Wow. Lots of reading and homework this week. The reading was kind of teadious, but it was also kind of fun to play around with HTML. Granted, we are just learning the basics, but it is neat to be able to create a web page from scratch. You have to be careful though, HTML language is very precise. One mistyped and letter, and you could be looking at your page and go "what the heck just happened!". A lot of the text book reading that we had to do this week, had to do with how to initually plan out and set up your web site. The main points for the web site is to make sure that your home page is laid out properly and to plan out the navigation between your pages. Your home page is the first thing surfers will see when they enter your site, so you want them to feel welcome (not overwhelmed or confused. This kind of expands on the CRAP that we learned about in week 1 when dealing with ads), and the navigation around your site has to be easy for everyone (graphic buttons are cool, but alt labels & text links are good to have for those that can't see the really cool buttons that designed to impress them. The majority of our web reading had to do with evaluation of a site, which is trying to discern who the author of the site is (what is the URL, who is the author and is he/she credible?), the relavancy of this site (is this a biased or factual site), and can the information contained on this site be backed up (other works or web sites sited as corraborating sources)? For my assignment of two web sites to evaluate, I just turned to our web based reading and pulled two of the sites from the "Writing1:Evaluating Websites" homework assignments.
The first site I chose was the presidents website 1. The first thing I notice is that this is a site about the White House, and the .gov extension on the URL would suggest that this is the official government site of the White House (boy am I glad it wasn't whitehouse.com, that could have been embarrasing:). It would seem that the purpose of this web site is to keep the viewer up to date on current affairs. With daily blogs, and almost daily updates on the progress of legislations, as well as press releases, briefings, history and info on other branches of government. All these (and more) are accessible through labels at the top of the page, and also through text links at the bottom of the page. When you go to the "contact us" page, they provide you with an email link, phone numbers, additional info/contact sites (Facebook, My Space, Twitter, etc), and the most famous address in the United States. I really like the way this site is laid out, because the page designes really show a uniform theme throught this site, and on almost every page there is a list on the right hand side of some of the most important information, such as news on the budget, the spending for recovery, and sites to visit for additional info (no searching for hours to try to find this stuff, inquiring minds want to know, now).
The second site I chose was the MLK website 1. This is a site about Martin Luther King Jr. The first thing I noticed about this site is that the URL ends with .org. This tells me simply that this is a site that is presented by some type of organization. Immediatly upon reading, you understand that this site is not to honor the man that it is named after; it is designed to discredit him and what he preached for. The site does site many quotes to support their claims and backs them up with source info, but you can definitly feel a very biased vibe here. I beleive the name of the group that is sponsoring this site is called Stormfront (a white supremesist group). The site is not too flashy, and there are some elements of organization in it, but some of the things that throw me off are the different colored hypertext links contained on the home page (some are blue, some are orange and some are white). The plain grey back round is another thing that kind of makes this site look "cheap". Another thing about the background is that it is on every page of the site (at least they are consistantly cheap) except one (oops! The historical writing page has a white background). They do keep their list of graphic buttons on the right side of the screen , except for in the Historical writing page (double oops!), but they do not have alternative links to these pages should we not be able to display the buttons. I would give this site a C, it is not entirely horrible (except for the subject matter).
Well that was my asignment for the week. Hope your eyes arn't bleeding from all the reading, but like I said, there was a lot to go over this week.