The designation of an anchor using any format privileges that portion of the node. The anchor takes on a semiotic significance beyond its place in the narrative or graphic structure.
Authors use these approaches to promote various efferent and aesthetic interactions.
An entire graphic
This approach is commonly used with pop-up
and banner ads. These ads generally
consist of a single graphic that also serves as an anchor to a link leading
to the product page. These graphics pull attention away from any other
screen (such as your mail or news) as the eye
follows the picture.
As this is a self contained world, it can be more
complex and tell stories.
When the anchor is embedded as part
of a graphic, the author then must decide if the entire graphic will
be segmented by different anchors (in which case, the graphic becomes
a graphical menu for the anchors e.g., Fuddruckers
) or if the anchor is an attempt to draw readers’ attentions
and interpretations to a specific part of the graphic (As Saturn
, Garnier Fructis , and
Zenobia, Queen of Palmyria  do).
Readers quickly learn to associate certain icons with their function. When used uniformly, icons can effectively steer readers through expected portions of the site (e.g., arrows for indicating the next or previous level or node, a Google(TM)-like color text for search, or an envelope for mail).
The same icons are used on many different sites, which allow readers a common vocabulary. These can be misused (an icon showing an envelope may lead to a stationary store) and subvert reader expectations. This would result in a frustration that could be capitalized on in an aesthetic site, but would function poorly for an efferent site.
Textual anchors can be portions of a word, a single word, phrase, sentence, paragraph, or section of text. When the anchor is limited to a word or a phrase, readers are more likely to engage in interpreting the semiotic connections of the anchor to the node, and the small text anchor becomes a signifier for the entire nodal context.
Readers engage at the textual level of the anchor, particularly in embedded anchors. For example, if the anchor is on "father" the reader looks at a word level, exploring semiotic relationships between the word and the destination node. Similarly, if the anchor is on the last three letters of "father" then the accent on the last syllable causes readers to think phonemically and connect that syllable to the destination node. At the same time, however, accentuating only part of the word can lead to readers re-seeing the original word as well (as the above anchor can lead to readers seeing the word "father " as "fat her"). On the other hand, the textual and phonemic interpretative potential seems to dissipate at the macro level of paragraphs such as Charmin' Cleary .
Efferent sites use numbers as denotative links (e.g., Report 1). Aesthetic sites merge text and numbers for new semiotic connections. For example, ][mez] [breeze] and Memmott mix numbers, symbols, and code to form new language associations. Other authors use the numbers and symbols to evoke binary computer associations.
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