Re–imagining Web analysis as circulation
Many forms of Internet analysis grew out of literary and textual criticism that focused on interpreting meaning(s) in particular texts. In extending a meaning–based approach to Web texts, analyses have artificially constructed borders around texts to produce stable research objects. This paper refocuses criticism, shifting from meaning to critical analysis of circulation and the ways that movement is either facilitated or impeded in particular Web texts. This analytical move respects the dynamic borders of Web texts whose hypertextual links defy precise definitions. By focusing on circulation, Web analysts can study the politics of pathways in Web sites, retaining the dynamism promised by the technology of the Web, yet enabling productive criticism.
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