The Web and
New Media Literacy
is Dead and There is Nothing New About
New Media Anymore
volume of academic writing about “hypertext” has dwindled recently.
The hype of early hypertext – the ecstatic visions of Joyce, Landow
and others regarding the “freedom” that hypertext would grant --
has shifted to a low-key grumble regarding commercialism on the
World Wide Web. No longer are essays published, in hard copy or
digital, which euphorically celebrate hypertext’s potential. Revolutionary
and utopian claims about hypertext are no longer in vogue in part
because nothing particularly revolutionary or utopian happened.
The reality of 2003 is that hypertext is most often synonymous with
the Web. And as anyone with a passing knowledge of the medium will
acknowledge, most Web sites are not created with free-form associative
structures, most are not artistically or aesthetically inspiring,
in fact, most Web sites are exceedingly linear and hierarchical.
has become de rigueur in new media scholarship to point out
the failure of the Web to instantiate earlier utopian prophecies.
In my own work, I recently reviewed the discourse of hypertext over
the last decade and I argued that the prevailing notions of writing
and subjectivity were deeply troubled and that theorists usually
substituted a simplistic and mechanistic sense of interactivity
in place of a more complex view of “networks,” in the Latourian
sense.  While I stand by
my critique, and believe that the hype needed to be debunked, I’ve
come to think that we have moved too far in that direction.
some nuanced and critical scholarship has emerged to supplement
the discourse of radical change. Theorists-- Hayles, Gurak, Lessig,
Manovich, Tabbi, among them -- have contributed to a more historically
grounded scholarship on New Media. More such scholarship is needed.
For in our zeal to correct the excesses of early scholars on hypertext,
many new media scholars and teachers now are in danger of eliding
the “new” in new media.
order to keep our theories relevant, new media theorists need rethink
their relationship to literary theory and their relationship with
literacy. And in order to do that new media theory must account
for the Web as it actually exists, not as hypertext theorists desired
it to be. “New” new media theory needs to account for multiple
semiotic registers, theorizing and analyzing new ones. It is no
longer sufficient, if indeed it ever were, to simply add a layer
of “visual literacy” to our existing practices of textual analysis.
Towards these ends, in this essay, I argue these claims:
Web is not about hypertext as we first conceived it. Perhaps due
to corporate control, perhaps due to lack of imagination, the Web
is still exceedingly linear. Nonetheless, reading and writing are
in fact completely different because of the Web, but again not in
the way early scholars in literature and hypertext thought. The
difference lies in the fact that hypertext is not just a text. It’s
a combination of text and visuals, sound, color, movement, links
action, line. It requires rhetorics of the visual, textual, tactile
and spatial. Also, importantly, every encounter with a Web site
is a different encounter. As new technologies emerge to tailor pages
for their audience and as “skins” become available and blogs take
over the Web, this becomes even more apparent.
site creators are not just writers. They are designers, architects,
and programmers. And they are thieves -- of content, form and code.
In addition reading is not reading anymore. It too requires very
different skills, including the ability to “read” behind the screen.
Computer code contains many powerful and definitional features that
are rarely seen by the user/reader directly. A true evaluation of
Web sites requires a “reading” of the underlying computational structure.
will demonstrate my claims through an anecdote about teaching and
grading a class Web site and through a detailed analysis of artifacts
from white supremacist Web sites. Using white supremacist sites
as the most egregious example of the ways in which linked texts
are manipulated and presented, I argue for the urgency of
a more comprehensive vision of new media literacy – one that understands
that literacies are inextricably linked to the older media (as argued
powerfully in Bolter’s and Grusin’s Remediation) but also
assembled into something that is “new,” something that requires
a different and multilevel literacy strategy to expose, comprehend
conclusion is that hypertext theory as we knew it was a dead-end;
we must move to a new understanding of what we call new media.
a Lender, nor a Borrower Be: Production as the New Writing
while teaching a Web-authoring course, I developed a grading sheet
for evaluating student’s final Web sites. While I argued in class
that Web design was a “holistic” process, pointing out that few
users stop to examine an element of a site in isolation and our
experience of sites is an integrated phenomenon, I wanted a grading
rubric which would highlight the production process and the
stages—separate but interconnected-- necessary to the careful construction
of a site. My rubric included, therefore, these elements reflective
of a common industry practice, the DADM process (definition, architecture,
design and maintenance):
The structure of the site – how information is connected, organized
and crafted and how navigation works within the site to guide
users/readers and to aid them in finding content relevant to their
is the “look and feel” of the site -- how colors, layout, images,
icons, work within the site to create an emotional, affective
experience. Does the design work with or against the written
content and purpose of the site?
the text of the site but can include, or consist solely of, images
or diagrams or animations. Whatever information is needed to
convey the purpose of the site and to enable users/readers to
experience the site and emerge with knowledge relevant to their
HTML (hypertext markup language) and other relevant coding (JAVA,
Flash) needed to structure and enable the site to function in
an efficient manner and hold each of the other three elements
(architecture, design, content).
should add that there are many different ways to evaluate a site
and many different processes and terms that would be just as apt
as the ones I’ve chosen here. What is important is highlighting
the process and indicating the multiple semiotic registers. Each
section of the student’s site was evaluated separately but final
comments and an “overall effectiveness” grade was given for the
I graded the student’s final sites, several issues emerged which
made me realize, not for the first time, how different this process
was from the grading of composition 101 students’ essays during
my years of teaching in graduate school. One Web-authoring student,
in particular, vexed me. She had clearly plagiarized the written
content on her site. The level of writing was not reflective of
her previous work and a quick “Google” search revealed the source
of the materials. I wrote my “gottcha” note under content on the
grading sheet, but I faltered when I moved onto the other categories
in the rubric. In evaluating the rest of the site, I was forced
to confront the fact that I openly teach Web development as a process
of borrowing, imitating and copying. Looking at sites with excellent
organization and navigation and adopting elements relevant to your
information is the best way to learn architecture. Similarly, for
beginning Web developers, elements of design (the ways colors combine,
the placement of visual and textual objects on the screen, the typography)
can best be gleaned from other well-designed sites. Perhaps most
importantly, the “reveal source” command on browsers is a necessity
for those learning hand coding of HTML (hypertext markup language).
if some new media scholars want to insist that there are clear differences
(locally and historically) in the borrowing of layout, structural
features and even of code and the borrowing of intellectual textual
and/or design property, the differences are not clearly articulated
in most scholarship about the Web. Jan Sweringen reminds us, “western
notions of intellectual property, and the related ideas of copyright
and plagiarism, are less than three hundred years old.”  But most publications dealing with intellectual
property and plagiarism (such as the one containing Sweringen’s
excellent essay) default to modern “western notions” and do not
account for the complex multi-layered, spatial, visual, and textual
“property” on the Web.
do not pretend that I know exactly where the parsing of original
and “borrowed” needs to occur. But what this example, and others
like it, illustrates is that new media theorists need to take the
terms “developer” more seriously. We do not ”write” Web sites.
The reality is that Web site production is more akin to the early
days of the printing press, where a printer might be metal-smith,
author, distributor, and designer, than it is like modern print
writing and publishing. It does not make sense anymore to talk about
author/reader as if this dichotomy is still (on the Web) a functional
one. The development of sites includes information architecture,
design, navigation development and content provision. Providing
the written content has become one of several skill sets needed
in Web site production. Much of the time these differing skills
are performed by different people. Other times an “author” will
have to perform as architect, writer, designer, and programmer.
It is a multi-faceted experience mixing semiotic registers that
have very different histories and may well be shifting our notions
of how to define a creative or intellectual act.
you Read Code? : Under the Surface for a New Reading
the potential of the technology of linking – the fundamental technology
of hypertext -- most Web sites are exceedingly linear. Good architecture
(the spatial, organizational, and navigational structure) is taught
as a process of creating logical hierarchies and Web developers are encouraged to whittle down complexity of thought to facilitate
the accessing of “information.” Usability texts urge developers
to avoid lengthy writing and to instead create pages with only small
tidbits of information, isolated from each other, and able to stand
alone for the scanning eye of the “user,” now defined as an information processor. Jakob Neilson’s famous study begins with the headline,
“How Users Read on the Web” and continues:
People rarely read Web pages word by word; instead, they scan
the page, picking out individual words and sentences. In a
recent study John Morkes and I found that 79 percent of our test
users always scanned any new page they came across; only 16 percent
read word-by-word. (Emphasis his) 
idea of rich textual sources linked in a Web turns out to be less
important than the Web reality of a surface structure of images,
design, and some text. When dense textual information is
sought and found, usability experts tell us it is usually printed
off to aid in reading. Sites that are information heavy (say,
as opposed to interactive sites, or sites with a function, like
polling or registering) must be developed with this in mind. “Printable”
versions of texts online, strip text of the color, the images, the
layout and deliver to the user a linear hard copy. Thus, while
“ideal” hypertext as promoted by electronic media and literature
scholars no doubt exists, it’s clear that the vast majority of the
sites on the Web are processed, if not created, with a utilitarian
It would be easy to dismiss hypertext
altogether if this were the end of the discussion. But if we reconsider
our text-centric focus and consider other aspects of the Web, we
can see fundamental shifts in the ways in which information is realized
and assembled necessitating a very different praxis of reading.
scholars (Bolter, Michael Joyce, Landow, Eioloa) have argued that
texts have always been hypertextual, pointing to recursive, layered
and associative texts throughout history (Fielding, Joyce, Elliot,
etc). They have suggested hypertext is more of the same -- faster,
pixilated, and onscreen -- but not reflecting something inherently
new or revolutionary.  These kinds of texts, they point out, have existed
since the development of writing. One way, however, to consider
the Web that will take the term “developer” and processor more seriously
is to abandon the notion of text (at least on a material level and
at least initially) and instead view hypertext as a revolutionary praxis. A critical component of this view would be to view
the Web first as the praxis of reading and not a product
of writing. Reading, however, needs to be redefined in a more holistic
sense, as a term that can account for the multiple levels and differences
in kind amongst the “information” presented in a Web site.
I do not mean to suggest that the reader as subject, a.k.a. information
processor, therefore becomes the center of the process. It has been
argued by Myron Tuman and subsequent scholars that “reading” is
the new focus in hypertextual learning.  Their argument goes something like this: The reader
creates the “text” in her own mind as she chooses among links, and
establishes her trail through information space. The author function
(as define by Foucault) is therefore dead. I mean something different.
As the Web includes a wide variety of media combined as never before,
we need a theory of reading that is reflective of this new multi-skill
and multi-layered process.
new media scholars we must move from two-dimensional notions of
narrative -- however linked and interconnected, whether generated
by a controlling author or an associating reader -- to visual, pictorial
and archaeological concepts of hypertext, In order to fully comprehend
the development and the praxis of Webbed texts, it is crucial to
examine what is different about the Web and I would argue
that what is fundamentally different about the Web is that meaning
is made in layers of code, writing, and visuals – in a manner not
necessarily controlled by either the author or the reader. Meaning
is generated from an environmental interaction – a specific moment
of code, content and visualization -- this interaction is local
and situated -- but nonetheless not arbitrary or relative.
Haraway, of course, is the source of the term “situated knowledges.”  She uses the term to define a feminist doctrine
of objectivity. Feminist objectivity for Haraway privileges deconstruction,
involved construction, contestation and transformations of systems
of knowing and ways of seeing.
than meaning being limited to one particular interpretation or scattered
through the discourse of relativism, it is “partial, locatable,
critical…sustaining the possibility of Webs of connections.” (191)
want to add to Haraway’s notion of situated knowledges a slightly
different inflection. Meaning is made, in Web sites, through a particular
configuration of medias, at a particular moment, in a localized
on the Web, is situated. Every reading is therefore a contingent
one -- but not a relative one. This sense of interaction, levels,
and contingency is critical to develop further in our theorizing.
In the remaining sections of this essay, I gesture towards some
of the complexity of configurations of medias while I concentrate
my examples on the “underside” of Web sites.
I examine several
white supremacists sites on the World Wide Web. As sites that are
aimed at convincing young people to join the “pro-white cause” and
that employ multiple layers of “meaning,” and where civil liberties
and people’s humanity are at stake, these sites are critical to
look at closely. The “readings” here are certainly not meant to
be exhaustive but instead indicative of 1) the awareness and manipulation
by these groups of the power of new media and of 2) the effectiveness
of certain reading practices for evaluating online information.
I examine these sites holistically – that is, as first a moment
of combinatory media practice and then looking deeper at the images,
structure and code.
Underside of the Web: Code, Credibility and Hate Sites
have lost the battle for the hearts and minds of America with large,
emblematic icons and hokey outdated HTML, pegging us as Aryan rubes…Racialist
lament above, from a white supremacist Web-designer, suggests his
opinion that Web design can play a large part in winning the hearts
and minds of the American public over to the pro-white cause. In
his view, unwieldy visuals and bad code – not anti-racists attitudes—are
at the heart of the failed attempt, thus far, to win recruits in
large numbers over the Web.
sites are abundant on the Web – though it’s hard to estimate with
any accuracy, figures are usually put above 5,000. Mark Potok from
the Southern Poverty Law Center calls Internet hate sites "the
main culprit" in the rise of hate-groups and hate-crimes in
America.  One element which gives evidence of their effectiveness:
the increase of available MP3s for download on the Web has led to
a burgeoning “white power” rock and roll movement aimed at recruiting
young people to the white supremacist movement. "In the last
decade, white power music has grown from a cottage industry to a
multimillion-dollar, worldwide enterprise," Devin Burghart,
a member of the Center for new Community, told Tolerance.org.  Three 24-hour radio sites play hate rock over the
Web. The power of the Web has led to unprecedented ability on the
part of hate groups to advertise, recruit and promote their message
– whether it be straight “hate” of minorities, homosexuals or Jews
– or more specialized” hate targeting immigrants, politicians, or
historical figures and used to recruit lone-wolves for violent action
against a variety of peoples.
the white supremacist above, many people would like to dismiss such
sites as ugly, awkwardly designed, and rhetorically unsophisticated.
And certainly there are sites devoted to white power and white supremacy
where those terms would be over-generous. But in the hate movement,
there is growing sophistication in both rhetorical approach and
technical capabilities. Well organized hate groups, like Stormfront,
World Church of the Creator, and the The National Alliance, are
consciously upgrading their Web presence and their “look and feel”
in order to recruit future strategists and leaders – to use their
words, “winners” and not “Aryan rubes.”
Pierce, founder of the National Alliance, and author of the Turner
Diaries, the novel that inspired Timothy McVeigh, speaks directly
to the focus of upgrading communications capabilities and the key
role that “multimedia” plays in the National Alliance master plan.
Available at the National Alliance Website are multiple versions
(depending on a users connectivity) of a nearly one-hour long recruitment
video, America is a Changing Country: A Documentary on the National
Alliance and its Program, in which Turner, a physics Ph.D. who
once taught at Oregon State University, speaks directly to the white
supremacist desire to use the Web and its multiple semiotic registers
as a tool in their recruitment. (http://www.natvan.com/– cue up at about 16:30
to hear Pierce in his own words). Turner laments the lack of awareness
of “Americans” and recounts the history of National Alliance marketing
attempts, across a variety of media:
white Americans really aren’t aware of what is happening. … They
don’t see the trends. … They don’t ask questions. We must be able
to communicate with all of these people. That is one of our goals,
we are striving to speak with a louder and louder voice, a more
and more authoritative voice. We are building a multimedia communications
capability. We began with leaflets and tabloids back in the 1970s.
We sold our tabloids in news-racks in Washington and distributed
our leaflets on the street corner.
goes on to describe the use of books, magazines and radio broadcasts
as recruitment tools.  The Web, he reminds us, is now
the crucial component of the white supremacist’s “communication
we began using the internet and made a large amount of information
available on the World Wide Web, including the text and the audio
recordings of our weekly radio broadcasts,,, if our video messages
still have rough edges, it’s because we are still learning but it
won’t be long before we are able to use the media as professionally
National Alliance site demonstrates Pierce’s claim to use multimedia
“professionally.” Exceptionally well designed, this site features
streaming video, audio (weekly radio broadcasts), print media (subscriptions
for their monthly magazine, with full color pages available for
preview), as well as the more familiar Web resources.
supremacist’s awareness of the Web as their greatest tool is evident
everywhere online. Other white supremacist sites include sections
entitled “e-activism” and “recruiting online.” Hate sites (which
eschew the world hate, by and large) have Web-rings and dedicated
searches. They employ streaming audio and streaming video, use flash
animations and have elaborate “games” for children to play online.
Violent video games are available for purchase including Ethnic
Cleansing which bills itself as the “most politically incorrect
game every made.”
The Race War has begun. Your skin is your uniform in this
battle for the survival of your kind. The White Race depends
on you to secure its existence. Your peoples enemies surround
you in a sea of decay and filth that they have brought to
your once clean and White nation.
Not one of their numbers shall be spared........
For more information, please visit this products Webpage.
This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 08 May,
Web sites have downloadable software programs, including Hoozajew2.0
which describes itself as a “program for determining the proportion
of a list of names that is Jewish.” Even a quick search of the
Web makes it clear that their “multimedia communications capability”
is growing dramatically with new media technologies.
Flash and Hate ahead
example that shows how far the hate movement has come from “hokey
html” is from the site http://www.elishastrom.com.
“A Woman’s Page,” this Web site presents “pro-white” issues from
one woman’s perspective. Near the top of the screen a skull and
crossbone image appears in prime screen real estate, where most
Web sites would have their navigation. Clicking on this image launches
a video file, with the file name of “warning.html.”
“warning” uses slick flash technology to “warn” white women of the
dangers of “race-mixing. ” This video has a cinematic and dramatic
appeal. On a starkly white screen black letters twirl from out
nowhere to read “Are you willing to die for” fading to a screen
that reads, “this?” Several colorful MTV logos swirl up on the
screen. The question is posed again against the white screen as
“How about this” and is followed by a screen full of Nike’s swooshes.
At this point, the “warning” could be the production for any number
of causes across the political spectrum. But the next time the
question is posed “Would you die for” the screen fills with a series
of pictures of young black men. Red letters fill the screen – “You
Might” and then a professional looking message is typed across the
screen. Ironically this “warning” composed in Flash, uses the familiar
filmic convention of typing the words across the screen in courier
type to signify the authority of the computer and hence the bogus
statistics it “types” out next: “Heterosexual black males are 14
times as whites to be HIV carriers.” Then the screen fills with
angry red letters, combining from all directions across the surface,
to give the final message: “Race Mixing can kill you.”
and Grusin in their work Remediation suggest, like McCluhen
and others before them, that each new media incorporates structures,
messages, and techniques from prior medias. Such remediation is
used both to confer transparency on new medias – as newer medias
borrow against the “naturalness” of prior media to establish themselves
as credible delivery sources – and to demonstrate the “hypermediacy”
– the technological improvements of new media. 
flash animation, then, remediates on a number of levels to both
suggest itself as a credible source and to gesture at the technological
sophistication of the hate site. First and foremost, it uses the
latest of animation technologies that visually suggest a movement
in three-dimensional space, remediating televisual advertisements.
The rhetoric employed is the dramatic voice of anti-drug or health
awareness notices. It furthers its appeal through the use of familiar
media icons – ones especially familiar and of interest to young
people -- the MTV logo, and the Nike name and swoosh. Unattributed
statistics in the computer-ticker type across the screen borrow
earlier filmic conventions of computer authority.
site and the many others like it demonstrate the necessity to consider
Web media literacy as a “pictorial gestalt” that, like hieroglyphics
and other visual writing systems, confers meaning on multiple levels
simultaneously. In this example images, icons from consumer culture,
color, movement, placement, and the remediation of older media are
all elements that must be interrogated. But, I argue, it is not
enough to stop there. The real empowering moment in “reading” this
site with a critical literacy comes from looking, literally, beneath the screen, to the code and to the technologies that craft the
code. For under the language and images of this page is a key,
embedded in the code, that compromises its sleek appearance.
reveal source command on a browser will open the HTML code of most
sites for viewing. To do so on this site reveals one line under
the header that reads:
<!-- Created by SWiSH - Flash made easy - only $49.95
- www.swishzone.com -->
this case, the HTML (hypertext markup language) source code from
the “warning” above includes a software inserted message (a comment)
establishing the fact that it was created in Swish a software
program for “Flash made easy,” available for purchase online and
costing only $49.95. Such a piece of knowledge, buried one layer
beneath the video itself, instantly recasts the images into a different
context and suggest a very different materiality of creation.
In most Web code there is a set
of “meta” tags which illustrate the designer/authors decisions on
how to “list” the site for inclusion in search engines and how to
describe the site to potential viewers once the search engine displays
the Web address. Keywords for the video warning are especially revealing
<meta name="keywords" content="14, about, as, black, bmp,
can, carriers, die, for, heterosexual, hiv, how, jpg, kill, likely,
males, might, mtv1, mtv2, mtv3, nig1, nig2, nig3, nig4, nike1,
nike2, nike3, nike4, racemixing, scene, this, times, warning,
particular metatag includes such key words as “HIV, MTV and Nike.”
While it is not likely that this site would return high on a search
that used these key words, “reading” this bit of code is a powerful
way to discern the purpose behind the site and to project its intended
audiences. Further evidence of the author’s intentions can be read
in the file names themselves. The photographs of the young black
men bear the file names “nig1,” “nig2” and so on.
final example is the site http://www.martinlutherking.org.
This URL (Universal Resource Locator), or Web address, is particularly
insidious and suggests another element of code that needs to be
thoroughly understood. Domain names and addresses are trickier than
a straightforward “real estate” metaphor would suggest. No enforceable
rules underlie the labeling of many domain names. Historical we
are to understand that .com are sites that are related to commerce;
.org are sites of non-profit organizations; .gov are government
sites; edu are educational sites. But the reality is, of course,
that many domain names are available for purchase and resale. This
“real estate” metaphor of organizing by domain name, if not understood,
can undercut ones ability to make decisions about the content of
sites with seemingly self-evident domains.
is a white supremacist site, developed by Vincent Breeding of Stormfront
(who records his title as “Republican Public Relations and Marketing
Consultant). Familiar design conventions lure young people (students
primarily) into believing the site a credible source for information
on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Credibility is confirmed first by
the domain name. “Org” is the extension that denotes a non-profit
organization and comes with primarily charitable, social service
and justice-seeking connotations. The ability of a white supremacist
group to “buy” the domain name of martinlutherking.org demonstrates
forcefully the need to educate users on the true nature of domain
names – they are suggestive only, not proscriptive. They are open
to purchase by the highest, and importantly the quickest, bidder.
conventions – even in this early stage of a new information technology
– are invisible “rules” by which we make decisions about information
on the World Wide Web. I use the word invisible to evoke
the history of usability and interface design, which suggests always
that the “mode” of technology that delivers information should be
transparent. A good book, for instance, transports you “into the
story” and away from conscious attention to the materials of the
book. Bad interface, as suggested by Jakob Neilson, Steve Krug
and others, is an interface that makes you “think” too hard about
the apparatuses that deliver the information to you.  As Nancy Kaplan explains, “Both Nielsen and Norman
promote an ideal of the interface that is as seamless, as invisible,
as possible. Both believe that information technologies are simply
tools… “a tool is an object and a set of practices that we use without
any explicit or even any implicit understanding of its inner workings.” 
the first viewing of martinlutherking.org a professional design
job gives the appearance of credibility and acts as a kind of invisibility
for the true message of the site. Adopting King’s powerful civil
rights rhetoric this site calls for students to “Bring the Dream
to Your Town.” Pre-designed flyers can be printed out, remediating
the printing press for anyone with connectivity. The site makes
rhetorical arguments by its presentation of alignment, contrast,
and “fair” use of historical images of King, Nothing on the “first
level” navigation suggests the real focus or bias of the site.
Main navigation bars use the rhetorics of civil rights:
-who he fought
and fought for
the day king was shot
Dream to Life
- jews and
- who led
the civil rights movement
Futhermore, A look at the source
code shows these metatags:
<title>Martin Luther King Jr. - A True Historical Examination</title>
<META NAME="KEYWORDS" CONTENT="Martin Luther King, MLK,
Martin Luther King Jr, Civil Rights, Black History, Slavery, Reparations,
Kwanzaa, Anti-Defamation League, ADL, Anti-Defamation League of
B'nai B'rith, anti-Semitism, racism, bigotry, hatred, prejudice,
bias, Holocaust, Israel, democracy, terrorism, militia, Jews,
Jewish, diversity, anti-Semitic incident, racist, discrimination,
Holocaust denial, neo-Nazi, Nazi, Nazis, tolerance, civil rights,
Black, extremism, extremist, hate crimes, skinheads, Middle East,
Islamic Extremist, education, White supremacy, minority, bias,
religious freedom, tolerance, religious right, Martin Luther King
Jr., free speech, MLK, school prayer, religion, justice, MLK,
these meta-tags can give a better indication of the true nature
of the site and suggest some of the developer’s intended audiences.
Students researching “black history or slavery,” other racists searching
for information about “holocaust denial,” neo-nazis, people looking
for information on anti-semiticism. The wide net thrown by the
developers of this site and its deceptive practices become obvious
with a glance at the HTML.
code designates a description of the site that will be posted by
search engines with the URL. This site’s meta tags read:
<META NAME="DESCRIPTION" CONTENT="Martin Luther
King: A True Historical Examination. This site includes historical
trivia, articles and pictures. A valuable resource for teachers
and students alike.">
that three or four lines of simple HTML code enables such a deception
to take place can demonstrate powerfully the importance of taking
new media literacy “below” the message, the image, and the movement
to aid users in realizing both the problems and the possibilities
of new media technologies.
used these examples to suggest some of the power of a revised reading
paxis on the Web. What these hate sites illustrate is one reality
of the Web today. It is not the utopia that early hypertext theorists
desired but it is something powerful and new. We must not be lulled
into believing we have all the literacy tools we need (it has text
and structure -- it’s a book; it has moving pictures -- it’s a
television; it has design - it’s a pamphlet or flyer.) Or tempted
to dismiss it as pragmatic, linear and commercial and go back to
writing about the tiny percentage of Web texts that do instantiate
the hypertext dream. We must embrace the challenge that the real
Web represents, which is a significant one; we must develop new
literacy practices and new theories of “new media.”
 My thanks to Laura Gurak , friend
and collaborator, for this summary of my argument.
 Kendrick, Michelle. “Remediation and the Subject of
Writing.” Configurations: A Journal of Science and Technology.
Johns Hopkins UP.
 C. Jan Swearingen, “Originality, Authenticy, Imitation,
and Plagerism: Augustine’s Chinese Cousins.” Perspectives on
Plagiarism: And Intellectual Property in a Postmodern World.
Eds. Lise Buranen and Alice M. Roy. SUNY Press1999. 19 – 30.
 I have argued that the French feminists’ notion of ecriture
feminine includes many of the qualities claimed for hypertext,
but has never been acknowledged in new media theory. See Kendrick,
“The Laugh of the Modem: Feminine Ecriture and Hypertext” in Rhizomes:
 Tuman, Myron. Wordperfect: Literacy
in the Computer Age. University of Pittsburgh. 1992.
 Haraway, Donna. “Situated Knowledges:
The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial
Perspective.” Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention
of Nature. Routledge. New York. 1991.
 Fear of a Third World Planet. http://www.thirdworldplanet.com/F3wp/planet.htm
 He specifically points out his
Internet radio station and “white rock-and-roll” as a potential
lure for “young people” to the cause. Resistance Records, Pierce’s
record label is the largest distributor of white power music in
the United States and they expect to sell over 70,000 CDs this
year, with over $1 million in revenues (European sales figures
are over $3 million).
 Bolter, J. David, Grusin, Richard.
Remediation: Understanding New Media. Mit Press. 2000.
 See Don’t Make Me Think.
Steve Krug Que. 2000. And Designing Web Usability. Jakob
Neilson. New Riders Publishing. 1999.
 Kaplan, Nancy. “Knowing Practice: A More Complex View
of New Media Literacy.” Paper presented at SSGRR Conference 2001.
Accessed on the Web at http://raven.ubalt.edu/staff/kaplan/ .
On March 10, 2003.