The Charm of History

Originally uploaded by servantofchaos

Hypertext is a great pleasure. First up, there is the anticipation of the click … the clean blue link colour of an unvisited site stands out against the white screen, beckoning. It is unmistakeable. Sometimes I can pause for a moment while at other times I launch right in.

Then, as my digital request is sent across thousands of kilometres of cable, I wait to see what is returned. In this moment I am curiosity unbound. Expectation hangs on my every breath. And then, the screen clears … for a split second I am in a magical in-between world. Everything is white … I scan for messages, forgotten code fragments or something hidden.

And then the site comes to life. If I am lucky (can you believe it, there are still way too many sites that fail to make it this far).

Now my true investigation begins. I scan the navigation and the header. My mind, racing, begins to enforce meaning, to make connections between the visual and the text. I am digesting the domain name and the tag line, picking up fragments, text and visuals. Already judgements are being made — quality, content and style.

Every so often, my hypertext randomness strikes gold … and I will happen across a site that captures my imagination. Often I forget how it happens, or the series of links and clicks becomes confused in the interplay of web applications, sites and emails that makes my every day. But this site, Our Great Southern Land, is one of my new favourites — and I found it courtesy of the Aussie Bloggers forum. The blog contains a huge range of fascinating Australian historical trivia, ghost stories and anecdotes. A quick glance through the daily updates sheds a great deal of insight into the makeup of the Australian psyche. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.