The Electronic Labyrinth


In general usage the album exists simply as a blank book into which the owner inserts whatever may be of interest. Examples include the wedding album, the photo album, the visitors' guest book, and the scrapbook.

The album is the modern descendent of the commonplace book; like hypertext, it is organized by association. Because the album is a collection of physical artifacts (letters, photographs, postcards), however, it possesses a rich texture not possible with the electronic book. Realizing this, some authors have packaged their hyperbooks to make up for this tactile deficiency. John McDaid's Uncle Buddy's Phantom Funhouse comes with a veritable archive of materials including audio tapes, papers, and other remnants of poor (and incidentally missing) Uncle Buddy. It is inherent in the very concept of connectivity which underlies hypertext that the medium find ways to link texts to objects in the world on the other side of the computer screen.

© 1993-2000 Christopher Keep, Tim McLaughlin, Robin Parmar.
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