Monday, May 14, 2007

Defining who, what, where, and why

Most of the web pages that have been assigned to be browsed thus week and in past weeks have had a flaw that continues to nag at me--the websites fail to or inadequately describe/define who, what, when, where, and why they have been created. Reading through the websites is often a confusing task because their is so much disinformation or satirical commentary the web sites lose their appeal to the everyday surfer. I read CNN.com much of the time to keep up with the world news and in contrast reading these web pages begins a confusing whirlwind of "what the hell is going on". Yes, these websites exist in the creative commons, but they do not have a defined place or a defined reason for existence. The one website that does address a sense of who what when where and why is Adbusters . I believe that an "about" section is a necessity for creating a web site like the ones we have been browsing.

1 comment:

ben said...

I agree with you that the nonfiction hypertexts lack who/what/where/when/why elements, and I definitely understand your frustration (especially when you're used to reading highly-structured CNN news articles).

Having said this, I can't help but notice that you call the lack of structure in the hypertexts a "flaw." Is it really? What if the person making the site didn't want their website/story to look like CNN.com?

I would argue that all of these sites do have both "a defined place" and "a defined reason for existence" (your words). What is so great about the internet is that it is a place where everyone is entitled to contribute their work, no matter what it looks like or how much it "contributes."

So, with this in mind, perhaps one could look at nonfiction hypertexts in a new way and enjoy them, despite their lack or organization. And maybe, even with a new mindset, one could come across a hypertext that they don't understand and never will. I feel the important thing is that the creator gets it, that the creator is able to put his/her ideas out there, and not necessarily that it makes sense to others.