The ACM International Conference on Hypertext and Social Media, known as Hypertext, will be held this year for the first time online. Hypertext 2020 was originally intended to be held in Orlando, Florida, USA, between July 13 and 15th at the University of Central Florida’s downtown campus. However, due to the global pandemic, the leadership team has agreed that the only responsible path forward is migrating online. The conference will be “virtually” co-located with the Electronic Literature Organization Conference and Media Arts Festival, with engagement events targeted at creating transdisciplinary conversation. This year’s theme remains Hypertext for Social Good, a theme exemplified by the work of our plenary speakers Safiya Noble, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, and Stuart Moulthrop, and particularly urgent in this time of crisis and collective action. We hope to see many of you “online” at Hypertext 2020!

We will be focusing on building community in this time of crisis. Hosted by the University of Central Florida, the conference was originally intended to take advantage of the proximity to the theme park capital of the world: an international crossroad where hypertext narratives come to life in mixed reality experiences inviting play but also demanding reflection on the changing landscape of the web. Now, it will bring these same questions into a virtual combination of synchronous and asynchronous discourse. While this conference is still hosted by a “local” team at the University of Central Florida, the realities of the global crisis have pushed us to make the socially responsible move of pivoting to a virtual format. We will be keeping in mind the recommendations of the ACM Virtual Conference preliminary report in planning the event. As the team makes this transition, we will be reaching out to bring our international community into conversation, and experiment actively with the web as a tool for addressing these new challenges.

Given this change in format, we have extended the submission deadline for the main conference proceedings, as well as for the other online events. We anticipate the conference moving forward as follows:

  • Plenaries. Keynotes will be streamed, and recorded later for viewing by those unable to participate live due to time zones and other constraints.
  • Virtual engagement sessions. In coordination with the Electronic Literature Organization conference, we will be holding a number of virtual meet-ups and social opportunities designed to encourage community-building and collaboration.
  • Full conference proceedings. Our ACM conference proceedings will go forward as planned. Authors included in the proceedings will have the option of submitting short video talks to accompany their work, but will not be required to do so.
  • Synchronous collaborative events. Special sessions (such as the doctoral consortium, workshops, and tutorials) will be held live, with pre-registration for participants through streaming video platforms.
  • Web-based exhibition. A special call for our web-based exhibition is forthcoming soon.

We are saddened not to be welcoming you to Orlando, but look forward to convening with you at the first virtual ACM Hypertext and Social Media conference!