Surfing the Web

Ever wonder why using the World Wide Web is called "surfing"? Cypress Creek Branch Librarian Nancy Agafitei once expressed it this way:

"Surfing" is really a good term for how most of us interact with computers. We skim along the surface at a very fast rate, doing all we can just to stay upright and on top of things. Yet we never know much about the depths underneath us that hold us up, and we don't have very much control over where we will eventually land. The power of it is exhilarating. It's even more fun if you are a librarian. Then you not only try to stay balanced on your own board, but you try to bring others onto the board with you! [End quote.]

I remember in the late eighties when I first heard about the concept of "hypertext" (the "hotlinks"[including alt tags] that make the Web possible). As usual, I never believed the technology would be developed in my lifetime, much less about a half dozen years later!

The idea that you can skip along and pick and choose links to follow which interested you, rather than read one document (or story) straight through from beginning to end, was something which immediately appealed to me. It has proven ideal for company training programs. Employees need only to follow the links necessary to learn what they need to do their jobs. If they want more in-depth explanations of something, they follow more links. If all they need is a bare-bones presentation, they follow fewer links. Truly one-size-fits-all training!

Next segment *Will "Push" come to "Shove"*

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Last Modified: 2/22/99