How about this; formally tackling the question of
a) is the internet really hypertext (comparing the internet's exploitation of hypertext ideas to classical models)
b) how does the internet, as the largest and most significant (in the sense of talked about by a large number of people and having a drastic influence on culture) hypertext work to date compare to previous ideas of the superlative work in text and visual art ("the great american novel", "a masterpeice of the __ era" etc.) ? Part b begs, I was thinking, an analysis of criticism methodology for new media, specifically in this case hypertext so that means I can cite readings and critical articles and stuffz.

What you thinks.

I like these questions, but they seem to me a bit BIG yet. How would you go about answering the first question? What would make something "really" hypertext? And can anything really be said of the internet as a whole? Is there some particular site on the web that you might use in attempting to make that comparison? (If you go this route, you should get ahold of Michael Joyce's _Othermindedness_, which has an essay called "New Stories for New Readers," in which he ponders, among other things, why he dislikes the web.)

Question B raises some of the same issues for me. I'm not convinced that the internet can be taken as a singular text, not least because the web is only one of the internet's many technologies, but also because it's like attempting to account for everything was done with print in the first two decades after Gutenberg. It's also my feeling that while certain net-based forms are sneaking up on future "great american novel" status, nothing is quite there yet -- perhaps because it's the very singularity of that status that the web so undermines.

Finally, I like the idea of analyzing the critical methodologies used in digital media studies, but I'm wondering if that's more of a final project -- if it wouldn't be better to have read a bit more before taking the entire field on...?

I like the questions you've got here -- I'm just a bit concerned about how you can manage to do them justice in a midterm project.

This is the third time I've done this (I closed Safari AGAIN without remembering what was in my tabs) and I'm finishing postproduction on a movie so I will be very brief. Here's what my idea was; tell me if you think it's still too broad in scope.

I'm thinking I won't go into the kind of detail maybe you're expecting; I really only am planning to reference outside works and ideas insofar as I need to to prop up my thesis. The thesis I'm propping up is that if you take the "great work" (great american novel, etc) and apply it to New Media, the ideas get inverted and you get something that applies to the internet. Instead of a single author capturing a zeitgeist or illuminating a single aspect of the human condition, you get everything; the stream of collective consciousness. There is no center, no hierarchical structure, and the text offers the reader some power in unraveling it. Let's talk more about this after class; I really am sick of writing about it and have once again run out of time.