A Historiography of the Hyperlink: Periodizing the Web Through the Changing Role of the Hyperlink

In this chapter I provide a historiography of one of the core elements of the web, the hypertext link. I do so with the specific purpose of tracing the various roles of this central web object as a way to understand social, technical and commercial transformations of the web. That is, the hyperlink is positioned as a way to historicize larger web developments and as an alternative way to periodize the web. In addition, I focus on the effects of platformization on the hyperlink and move beyond the web into the mobile ecosystem to discuss the implications of deep linking in mobile apps. The deep link as a new link type points to the diminishing role of the hyperlink in the app space as a universal interconnector.

Helmond A (2018) A Historiography of the Hyperlink: Periodizing the Web Through the Changing Role of the Hyperlink. In: Brügger N and Milligan I (eds) The SAGE Handbook of Web History. London, UK: SAGE Publications, pp. 227–241. [pre-print pdf]

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