Jan 20, 2007

Native to the Internet

It would be hard to find or point out what is "native to the internet" since this entire digital world is based on metaphors of the real world, things we use and do on daily basis. It’s the real "physical" thing being customized, tailored and "digitized"; for instance, it’s all about using a digitized versions of: files, folders, papers, pages, archives, clips, desktop, attachments, copy and paste, editing, searching, templates, filing system, etc. The library, for instance, is the foundation of that archiving system as Rhodes and Sawday observed; the early systems of manuscripts and private/elite libraries pre Gutenberg where people –the ones who could afford and thirsty enough for knowledge– used to travel cross Europe to grasp information scattered in the layers of these valuables documents and scripts. Hyperlinks could undeniably have evolved from libraries indexes where information was listed by topics and themes; instead of ‘clicking’, you needed to walk around to the right/desired aisle amongst the high stacked shelves, or open the right/needed cards’ drawer. Alphabetical and chronological indexes could also be another old version of hyperlinks, using your thumb to separate all the topics starting with “A”, all the events on “March”, etc. Taking menus and pull-down menus as another example, it sparks the idea of being an imitation, an evolved version, of scrolls and ‘letters’ between kingdoms, war chiefs, lovers, governmental sanctions, etc; it is a form of hierarchy –alphabetical, chronological and status– of accessing information from top to bottom (the examples in mind: alphabetical indexes, calendars, written text [whether from left to right or right to left, it’s always from top to bottom], etc) which have become a standard taken for granted (ever imagined a calendar where December is high above January?). Eventually, these examples are amongst heaps that do constitute multimedia as well as being part of multimedia; not as indigenous or native in the true meaning of the terms, yet they are the foundation of the endemic internet.

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