William Gibson On Internet Media

Aug 7th, 2007 | By | Category: General

Author William Gibson, whose novels have predicted the social implications of Internet technology and the rise of faux-documentary video sensations like LonelyGirl15, offers his vision of how the Internet has wrapped itself around all media, whether its online or offline:

The thing that has affected me most directly during Pattern Recognition, and subsequently, is the really strange new sense I have of the Google-ability of the text. It’s as though there is a sort of invisible hyperlink theoretical text that extends out of the narrative of my novel in every direction.

Someone has a website going where every single thing mentioned in Spook Country has a blog entry and usually an illustration so, every reference, someone has taken it, researched it and written a sort of little Wikipedia entry for it and all in the format of a website that pretends to be from a magazine called Node, which is an imaginary magazine, within Spook Country, and which turns out to be imaginary in the context of the narrative.

I have this sense when I write now that the text doesn’t stop at the end of the page and I suppose I could create web pages somewhere and lead people to them through the text which is an interesting concept. I actually played with doing that in Spook Country but I didn’t know enough about it. Everything is bending towards hypertext now.

Gibson’s vision highlights the way that many of us now get much of our understanding of ideas and events in the physical world from the Internet.

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