When I read Nick's explanation of the [CCCC convention] forum, what came to my mind was a hypertext--you have six to ten different spaces where folks are making meaning, spaces which would theoretically link back and forth, between and among other spaces. I wondered, in fact, if there would be some way, even with the time constraints to do the forum as a hypertext--somehow begin each small group with a statement, each group opens out the statement and tries to add something--to write some addition to link to the text.
After a certain period of time, the text and link pass to another group who try to do the same--making links and filling spaces there in the forum. Maybe such a thing's not possible--I keep thinking it through more in paper form, but if there were computers, I'd think it could be computerized.
I also wondered about the option of index cards or sheets of paper posted on a wall--each group takes a copy of a sheet and adds something, then returns it to the wall and somehow draws the links into the text--tacks and yarn? It could become huge-----and I wonder also about the limits upon a session? If we had an early session (can you arrange that?) might this text be placed in open space (like with the booksellers or something) so that everyone at CCCC could go up to it and add stuff--new sheets of paper, more tacks & yarn, etc. Then at the end of cccc--if a session is allowed to expand beyond its time and place in this way, some poor soul takes lots of up-close photos before taking this huge text home and trying to enter it into the computer.
It sounds silly on some levels to me to create a linked paper trail when we have lovely programs to do this for us--but I wonder if folks who don't know what a hypertext is might be able to see this visual metaphor, understand, and begin to participate.
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 1994 13:45:29 -0400 Sender: CyberJournal for Rhetoric and Writing
From: Traci Gardner [email@example.com as of 19Feb95] Subject: snapshots, no talk, forums, etc.