"Links" are among the most
basic---and most unexamined---features of online life. Bringing together a
prominent array of thinkers from industry and the academy, The Hyperlinked
Society addresses a provocative series of questions about the ways in which
hyperlinks organize behavior online. How do media producers' considerations of
links change the way they approach their work, and how do these considerations
in turn affect the ways that audiences consume news and entertainment? What
role do economic and political considerations play in information producers'
creation of links? How do links shape the size and scope of the public sphere in
the digital age? Are hyperlinks "bridging" mechanisms that encourage
people to see beyond their personal beliefs to a broader and more diverse
world? Or do they simply reinforce existing bonds by encouraging people to
ignore social and political perspectives that conflict with their existing
interests and beliefs?
"This collection provides a
broad and deep examination of the social, political, and economic implications
of the evolving, web-based media environment. The Hyperlinked Society
will be a very useful contribution to the scholarly debate about the role of
the internet in modern society, and especially about the interaction between
the internet and other media systems in modern society."
---Charles Steinfield, Professor and Chairperson, Department of
Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media, Michigan State University
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