Embedded anchors are part of
content, bringing some word or a portion of an image to the fore. This
not only indicates an acteme
of a decision point in the content, but emphatically privileges that anchor
text within an overall reading. Embedded anchors thus function as an integral
part of the node, both connotatively
and denotatively. For example,
this hypertext paper embeds denotative
text anchors to refer to other pages of text while occasionally throwing
in a connotative themed anchor.
It's how you embed
It is not the link that creates this semiotic emphasis,
but the decorations of the anchor. Compare the modest
anchor emphasis in the Changing Room  or ~water ~water ~water  with
the density of The Unknown's  moderate
decorations or even the stronger striking emphasis in I'm
Simply Saying .
Zenobia, Queen of Palmyria
 presents an unusual case as Dickey embeds the anchor within
a larger graphic, thus bringing the anchored part of the graphic to
the forefront of illiation and meaning.
overlays two layers of emphasis of color and non-color in her embedded links, thus ironically underplaying the significance of the embedded
Afterimage  embeds
an anchor on the last word of the node to the next node, providing an
unusual linear connotative
link. The last word takes on an enormous importance: "What I am about."
"The Afterimage ."
It's where you embed
The choice of where to locate a link within a lexia can
be critical to determining the meaning and relationship of the link:
Draws the reader's attention to the portions of the word and creates
new meaning ("My fat
- Entire word or couple of words: Shows
the relations between the word and text at the sentence or higher level
was watching our every move.") Wikipedia
and this paper
use dense denotative links
in the content, indicating further reading on that subject. The
Unknown  use the same anchoral word for different destinations,
providing a connotative
interpretation of the word in relation to its position in the lexia.
Afterimage's  word link at
the end of each lexia show relations between the word and the next lexia.
The Jew's Daughter  takes
a pivotal word and revolves the text around that word. Most sites and
works in our survey (both efferent and aesthetic) that used embedded
anchors used words.
- Phrase: Plays one portion of a sentence
off another, bringing an idea, place, time, or other portion to the
fore. ("As she got dressed, I looked up and knew that m our every move.") The
Pines at Walden Pond  occasionally uses phrases to illustrate
an idea ("core of their being"). Reach
 uses it occasionally, but as every phrase or sentence is linked,
the anchoral emphasis is diluted and quite weak. Phrases can also be
efferent, as Adaptive Path's 
invitation to "read more" or "explain further."
- Line: Works analogously to a line
in poetry (containing a thought that can be separated and combined with
the whole). Firefly's  anchors
change one line of a poem at a time, showing the relations between a
line and a stanza.
- Sentence: Can create an emphasis by
pulling an entire thought from the lexia. Reach uses sentence anchors,
but again, this emphasis is weak.
- Paragraph: Can emphasize one portion
of the lexia. Charmin' Cleary 
uses anchoral paragraphs. However, like Reach, as every paragraph is
linked, the anchors are not emphasized and thus do not serve a denotative
nor connotative function
in the work.
It's when you embed and when
Embedded text anchors provide two reader tasks: interpreting
the context of the emphasis and deciding when to trigger the anchor:
read read read <
> (metaread: Why is this emphasized? What is the connection to
other text? This isn't underlined, indicating a footnote or side thought.
Should I click?) read read read read <anchor>
(metaread: Why is this emphasized? What is the connection to other
text? This is blue, indicating another page. Should I click?) read
read read read read read read read.
The vast majority of efferent sites did not use embedded
anchors. Questacon  and A
List Apart  did use embedded anchors--the former to attract kids
to find out more about locations mentioned in a pen pal's letter and the
latter to bolster arguments in an article. Are efferent
shying away from embedded links because they want readers to finish an
article before exploring connections?
Aesthetic works are more evenly divided, perhaps because
authors wish to emphasize and explore connections.
Its who is embedding
The Wikipedia ,
site, abounds and revels in links. This reflects the community of writers
and readers who produce this work, as anyone can add a link--and comes
closest to the Nelson/Vannevar Bush/early HT community ideals of creating
trails and paths through sites and works.
It's how much is embedded in one anchor
At the extreme, the entire content of the node is itself
an anchor. Popup ads and banners
are the most common form of this extreme use of embedded anchor.
With popup ad, the entire window is an anchor that can be activated.
Banner ads function independantly of the screen to present separate anchors
from the screen content.
W hen the entire content of a node becomes an anchor, the semiotic
function of the anchor is somewhat mitigated. For example, as readers
become familiar with the anchor placement in Charmin'
Cleary , they are less likely to consider the content of that
anchor as somehow connected to that destination node. Charmin' Cleary
places three anchors per each node according to a navigationally based
rather than content based schema. The top third of the screen takes
the reader to a node on the "Her story" path. The middle
third of the screen takes the reader to a node on the "His story"
path and the bottom third of the screen takes the reader to a node on
the "Other guys" path.
When larger chunks or the entire node are embedded anchors,
such as brandchannel , readers come
to view the overall whole of the text as a whole. This leads to the expectation
that the anchor is placed due to physical space considerations rather
than anything specific in the content of the anchor.