Jutta Degener Hypercyber... What is good hypertext writing?

What is good hypertext writing?

There is more to writing than putting words next to each other, and there is more to writing hypertext than throwing together a bunch of links. When writing text, I have certain goals; when I come across text I dislike, there are certain reasons why I do not like it. You're about to read an attempt to describe these reasons and goals; it is incomplete, subjective, and honest.

Writing hypertext copy

The two pitfalls of writing hypertext copy are links and emotions. Links are a new stylistic element that writers must learn to handle. The emotional problem is harder: we must snap out of the "host" or "provider" role, must get away from the excitement of guiding another person through the text, and get back to - just writing.
Editing and publishing
Editing doesn't necessarily happen after the first text has been written, but it deserves to be thought of as an independent discipline. Most of what people do on the World-Wide Web is really editing, not writing.
"This document is under construction." Of course it is. The World-Wide Web is changing; new browsers appear; the language HTML changes; people change jobs and homepages; and writers learn more about their subject.
Appendix: Dangerous words

Related material

Last update April 1998, Jutta Degener, <jutta@pobox.com>, originally published at www.cs.tu-berlin.de/~jutta/ht/writing.html.