Monday, August 18, 2008

Sweet Surprise

I was reading an article on the New York Times website as I've done many times before, when I inadvertently clicked on a random word in the text. Some articles already have hyperlinked words (designated by their blue color), but most do not. However, when you double-click on ANY word in the article, a window pops up offering encyclopedic or linguistic information about that word (or phrase--clicking on the first word of "as well as" gives you a pop-up for that expression). Hovering your mouse or rolling over words provides no hint of this hidden capability. This seems to be almost an easter egg, available only to those who make a mistake.

This function is extremely exciting; no other website offers fully-clickable text. Wikipedia has perhaps only 5% hyperlinked words in its articles, which does not include common words, only encyclopedic ones. The New York Times is showing us the full potential of internet reading: the ability to instantly look up words or concepts we wish to learn more about, while never having to leave the page you're on.

Hats off once again to the Times.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.