Print Paradigm

The Print paradigm, is the repurposing of the traditional linear, hierarchical print format. It is by far the most common paradigm seen on the WEB. Though many of these sites may use hypertext links, the links are used in a linear, hierarchical fashion. A classic example, is the use of hypertext links from a table of content to various sections or chapters of the document, where one can only either return to the table of content, or go on to the next section in the sequence. This is not true hypertext, rather it is an electronic page turner. In the worse case, there are sites that serve up big chunks of text with no links whatsoever.

 A second trait of the print paradigm is that the information is limited to text and still images, identical to what you would find in a magazine or book. In essence, all they've done is use the WEB instead of paper, to produce a document conceptually no different to that produced on a printing press.

 This is not to say that there is no good work based on the print paradigm, there are sites out there with content and layout equal to anything found in print, so quality is not the issue. The issue, however, is that the medium is not being used to its full potential. Furthermore, some communications theorists feel that the print paradigm is both intellectually limiting, encourages intellectual arrogance, and is counter to how our minds work. This is a position I fully agree with.

 It is my opinion that this paradigm is an transitional paradigm and will, in the future, take on an increasingly minor role.


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