Chapter 8. Architecture

“Every link in hypertext creates a category. That is, it reflects some judgment about two or more objects: they are the same, or alike, or functionally linked, or lined as part of an unfolding series.”

Geoffrey C. Bowker & Susan Leigh Star Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences

Imagine you’re planning a trip to Paris in the spring and coincidentally see an online advertisement for what looks like a good package price—better than what you’ve been able to find so far. You click on the ad and land on the home page of a travel service you’ve never heard of, but that appears reputable nonetheless. A quick scan of the teasers in the middle of page reveals that none of them are for the Paris trip you want. One of them is for something called Europe Tours, but that doesn’t seem right and sounds like a group thing.

Still curious, you scan the main navigation options on the site: Flights, Hotels, Rental Cars—those are clear. But then you see options called Top Deals, Package Specials, and something ambiguous called Boarding Pass. Unsure, you click on Specials. Here, you see an offer for a flight to Paris, but without a hotel, as listed in the advertisement. You then convince yourself it must be under Top Deals. This, however, reveals a form where you can search for last minute deals, which also isn’t what you want.

By now, the offer in the advertisement isn’t looking so good, and the site’s credibility is quickly diminishing. But you give it one last ...

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