English 138: Internet Culture
Heather Julien


Personal Hypertext Project. This can be on any topic you like, so long as it expresses an aspect of your "networked self” and involves some form of research/information gathering (broadly construed), and at least 1800 words of your own writing. This can be a service project for an organization with which you're involved, or a fan site for an author, band, or sports team that you admire. It can be creative writing, an autobiographical photo-essay or travelogue, family genealogy project, or a tribute to a relative who has passed away. It can be an annotated edition of a favorite text, such as a poem, song lyric, or photograph. You will probably want to link this hypertext project to a personal home page, which you can use as a hub for your other projects for this class, pages for other interests, schoolwork, career needs (such as a resume, recommendations, or writing sample) etc.

STEP 1: Check out the available resources and what other folks have done. Below, you'll find links to a bunch of useful resources and to every student's work in last spring's version of this course, as well as to recent students in other classes with similar assignments. I especially recommend Dennis Jerz's Hypertext Essays: An Introduction and his unbeatable Newbie Web Author Checklist

STEP 2: Write a complete draft in paper mockup. You should carefully complete the process we begain in class, testing the organization of your site on the paper mockup. Imagine a reader landing on the splash page, then jumping around in the site using the hyperlinks you underlined: does the site feel usable and sensible to you? Feel free to consult the resources below for ideas regarding good website design, but you should also rely on your own sense of yourself as a reader and navigator of hypertext: what works for you? MAJOR HOT TIP: your life will be much easier if you WRITE out a draft of the proposed text and links AT THIS STAGE--on the paper mockup--before you go to the word processor. Trust me on this.

STEP 3: Type the revised text into a word processor, gather images.Once you are comfortable with the paper mockup, please type the already-written and revised text you propose for each of the pages in a word-processing program without formatting (no itals, bold, etc). Then collect the images you plan to use, and bring text and images to the next class on keychain drive (you can email them to yourself as a backup, but please bring the drive to speed up the process).

STEP 4 (later) : Use one of the assisted-creativity programs to develop a component of your site. Any of the programs is fine: create a cartoon, a text-to-video film, a photo mash-up or educational presentation, a song, whatever. Email yourself a note of the link to where the finished cartoon or video, etc, is stored online. Try to make sure what you create is an asset to the project, but mostly: enjoy!

Revision: Comprehensively redesign your site, revising the writing, image selection, organization and typography. For inspiration, you can browse theWebby Awards, plus Gube's 20 Fresh and New Design Galleries and 10 Unusual Places to Get Design Inspiration. Publish the redesigned site, adding a page with a 300 word discussion of your redesign, linking to five or six sites that inspired your choices.

Bonus tip: use Jerz's unbeatable Newbie Web Author Checklist before you finish. Can't get enough web design tips? UC Boulder has a comprehensive listof sites offering help.