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Wayne MacPhail is absolutely right about this. Anyone in charge of a web site would do well to read this.
[ 01 May 2008: Message edited by: Toby Fourre ]
Yea, that's a useful observation from Wayne regarding the choosing of colleges for foreign students.
Here's another: if you are able, make your site interactive for the dumbest internet newbie. For example, I have a blog that allows for anonymous comments and, as a result, I get as much traffic as a much longer established blog on the same subject. I adjusted the settings to get an e mail when someone posts anything and, as a result, people ask me questions on this, that, and the other because they actually get a reply, of some kind, from me. My rival? Not so much.
By the way, shop stewards operate on the same principle. Make yourself helpful and available for questions and advice and people will come to you with their problems. And that's what a good steward wants.
[ 01 May 2008: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]
One of my websites.
[url=http://web.mac.com/normhead/Ogoki/Welcome.html]the Ogoki Forest[/url]
Really? I don't care much about Wendy reading my website. The person you try and reach isn't always Wendy, and Wendy gives a rats ass about what you are trying to accomplish 90% of the time anyway. But in a really over simplified world where every thing is 5 second sound bites, we can all sell Wendy something. We have television for that. And personally, I find the inference that you should dumb everything down to Wendy's level demeaning to humans as a whole. There is a world out there that goes beyond harried housewives scrambling to keep up with their kids. And while I appreciate their work, lets not pretend everything revolves around them.
Not every site revolves around Wendy. The Ogoki Forest site is apparently (I just looked at the main page) oriented towards people who have already decided to make a major time commitment to a particular project. The approach Wayne is proposing is to sit in a room with a bunch of those people and ask them what they want to see. Another approach is to sit behind those people and watch to see how they get things done on the site. That's a bit more fine tuning oriented since you have to have the site first. If you don't do these things you are very likely to create a site for yourself, which may or may not be very useful for others.
Wendy is critical for sites which want large reach. That includes sites trying to support democracy, which is why Wendy is critical for the left.
The Ogoki Forest site is a bit of a mish-mash, not that anyone is asking.
The nav bar doesn't look like a nav bar, probably doesn't need 14 items, and shouldn't be double stacked.
The main graphic appears to be a map with some non decipherable writing on it.
Something more recognizable and eye catching would be better, IMO.
Again, unasked for advice so ignore it if you like.
Actually all your comments are warranted, but the Ogoki site is way to much information for Wendy or probably anyone to absorb in one sitting. So the 14 items on the Nav Bar are to give people easy access to a point they may have accessed before. The page was used by those of us trying to save the Ogoki forest, particularly those writing letters to the MNR and Ministry of the Environment trying to force an environmental assessment of the effects of logging operation on what is left of the Canadian boreal forest.
The next step will be to build a site more friendly to Wendy and the general population once the request for an EA has been turned down. The next step after that will be public education and outreach and perhaps a campaign of protest and civil disobedience. At least 4 of the 7 parties requesting and EA used these pages as one of their resources in putting together their submissions to the MNR and MoE. You'll also notice that for a page with no public appeal (or mention in google) it has almost 500 hits.
To whoever said "Wendy is critical for sites which want large reach. That includes sites trying to support democracy, which is why Wendy is critical for the left."
OK , now you really pissed me off. The Ogoki website is about as caught up in the "democratic process" as is possible. My point is that a website can exist for as many different purposes as a book can, and saying we should design our websites for Wendy is like saying there should be no scientific journals or text books.
It is perfectly fine to have a website as a way of disseminating information. IN fact one of the joys of the internet is anyone can get their views out there. Now as too why Wendy is critical to the left.... I have always assumed that education was critical to the left. But hey, that's just my experience. But maybe you were meaning the Bob Rae part of the left. Or maybe you think there is some part of the left that can be reduced to simple visuals, that through a few well placed ads we can have a country of left leaning individuals.
But since someone brought it up, I'd love to see an example of a left leaning website geared towards Wendy. Within the next month or two I will need to build one. Soon I will likely get notification that the request for an independent EA, as requested by myself, one other individual and 5 NGO's has been turned down. They have never granted one in the past, so the odds are pretty slim. But the Ogoki website will remain as it is, even when that happens, for people who want to understand the issues better than the shameless picture of cute little caribou under banners loudly proclaiming their threatened existence while pointing the finger at Big Business and the Gov. for being so callous.
I'm thinking appealing to Wendy is being portrayed as a metaphor for being catchy, direct to the point and simple. People who would benefit from such a page are not likely to be serious contributors to the democratic process. You make it sound like adding new members of the left is dependent on producing catchy visuals and maybe a few advertising jingles.
Some how, I find that offensive.