done anything about it in nearly two decades”. He goes on to suggest a way ahead.

The problem is that we need to present content in such a way that “skimmers” can get the information they need quickly, without neglecting people who want to read every last word of background. The idea of hypertext (links to other documents within the text) has been a fundamental part of the web since its inception. However, while using links for background information streamlines an article, clicking on them takes people away from it. The idea is really no better than footnotes in books, which you can read but then awkwardly have to try to find where you were in the main text.

The concept of hypotext being put forward involves the background or expansion text appearing within the main copy when you click on a link. It’s not difficult to implement, and if done right, could work well for both publisher and reader. Have a read and see what you think.

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