While eating breakfast the other day, I thought it might be funny to go to ask.com and pose the question, “What is internet literature?” I thought it’d cause a few giggles, and I thought that perhaps it would result in something I could screen-cap to submit for Internet Poetry. I mean, the fact that I typed “askjeeves.com” into my browser alone I found to be ironic, because when I think of AskJeeves, I think of 2002.
Well, AskJeeves is now just Ask.com, I guess, and it turns out that the first search result actually proved relevant. The page is from February 18th, 2004–by now this should read as antiquated, right? The speed of technology arguably renders us far further into the future; between 2004 and now–than any time before. But despite a few caveats, the definition here seems to me far more interesting in consideration of capabilities than anything that would seem to actually define “internet literature.”
The page suggests the following list as a definition of hypertext literature: