Screens, Research and Hypertext

Powered by 🌱Roam Garden

Layered Structure

As the name might imply, layered structures involve two different layers of linked nodes. Each node in the top layer is linked sequentially to the next node in the top layer, as well as to its corresponding node in the bottom layer.

Diagram showing a layered network structure. Each node is connected to three others—one preceding it, one following it, and one running parallel to it.

Typically, the top layer would contain text and the bottom layer would contain photos, sounds, and video.

There are a lot of cool possibilities for layered hypertext. The text of the Pitchfork essay, “Glitter in the Dark,” is a standard entry in the Musician with a New Album genre. What’s different is the layer of stop-motion images that accompany the text. While they aren’t strictly part of the main narrative, they do evoke a sense of personality that deepens the text.

A slightly different take on the layered structure, the publishing platform FOLD, lets users add a layer of multimedia to accompany a text-narrative. The platform, created by the Center for Civic Media at MIT, offers a slightly different take on the same idea. It utilizes a set of cards in the main narrative. Each card is then linked to a second layer that contains background information — videos, text, maps, etc.