Docuverse Paradigm

The term Docuverse was coined by Ted Nelson to describe a global distributed electronic library of interconnected documents, in other words a global metadocument. The Docuverse paradigm is manifested in the WEB, for the WEB now spans the globe, interconnecting millions of documents. The underlying hypertext paradigm and URL protocols made the WEB Docuverse technically possible, the various WEB search engines and directories have made it a practical actuality.

 Hypertext gives one the capability to link to nodes 'outside' the originating document as long as hypertext system in question has an addressing scheme that allows for this. The WEB's hypertext system does, the form of the Universal Resource Locator (URL) protocol. This object-oriented protocol allows one to link to any publicly accessible document of file on the Internet, including accessing those files via other information retrieval protocols, such as FTP or Gopher.

 The Internet search engines and directories provide portals to this Docuverse, allowing users to locate starting points for their browsing. At a more personal level, any author can create their own metadocument by linking relevant documents and fragments into their own text. Thus the theories of McLuhan, Landow, and Nelson have found their actuality in the WEB. As the WEB becomes increasingly ubiquitous, it is very likely that the implications mentioned by these theorists will also become actualities.

 It is my sincere hope that they do, for I feel those implications are very intellectually liberating and are far more cognitively organic than the print paradigm which currently shapes our intellectual mindset.


WEB Paradigm Why. Media Theory. History and Prehistory Print Paradigm.
Multimedia Paradigm. Hypertext Paradigm. Docuverse Paradigm. Interactive Paradigm. Conclusions
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